Dingell Recalls Depression in Stimulus Debate

Comparisons to President Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression have been thrown around more than occasionally as lawmakers, pundits, and bloggers debate the merits of the economic stimulus package, but the longest-serving congressman in history gave fellow representatives a first-hand recounting of that era during floor debate in the House today.

"As a boy, I was a page in this building during the Great Depression," said Dingell, who worked as a page from 1938-43 and later took over his father's House seat in 1955 at the age of 29.

"Herbert Hoover became the most reviled president in history because he did nothing to anticipate the recession," Dingell said.

Dingell became the longest-serving representative ever on Wednesday when he eclipsed Rep. Jamie Whitten's (D-Miss.) 19,419 days in office.

cgood@thehill.com