U.S. lawmakers don’t ‘have’ power, they ‘hold’ it, Dingell says in his last public words

  


Susan Walsh


Former Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, died Thursday at his home in suburban Detroit.

Former Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who was the longest-serving member of Congress in American history, dictated his “last words for America” to his wife on Thursday, the day he died.

In his message, adopted into an op-ed published by the Washington Post on Friday, Dingell urged lawmakers to remember that they are only borrowing power from the American people:


‘In democratic government, elected officials do not have power. They hold power in trust for the people who elected them.’


John Dingell


As chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Dingell waged war on waste, fraud and abuse in government, especially the Pentagon. He helped pass Medicare and Medicaid and the Clean Air Act.

In his op-ed, he said the American people could take away power from any elected official who violated his or her oath of office.

“If they misuse or abuse that public trust,” their power “is quite properly revoked (the quicker the better),” Dingell said.

Dingell said Americans should take heart in the challenges of pollution and racial discrimination that were addressed by Congress, even though it was “maybe not as fast as we wanted, or perfectly as hoped.”

“The work is certainly not finished,” he said.



Source link