Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Congressman John Dingell (MI-12) announced he will not seek reelection:
“When the people of southeast Michigan called John Dingell Jr. to serve at the age of 29, he answered that call with determination and grace. They saw in him the wisdom, sound judgment, and dedication to public service that have made him a leading figure in Congress for a generation – the same qualities his constituents and colleagues continue to observe today, nearly six decades later.
“After the death of his father, himself a distinguished Representative who allied with President Roosevelt to enact New Deal legislation, John took up the cause of fighting for America’s workers and growing our middle class and made it his own. He did so by championing access to quality, affordable health care for every American, and he played a central role in enacting both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. The adoption of critical health reforms in 2010 came after John’s lifetime advocacy of that objective.
“One of the hallmarks of John’s career in Congress has been his leadership on the issue of civil rights and his contributions to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That legislation, which ended segregation and opened doors of opportunity to millions of African Americans, reflected his abiding belief that all people are created equal and deserve an equal shot at making it in America.
“As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for sixteen years, John sought to strike a balance between the need to conserve our environment and promote the growth of manufacturing jobs. He had a hand in drafting the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and he has worked to promote conservation that enables more Americans to enjoy the great outdoors.
“I have been honored to call John Dingell my friend for over thirty years, and it will be difficult to imagine the convening of a new Congress without him present as the Dean of the House. But when that day arrives, his presence will be felt strongly by all of us who will continue to be guided by his example. I wish John all the best as he prepares to retire at the end of the year, and I join in thanking him for his service of seven decades, from his enlistment in the U.S. Army in World War II to his long career fighting on behalf of Michigan families and businesses in Congress – a lifetime of service to our country that has set an example of patriotism for generations to come.”