Michigan's Dingell to become longest-serving U.S. Congress member

June 2, 2013 at 4:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., is set to become the U.S. Congress' longest-serving member on Friday, records show.

Dingell, 86, of Dearborn, has represented the state in the House -- in the past, as speaker -- since Dec. 13, 1955, and has no immediate plans to retire, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.

Dingell will surpass the late Robert Byrd of West Virginia -- who served as a House member from 1953 to 1959 and as a senator from 1959 to 2010 -- as the longest-serving member of Congress.

Dingell said, "I never wanted any other job. I'm one of the luckiest guys in shoe leather."

Dingell will have served 20,997 days in office, has cast more than 25,000 votes in Congress and presided over the passage of Medicare and played a prominent role in creating the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, in addition to many other accomplishments in office, the Free Press reported.

"Dingell is, just deep in his bones, a man of the House," congressional expert Norm Ornstein, who has known Dingell for decades, said. "He loves the House, the rhythms of the House. He loves to represent people. He loves to get his fingers into policy."

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