Dingell Becomes Longest-Serving House Member

82-year-old Michigan Dem has been eased out of leadership roles
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Feb 11, 2009 10:22 AM CST
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., listens during a ceremony honoring him for becoming the longest-serving U.S. House member on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – Michigan Democrat John Dingell today becomes the longest-serving member of Congress, passing the 53-years-and-2-months mark set by Mississippi Democrat Jamie Whitten. But the milestone is bittersweet for Dingell, who for the first time in a quarter century is no longer the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, reports the Washington Post.

Dingell, 82, was stripped of the chairmanship last fall, as his loyalty to Detroit’s automakers was seen as a liability for the Obama administration, which will push for tougher environmental standards. But Dingell's tenure will be remembered for a raft of historically significant legislation he championed, including the creation of Medicare and the Endangered Species Act.