Former Rep. John Dingell honored in Washington — live updates

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Political dignitaries including former President Bill Clinton and former House Speaker John Boehner are slated to honor the life of the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, John Dingell, at a funeral mass in Washington on Thursday. Dingell represented Michigan’s 12th, 15th and 16th districts between 1955 and 2015.

Clinton and Boehner are both expected to deliver remarks at Dingell’s funeral, along with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

The funeral service at 10:30 a.m. ET and can be viewed in the player above.

Follow funeral service live updates below:
Current, former House leaders eulogize Dingell

Former House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, eulogized Dingell, who became the longest-serving member of the House while Boehner was speaker.

"He was a practitioner of what you might call ‘tough love,’" Boehner said about Dingell’s tendency to challenge leaders in the Republican Party and in his own party. He praised Dingell’s legislative record and his capacity for bipartisan leadership.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spoke after Boehner.

"John Dingell made a profound difference on behalf of millions of his fellow citizens, and indeed, people around the world," Hoyer said about Dingell’s nearly 60 years in the House. "John Dingell was a dreamer, but thankfully for us, he was also a doer."

Lewis said Dingell supported civil rights legislation

"He stood on the courage of his conviction people respect you when you stand up for what you believe. They may not always like what you decide but they know they can trust you to do what you believe is right," said Lewis of Dingell’s support of civil rights legislation in the House.

"Thank you for all your help throughout the years, for all your love and support thank you for your friendship, I will miss you. We will miss you. But I do believe deeply in my heart that we will see you in the morning," he added.

Lewis says Dingell inspired all to "be brave"

"We mourn the passing of a giant, who was not just a man but some how and some way, John Dingell stood ahead of all of us, broad shoulders, tall and determined," Rep. John Lewis of Georgia preached.

Lewis said that Dingell "inspired each and every one of us top be brave, to be bold, to stand out and to speak out."

"He loved the people of his district and the people loved him, he loved his citizens of our nation," Lewis added.

Upton: Dingell "wrote the book" on bipartisanship

Upton said that Dingell’s purpose in the Congress was "to weed out fraud and abuse." He said that "he didn’t demand loyalty, but he sure did create it."

Upton added that Dingell "wrote the book" on bipartisanship, "nudging" lawmakers to always work together.

Fred Upton calls Dingell "Mr. Michigan"

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton remembered his colleague as "more than just the Dean of the House" adding that Dingell "by any measure" broke "every single record." Upton said he spoke with the former Congressman the day before he passed, telling him that he had finished his book and "confirmed he charted a wonderful career."

Upton added that he told Dingell it was "unfortunate we never seem to take time to smell the roses."

Clintons escort Debbie Dingell into funeral
Palllbearers guide the casket of late and former U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who died last week at the age of 92, during a funeral Mass for Dingell at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2019.

Dingell’s wife, current Congresswoman Debbie Dingell was escorted in by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the start of her husband’s service. Dingell’s casket is seen at the front of the stately church, covered in a white sheet with a crimson red cross.

Democratic leaders arrive to funeral
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to former House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. John Lewis, (D-GA) before the start of the funeral service for former U.S. Rep. John Dingell at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2019. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool via

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dressed in black, arrived at the Holy Trinity Church alongside Majority Leader Hoyer shortly before 10:30 a.m.

Other notable Democrats seen in attendence included Sens. Ron Wyden, Patrick Leahy and Amy Klobuchar, Reps. John Lewis (who was seen chatting with former House Speaker Boehner) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Thursday’s funeral to delay vote on funding bill

Dingell’s death is pushing back a vote on the highly-debated government funding bill. Members will not vote on the bill until after 6:30 P.M. in order to attend Dingell’s service as well as the funeral for North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones.

House members hold "service at 30,000 feet"

While a handful of members attended Tuesday’s service, military planes carrying members from Washington to Michigan for the funeral had to turn around due to bad weather in Detroit. Republican Congressman Billy Long of Missouri tweeted that Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Rep. Fred Upton "held an impromptu service at 30,000 feet" after being forced to turn around.

Dingell honored by Biden

Family and friends previously honored the life of Dingell at his Dearborn, Michigan funeral on Tuesday where former Vice President Joe Biden delivered the former Congressman’s eulogy. Biden remembered the political giant, saying, "when you were with him, you knew you were with greatness."

Biden said the memorable aspect of Dingell’s life was that he "believed everyone without exception was entitled to be treated with dignity." "Dignity was how John walked, dignity was how John talked, dignity was how John carried himself," said Biden.

He added, "Everything he worked on was rooted in that belief that every single solitary person wanted and deserved to be treated with dignity…recognized for their worth for the job they did."

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