See also: Democratic Party Congressional Progressive Caucus
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 also 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 whose mission is to “encourage and help Arab Americans to pursue public service careers in all branches of the government,” and to “lobby on behalf of the Arab American political causes which are of concern to the majority of the community.”
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 program called Flashpoint. Crain's Detroit Business listed her 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. Upon joining the House of Representatives, she quickly became a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. During her time in Congress, Mrs. Dingell has voted:
- against the Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015, which aimed to bar federal agencies from considering the “social cost” of carbon emissions in environmental reviews;
- against the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which would have repealed certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and rescinded funds from abortion providers;
- against the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which sought to expand background checks for refugees applying for admission to the United States from Syria and Iraq, two countries ravaged by war and Islamic terrorism.
For additional details about Dingell's voting record on a wide range of issues, click here.
In September 2015, Dingell joined more than 70 fellow House Democrats in signing a letter exhorting President Obama to dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees permitted to enter the United States. The letter claimed that Syrian resettlement in America had thus far been “insufficient in light of the current crisis” and “the dire circumstances” in Syria.
For more information on Debbie Dingell, click here.