Longtime U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI) announced Monday that he will retire at the end of the 113th Congress (the end of the year). The 87-year-old veteran lawmaker was first elected to the House in 1955 to fill his late father's seat.
Dingell has been directly and deeply involved in a wide array of legislative issues, including transportation, during his 58 years on Capitol Hill. As the congressman representing the southeastern corner of Michigan, for example, he established himself as a strong advocate of the U.S. automobile industry.
Dingell has the distinction of being the longest-serving member in the history of Congress. He is also the last remaining member of Congress who voted on the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 that created the Interstate Highway System. Dingell talked about his support for that measure in 2006 at a news conference in Detroit that helped launch that year's nationwide activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of that highways network.
"The bill creating the Interstate Highway System was one of the earliest votes I participated in as a member of Congress," he said. "We knew that it represented progress, but it unleashed great forces on the United States that have proven to be of enduring benefit to our economy and society."
Dingell's wife Debbie, a former executive for General Motors, has announced that she will run for his House seat.
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