Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, the dean of the House who is the most tenured Congressman in the history of the United States Congress, has announced that he will not run for a 31st term. Rep. Dingell is set to end a Washington career that has stretched six decades, according to a Chicago Tribune report on Monday.
Dingell, an 87-year-old Democrat, entered Congress on Dec. 13, 1955. On June 7, 2013, he reached his 20,997th day in Congress which surpassed Sen. Robert Byrd as being the longest-serving member of the United States Congress. During his 58 years in Congress, he has been a former Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Dingell is one of only two World War II veterans who are still serving in Congress. The other is 90-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas.
The long-serving politician says his most important vote in Congress was for Civil Rights. He has also been very supportive of President Barack Obama's health care law - The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare - and stood at Obama's side when he signed the bill into law. Dingell asserts that one of the reasons he is retiring is because of the gridlock in Congress these days – which he calls obnoxious. He said that his health is still good but wasn't sure as to how he would be feeling at the end of another term.
If Michigan Rep. John Conyers is reelected, he will replace Dingell as the dean of the House – an honorary title given to Congress’ most-senior member. Rep. Conyers was elected for the first time in 1964.