Former House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman John
Dingell (D-Mich.), 86, Friday became the longest-serving
member of Congress in history -- he was elected in 1955 -- which drew
congratulations from the president.
"I want to congratulate Congressman John Dingell on
becoming the longest-serving member of Congress in our country's history,"
the president said in a statement. "First elected in 1955 to the seat
formerly held by his father, John Dingell Sr., John has always worked
tirelessly for people of his beloved Michigan and for working families across
America. He has helped pass some of the most important laws of the last
half-century, from Medicare to the Civil Rights Act to the Clean Air Act to the
Affordable Care Act, and he continues to fight for workers' rights, access to
affordable healthcare, and the preservation of our environment for future
generations to enjoy. Michelle and I send our warmest wishes to John and
his family, and I look forward to congratulating him in person at the White
House next week."
Dingell has been in Congress even longer than those 57-plus
years, serving as a page starting in 1937. He surpasses the term of Robert
Byrd, the iconic West Virginia Democrat, who served 57 years, 176 days.
Dingell remains an active member, just
this week sending one of his famous Dingellgrams (a request for info from
an agency) to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn about spectrum issues.
Dingell has long been a fan of broadcasters, pushing to insure they were
treated fairly in the first DTV transition and taking up the same standard for
what will essentially be the second transition following FCC incentive spectrum