Pelosi to Honor Dingell on Tuesday

Posted February 5, 2009 at 1:25pm

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is hosting a reception Tuesday to honor Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) as the longest-serving House Member. On Wednesday, Dingell will reach that mark as he begins his 19,420th day in the House.

The festivities will take place in Statuary Hall in the Capitol.

Dingell came to Congress in 1955 at the age of 29, winning the seat vacated when his father passed away. His time in the House translates to nearly a quarter of the whole history of Congress.

Pelosi and Dingell haven’t always been chummy. One of the most notable low points for the pair came in 2002 when Pelosi contributed to Dingell’s then-Democratic primary challenger, Lynn Rivers. Dingell prevailed in the contest, 59 percent to 41 percent.

On Thursday, Pelosi called Dingell “a giant of the Congress” and praised his 53 years of work on health care and environmental reform.

Dingell said he and his wife are “honored” that the Speaker is putting the event together. “This is a very warm gesture and we look forward to celebrating with her,” he said. “It will be a wonderful evening.”