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Remembering Rep. John Dingell: "I Always Felt That Compromise Was An Honorable Word"

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)
CSPAN
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Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) speaks at a ceremony honoring his 58-years in congress.

Michigan Representative John Dingell passed away Thursday at the age of 92. He was first elected to fill his father’s House seat in 1955 and retired in 2014. He talked with WKAR about the lack of bipartisanship as prepared to leave Congress.

When Rep. Dingell retired from Congress, Barack Obama was in The White House. As a Democratic president, his agenda was routinely blocked by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

In 2014, Rep. Dingell spoke to WKAR’s Mark Bashore about the lack of bipartisanship as his congressional career was coming to an end.

"Well, I think its a great shame. I've always felt that compromise is an honorable word. That our founding fathers intended that we should work together for the broad overall great of the country. That was one of the things that I always did when I ran the Commerce committee for better than of 16 years. We reported out legislation by votes, which passed the House floor by 420-10 or something like that. I believe all members have the right to be heard. And all members had a duty not only to be heard but a duty to see to it that they had the opportunity to bring the thoughts and concerns of their people before the Congress. Because that's the way the best legislation happens to be written."

Bashore: "Do you think Americans should expect this kind of tension between the parties indefinitely or this is a phase that will pass?"

Dingell: "Oh brother. I  hope its a phase that passes. This is not serving the interests of the country at all. It is very much out of the interests of the public. It is bad for the country. It is bad for the nation. It is certainly hurting the country. It's something we don't need over here. And very frankly this is our country, we've got to pull together. One of the things that we've got to do is stop this business of sitting in the boat with all of our fellow Americans and saying 'pardon me but your end of the boat is sinking'!"

After retiring from Congress in 2014, Dingell’s wife Debbie successfully won her husband’s seat in 2014.

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