Congressman Cárdenas on today's memorial service for John Dingell
John Dingell, the longest-serving Congressman ever, was THE senior Congressman when I was a freshman. He would sit in the same seat, in the same row, right there on the aisle. Now, that man built the committee I currently serve on, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and very often I would sit with him and ask his advice as he sat in that chair. He was sincere and thoughtful in his advice, and I took it to heart. I was honored that a man of great wisdom – who served his country in Congress for more than 59 years – took the time to help a freshman like me.
John Dingell was a good man and a great legislator. He brought toughness, humor and humility to his work. It’s what we should all aspire to in whatever we do in life. He also took a lead in the fight for legislation that gave the American people Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He cared about doing the RIGHT thing, not the popular thing. Right now in the San Fernando Valley people can get healthcare regardless of pre-existing conditions because of Congressman Dingell’s leadership on the Affordable Car Act, which currently provides health insurance for millions of Americans.
Congressman John Dingell did what he could to make sure that I grew up with every opportunity to live to my fullest potential. He succeeded. I became a colleague of his in the United States Congress, and he became my friend. We are all blessed from his service.