Politics: Lawmakers hold service for John Dingell mid-air as weather tangles travel - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsLawmakers hold service for John Dingell mid-air as weather tangles travel

20:55  12 february  2019
20:55  12 february  2019 Source:   rollcall.com

John Dingell, longest-serving member of U.S. Congress, dead at 92

John Dingell, longest-serving member of U.S. Congress, dead at 92 John Dingell, a gruff Michigan Democrat who entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955 to finish his late father's term and became a legislative heavyweight and longest-serving member of Congress, died on Thursday, Michigan lawmakers said. He was 92. Dingell served 59 years in the House before retiring in 2015 because, as he said to a Michigan business group at the time, he no longer could "live up to my own personal standard" for serving in Congress.

Lawmakers hold service for John Dingell mid-air as weather tangles travel

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A military plane carrying members of Congress to Michigan for former Rep. John Dingell’s funeral was turned around due to weather issues, prompting the group to hold a mid-air memorial for the longest serving member of Congress.

The Dingell family announced Sunday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would join Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis and Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton in speaking at the service in Dearborn, Mich. Lewis and Upton were among those en route to the funeral in Dearborn, when weather in Detroit made landing unfeasible.

Along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Missouri Republican Rep. Billy Long, the group held a service on the airplane to remember their former colleague.

Pelosi mourns Dingell: ‘We have lost a beloved pillar of the Congress’

Pelosi mourns Dingell: ‘We have lost a beloved pillar of the Congress’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mourned the death of former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) Thursday, calling the longest-serving member of Congress "a beloved pillar" of the legislative branch. "Today, we have lost a beloved pillar of the Congress and one of the greatest legislators in American history. Every chapter of Chairman John Dingell's life has been lived in service to our country, from his time as a House Page, to his service in the Army during World War II, to his almost six decades serving the people of Michigan in the U.S. Congress.

Father Pat Conroy, the House chaplain who was traveling with the congressional delegation, had been scheduled to preach during the funeral service. Rev. Terrence Kerner said during the Catholic mass that Rep. Debbie Dingell, Dingell’s wife, had initially said he should give the homily but when he spoke with Conroy on the phone, the House chaplain insisted he knew John Dingell better and should preach.

“He was scheduled to fly in today into paradise, but because of the weather and everyone’s safety the plane was turned around,” Kerner said of Conroy. “They’re back in DC. So 10 minutes before mass I found out I was preaching.”

Late Rep. John Dingell hailed as 'one of the greats' at Washington funeral

Late Rep. John Dingell hailed as 'one of the greats' at Washington funeral At a Washington service, longtime Rep. John Dingell was honored for his record-breaking service in the House. The 92-year-old Dingell, who died last week, served 59 years in Congress, longer than anyone else in U.S. history. The Michigan Democrat was the longtime chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and played a key role in laws on everything from health care to the environment, civil rights and the auto industry, which Dingell fiercely defended throughout his tenure.

The House cancelled roll call votes Tuesday to accommodate members who wanted to attend Dingell’s funeral.

House and Senate leadership from both parties are scheduled to gather on the House steps to pay their respects as the hearse carrying Dingell makes a final trip past the U.S. Capitol.

A funeral mass will be held Thursday for Dingell at Washington’s Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 10:30 a.m. It will be followed by a reception at Georgetown University.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, will speak at the service in D.C., as will current House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.

Dingell is a WWII-era veteran of the Army. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Niels Lesniewski and Chris Cioffi contributed to this report.

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