Pelosi Floor Speech Honoring the Late Congressman John David Dingell, Jr.

February 8, 2019
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to honor former Congressman and Dean of the House, John Dingell.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  I thank the gentleman for yielding and for your beautiful statement about our beloved colleague, John Dingell.  Mr. Chairman, he – again, as you mentioned, last night our nation lost a beloved pillar of this Congress and one of the greatest legislators in American history.

Every chapter of Chairman John Dingell's life was lived in service to our country, from his time as a House page, as a teenager, to his time in World War II, to almost six decades of serving the people of Michigan in the U.S. Congress.

John Dingell leaves a towering legacy of unshakeable strength, boundless energy and transformative leadership.

Chairman Dingell had a hand in crafting many major legislative accomplishments over the past half century.  Yet, among the vast array of historic legislative achievements, few hold greater meaning than his tireless commitment to the health of the American people.

During every Congress since 1955, Chairman Dingell introduced legislation to secure affordable, quality health care for all Americans.  Because of his father's legacy, which Mr. – our distinguished Leader has referenced – because of his father's legacy and his own leadership, in 1965, he gaveled Medicare into law.  In 2010, it was my privilege to hold that same gavel as we passed the Affordable Care Act.

Chairman Dingell was our distinguished Dean and Chairman, our legendary colleague and a beloved friend.  His memory will stand as an inspiration to all who worked with him or for him, or had the pleasure of knowing him.

His leadership will endure in the lives of millions of American families he touched.  We hope it is a comfort to Chairman Dingell’s beloved wife, dear Deborah, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and their entire family that so many people mourn their loss and pray for them at this sad time.

I’m pleased to mention that the flag is flying at half-staff over the Capitol in his memory and invite Members to sign the condolence book in the Speaker's lobby.  With that I yield back to the distinguished Leader, Mr. Hoyer.