Deborah Ann Dingell was born in Detroit, Michigan on November 23, 1953. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service in 1975, and a master’s degree in Liberal Studies in 1996—both from Georgetown University. In addition to working for General Motors Corporation (GM) for over 30 years, Dingell served as president of the GM Foundation and as chairwoman of the American Automotive Policy Council’s Manufacturing Initiative.
In 1999 Dingell and her husband, Democratic U.S. Congressman John Dingell, attended the second annual dinner of the Arab American Political Action Committee, an organization that seeks to help Arab Americans to pursue careers in government.
In 2006 Mrs. Dingell was elected to Wayne State University’s Board of Governors, where she served from 2007-14. Then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (2003-11) also appointed Dingell to positions with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Cherry Commission On Higher Education And Economic Growth. In addition, Dingell worked as a co-host for the Detroit Public Television program Am I Right?, and was a frequent panelist on a show called Flashpoint. The publication Crain’s Detroit Business listed Dingell as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Michigan.”
In February 2014, Dingell’s 87-year-old husband—who had served in the House of Representatives since 1955—announced that he would be retiring from public life at the end of the year. That November, Mrs. Dingell won election to the House seat which her husband was vacating—that of Michigan’s 12th Congressional District. Soon after taking office, she became a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In September 2015, Dingell joined more than 70 fellow House Democrats in signing a letter exhorting President Barack Obama to dramatically increase the number of refugees permitted to enter the United States from the war-torn, terrorism-ravaged nation of Syria. The letter claimed that Syrian resettlement in America had thus far been “insufficient in light of the current crisis” and “the dire circumstances” faced by the people of Syria.
After House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act in May 2017 and then were welcomed and congratulated by President Donald Trump in a Rose Garden celebration outside of the White House, Dingell told MSNBC host Thomas Roberts: “Look, it deeply disturbed me. I watched in shock the picture of the Rose Garden after what happened in the House. I really wanted to cry. When you realize who it is that’s celebrating this and then hear that its the 13 white boys–sorry to say it that way–that are going to be doing this in the Senate I get very concerned.”
In February 2019, Dingell and fellow congresswoman Pramila Jayapal together introduced a “Medicare-for-All” bill designed to place the federal government in charge of virtually all of America’s health care system. Broader than a similar “Medicare-for-All” bill that Senator Bernie Sanders had introduced in 2017, the Dingell-Jayapal legislation aimed to expand Medicare so that it would also cover things like mental health, addiction treatment, dental care, and abortion services.
Dingell believes that:
For details about Dingell’s voting record on a wide range of issues, click here.
Further Reading: “Debbie Dingell” (Ballotpedia.org, Keywiki.org); “Dingell: ‘I Wanted to Cry’ Over [American Health Care Act]” (Daily Caller, 5-7-2017); “Republicans React to Push for Medicare-for-All by House Democrats…” (Daily Caller, 2-28-2019); Debbie Dingell’s Positions on Key Issues (OnTheIssues.org).