the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Vice President on the Retirement of Congressman John Dingell

House Speaker Tip O’Neill used to say “All politics is local”, but in John Dingell’s case, all politics has always been personal. It’s only when you have a personal relationship with someone that you establish trust, even when you’re on opposite sides of an issue. Through 59 years of public service, John fought for what he believed in, and got things done through relationships and his deep respect for others.

And there was no one he respected more than his constituents. He respected their hopes, their dreams, and their values. He has been relentless in his efforts to secure for them the right to live a decent middle-class life.

He has always been a staunch advocate for health care for every American, and he has been a player on every significant piece of legislation that has helped make America a more just, fair, and free country for over half a century.

It was a privilege walking the floor of the Detroit Auto Show with John this past January. I’ve never known a man who has been a better champion of the American worker, and he deserves a great deal of credit for the resurgence of the iconic American automobile industry.

The House and the American people are losing a great public servant. But John is gaining a well-deserved retirement, and I wish him many happy years with his family.

John has always been more than Mr. Chairman to me. He’s been Dean, the longest serving Member of Congress and one of the most effective in our history. There’s never been a colleague I’ve admired more. Happy retirement, John, and thank you for your service.