Tag: Dingell

My John Dingell Story

| February 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

John Dingell Speaking on the Floor

I was a relatively new legislative assistant on Capitol Hill in 1984 when my most exciting experience to date was about to occur.  I was going to get to go onto the House floor for the first time to staff Congressman Barney Frank who was offering an amendment to a major piece of environmental legislation, the Superfund reauthorization bill.  Barney had agreed to offer an amendment on behalf of the environmental community to increase the legal liability of polluters for their bad acts.  It was a perennial amendment that environmentalists supported and was usually voted down for reasons unimportant to this story.

It was relatively early in Barney’s congressional career, a period during which he generally didn’t rely heavily on staff.  Because he was so smart and such a skilled legislator, the role of staff was simply to supply him basic information, not advise him on strategy or tactics.  Thus, he didn’t think it would matter much that he was going to the House Floor with an amendment staffed by a guy who only a few years before was stocking shelves in a supermarket.  Boy, was he wrong. Continue Reading