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Debbie Dingell

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Debbie Dingell
Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee
Assumed office
April 16, 2024
LeaderHakeem Jeffries
Preceded byJoe Neguse
Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee
In office
January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2023
LeaderNancy Pelosi
Preceded byCheri Bustos
David Cicilline
Hakeem Jeffries
Succeeded byVeronica Escobar
Dean Phillips
Lauren Underwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byJohn Dingell
Personal details
Deborah Ann Insley

(1953-11-23) November 23, 1953 (age 70)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (until 1981)
Democratic (1981–present)
(m. 1981; died 2019)
RelativesJohn Dingell Sr. (father-in-law)
EducationGeorgetown University (BS, MS)
WebsiteHouse website

Deborah Ann Dingell (/ˈdɪŋɡəl/; née Insley; November 23, 1953) is an American politician who is a member of the Democratic Party who has been the U.S. representative for Michigan's 6th congressional district since 2015 (known as the 12th congressional district until 2023). She is the widow of John Dingell, her predecessor in the seat, who holds the record as the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history. She worked as a consultant to the American Automobile Policy Council.[1] She was a superdelegate for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.[2][3]

Dingell is active in several organizations in Michigan and Washington, D.C., and serves on a number of boards. She is a founder and past chair of the National Women's Health Resource Center and the Children's Inn at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).[4] She is also a member of the board of directors for Vital Voices Global Partnership.[5] She is a 1975 graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Life and career[edit]

Dingell with her husband John in 2011

Descended from one of the Fisher brothers, owners of Fisher Body,[6] from 1919 a part of General Motors, she has served as president[7] of the General Motors Foundation and as executive director of Global Community Relations and Government Relations at GM.

She married Representative John Dingell in 1981.[8] She had grown up as a Republican, but became a Democrat soon after marrying Dingell. Their marriage lasted 38 years until her husband's death on February 7, 2019, at the age of 92.

She is a member of the Democratic National Committee from Michigan and chaired Vice President Al Gore's campaign in Michigan in 2000. In 2004, she also helped secure the Michigan Democratic primary and general election vote for John Kerry in Michigan.

In November 2006, Dingell was elected to Wayne State University's board of governors.[9]

Dingell and Senator Carl Levin were proponents of moving up Michigan's presidential primary before February 5 in an attempt to garner greater political influence for Michigan during the 2008 Democratic primaries.[10] This resulted in Michigan almost losing its delegates' votes in the Democratic National Convention.[11]

When Carl Levin announced his retirement from the U.S. Senate at the end of his term in 2015, Dingell indicated that she was interested in running for his seat.[12] When former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm declined to run for the seat, a Politico writer declared Dingell to be one of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination, alongside Representative Gary Peters.[13] She chose not to run, and Peters won the seat.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Dingell indicated that she planned to run for her husband's congressional seat after he announced his retirement.[14] On August 5, she won the Democratic primary. On November 4, she won the general election, defeating Republican Terry Bowman.[15] When Dingell was sworn in, she became the first U.S. non-widowed woman in Congress to succeed her husband. His father, John Dingell Sr., held Michigan's 12th district for 22 years before his son won it. Altogether, the Dingells have represented this district and its predecessors for 89 consecutive years as of 2021.[16][17] The district was numbered as the 15th from 1933 to 1965, the 16th from 1965 to 2003, the 15th again from 2003 to 2013, the 12th from 2013 to 2023, and has been in the 6th since 2023.


In 2018, Dingell introduced a law that would give the Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to recall defective firearms. John Dingell was a key lawmaker who initially granted the firearms industry this exemption from the 1972 Consumer Product Safety Act that created the Consumer Product Safety Commission.[18]

In July 2019, Dingell voted against a House resolution introduced by Representative Brad Schneider opposing efforts to boycott the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.[19] The resolution passed 398–17.[20]

In April 2021, Dingell introduced the Recovering America's Wildlife Act of 2021, a bill that would provide funding for conserving and protecting endangered and threatened species, strategies to do so, and wildlife-related recreational activities.[21] The bill passed the House by 230–190 on June 14, 2022.[22]

In 2023, Dingell was among 56 Democrats to vote in favor of H.Con.Res. 21 which directed President Joe Biden to remove U.S. troops from Syria within 180 days.[23][24]

Trump impeachment[edit]

After Dingell voted to impeach President Donald Trump, Trump attacked Dingell during a campaign rally in Battle Creek, musing that her late husband, might be in hell, saying of him, "Maybe he's looking up, I don't know, I don't know, maybe, maybe. But let's assume he's looking down."[25] She was attending a bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus gathering when she was told of Trump's remarks. Numerous members of both parties came to Dingell's defense.[26] In her response to the incident, Dingell called for a return to civility, saying, "some things should be off limits."[27] In her 2022 book Confidence Man, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote that Dingell received a call from a man claiming to be a reporter who asked whether she was "looking for an apology from Trump". According to Haberman, "Dingell couldn't shake the idea that his voice sounded like that of the forty-fifth president."[28]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Dingell voted to provide Israel with support following the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[33][34]

Dingell voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beene, Ryan (October 26, 2009). "Debbie Dingell to take new post at American Automotive Policy Council". Crain's Detroit Business. Crain Communications. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Akers, Mary Ann (February 27, 2008). "Debbie Dingell: Angst-ridden Superdelegate and Congressional Spouse". The Washington Post. No. The Sleuth (blog). Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "Congressman John Dingell Makes Washington Quake, but Not His Executive Wife, Debbie". People.com. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Meet Debbie". Office of Debbie Dingell. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "TeddyDavis.org - Dingell's Powerful Wife". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "A closer look at Debbie Dingell". Pennsylvania Main Line News covering local news including local sports, video and multimedia coverage, and classified advertising. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ "Debbie Dingell". Click. Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Debbie Dingell". Wayne State University. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Levin, Carl; Dingell, Deborah (March 19, 2008). "New Hampshire Cheated, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  11. ^ Shear, Michael D. (December 2, 2007). "DNC Punishes Michigan For Early Primary Date". The Washington Post. No. PostPolitics (blog). Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Bash, Dana (March 11, 2013). "Debbie Dingell considering Senate bid in Michigan". Political Ticker (blog). CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Hohmann, James (March 22, 2013). "Jennifer Granholm: No run for Carl Levin's seat". Politico. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  14. ^ Allen, Mike (February 25, 2014). "Politico Playbook for Feb. 25, 2014". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Allen, Jeremy (November 4, 2014). "Debbie Dingell defeats Terry Bowman in 12th District U.S. House race". MLive Media Group.
  16. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (February 26, 2014). "Debbie Dingell Eyes Historic Win in 2014". Smart Politics.
  17. ^ Catalina Camia, USA TODAY (November 2, 2014). "Women poised to break glass ceiling on Election Day". Usatoday.com. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  18. ^ "Defective firearm bill pits Dingell v. Dingell". The Detroit News. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Foran, Clare (July 24, 2019). "Who voted 'no' on the House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement". CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  20. ^ Schneider, Bradley Scott (July 23, 2019). "H.Res.246 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Opposing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel". www.congress.gov. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Dingell, Debbie (June 14, 2022). "H.R.2773 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Recovering America's Wildlife Act of 2021". www.congress.gov. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  22. ^ "House passes Recovering America's Wildlife Act: Bill heads to Senate". Augusta Free Press. June 15, 2022. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  23. ^ "H.Con.Res. 21: Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of … -- House Vote #136 -- Mar 8, 2023".
  24. ^ "House Votes Down Bill Directing Removal of Troops From Syria". Associated Press. March 8, 2023.
  25. ^ Bender, Michael C. (December 19, 2019). "Trump Rallies His Base as House Votes to Impeach". The Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^ Kane, Paul; Flynn, Meagan; Horton, Alex; Dawsey, Josh (December 19, 2019). "Rep. Debbie Dingell thanks colleagues for support after Trump suggests John Dingell is in hell". The Washington Post.
  27. ^ Cummings, William (December 19, 2019). "'Some things should be off-limits': Dingell calls for civility after Trump's attack on late husband". USA Today.
  28. ^ "Trump weighed bombing drug labs in Mexico after he mistook adviser, new book shows". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 14, 2022.
  29. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  30. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  31. ^ "Macedonia Caucus Co-Chairs on NATO Accession Agreement". March 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  33. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  34. ^ "Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. October 25, 2023. Retrieved June 4, 2024.
  35. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 6th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by