Debbie Dingell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Debbie Dingell
Debbie Dingell Official Headshot.jpg
Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
LeaderNancy Pelosi
Preceded byCheri Bustos
David Cicilline
Hakeem Jeffries
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 12th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded byJohn Dingell
Personal details
Deborah Ann Insley

(1953-11-23) November 23, 1953 (age 67)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (until 1981)
Democratic (1981–present)
(m. 1981; died 2019)
EducationGeorgetown University (BS, MS)
WebsiteHouse website

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

She is active in several Michigan and Washington, D.C., charities and serves on a number of charitable 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 Michigan Congressman John Dingell, 27 years her senior, in 1981;[8] she was Dingell's second wife. 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 the Board of Governors of Wayne State University in Detroit.[9]

Dingell and Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin were the proponents of moving up Michigan's presidential primary before February 5, to 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]

John Dingell became the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives in June 2013 and continued serving up until the end of the 113th Congress in January 2015.

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] However, she chose not to run, and Peters was elected to Levin's seat.

In 2018, Dingell introduced a law that would give the Consumer Product Safety Commission the authority to recall defective firearms. Her husband, John Dingell, was a key lawmaker that initially granted the firearms industry this exemption from the 1972 Consumer Product Safety Act that created the Consumer Product Safety Commission.[14]

In July 2019, Dingell voted against a House resolution introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL) opposing efforts to boycott the State of Israel and the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement targeting Israel for its continued occupation of Palestine.[15] The resolution passed 398–17.[16]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



Dingell indicated that she planned to run for her husband's congressional seat after he announced his retirement.[17] On August 5, she won the Democratic primary. On November 4, she won the general election, defeating Republican Terry Bowman.[18] When Dingell was sworn in, she became the first U.S. non-widowed woman in Congress to succeed her husband – who was the longest-serving member of Congress in history with 59 years served. His father, John Dingell Sr., held Michigan's 12th district for 22 years before his son won it. All together the Dingells have represented this district and its predecessors for 89 consecutive years as of 2021.[19][20] The district was numbered as the 15th from 1933 to 1965, the 16th from 1965 to 2003, the 15th again from 2003 to 2013, and has been the 12th since 2013.


Speaker Pro Tempore[edit]

Representative Dingell was appointed as Speaker Pro Tempore on January 11, 2021 in the absence of Speaker Pelosi.[21]

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, longtime congressman John Dingell, 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."[22] 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.[23] In her response to the incident, Dingell called for a return to civility, saying "some things should be off-limits."[24]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

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 (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". Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Meet Debbie". Office of Debbie Dingell. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Vital Voices. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "A closer look at Debbie Dingell". Pennsylvania Main Line News covering local news including local sports, video and multimedia coverage, and classified advertising.
  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 (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. ^ "Defective firearm bill pits Dingell v. Dingell". The Detroit News. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Foran, Clare. "Who voted 'no' on the House resolution opposing Israel boycott movement". CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  16. ^ 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". Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  17. ^ Allen, Mike (February 25, 2014). "Politico Playbook for Feb. 25, 2014". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Allen, Jeremy (November 4, 2014). "Debbie Dingell defeats Terry Bowman in 12th District U.S. House race". MLive Media Group.
  19. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (February 26, 2014). "Debbie Dingell Eyes Historic Win in 2014". Smart Politics.
  20. ^ Catalina Camia, USA TODAY (November 2, 2014). "Women poised to break glass ceiling on Election Day". Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  21. ^ "Congressional Chronicle - Members of Congress, Hearings and More |". Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  22. ^ Bender, Michael C. (December 19, 2019). "Trump Rallies His Base as House Votes to Impeach". The Wall Street Journal.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ Cummings, William (December 19, 2019). "'Some things should be off-limits': Dingell calls for civility after Trump's attack on late husband". USA Today.
  25. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Archived from the original on October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  27. ^

External links[edit]

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

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark DeSaulnier
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Emmer