When asked if the no-gifts rule also applies to his wife, Dingell replies, “What Deborah gives me every day is love, affection, comfort, peace and strength.”

Saying “every day is a blessing,” the 30-term lawmaker doesn’t seem fazed by the anniversary of his birth, remarking, “Do you realize how lucky we are? I was born in this country 87 years ago. I hit the jackpot that day, and it’s just gotten better. There’s no greater thing than being an American.”

As for any birthday cake to mark the big occasion, Dingell says with a laugh that it might be tough to fit 87 candles on one frosted creation: “Quite frankly by the time you get the last one lit, the first one would be out!”

Photo: Flickr