Dingell to Retire from Congress after 59 Years of Service

John Dingell (D-MI)

John Dingell

(Dearborn, MI) – House member John Dingell (D-MI), the longest-serving member of Congress in history, is calling it quits at the close of the 113th Congress. And the reason apparently has nothing to do with the 87-year-old’s health or the fear of losing the 2014 election.

Given the two-year term for a member of the House of Representatives, beginning in 1955 – when he succeeded his father – Dingell has been elected and re-elected an astonishing 31 times.

To put this in monetary terms, allowing for the current $174,000 annual salary vs. the costs associated with running for office, Dingell has earned $10,266,000 for serving in Congress and spent $62 million to keep going back year after year.

Yet he is not going to try for 32 because he finds “serving in the House to be obnoxious” given the toxic atmosphere in today’s Congress.

Dingell, apparently suffering from being irony-impaired, doesn’t seem to see a 59-year career as being obnoxious.

Another example of his irony-impairment can be seen in his statement to a Detroit newspaper: “I’m not going to be carried out feet-first. I don’t want people to say I stayed too long.” Given his 59-year career, one has to wonder what his definition of “too long” is.

But a Dingell spokesman shrugged off the criticism. “Representative Dingell has given and given and given to his country,” said the Dingell spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And he’s become a significant part of the country’s history over the past 59 years. It’s only because he’s had to serve with a certain number of ‘poopyheads’ during the past few years that he’s even considering retirement.”

In addition to naming over 100 post offices, Dingell has written and voted for a number of historic pieces of legislation during his long and storied career:

Legislation Year
Amendment XIII to the Constitution
[abolished slavery in the United States]
Social Security Act 1935
Civil Rights Act 1964
Medicare 1965
Medicaid 1965
Clean Water Act 1972
Endangered Species Act 1973
Clean Air Act 1970
Americans with Disabilities Act 1990
Food Safety Enhancement Act 2009
Affordable Care Act