From The Detroit News — Originally published Wednesday, Feb. 11

John Dingell reaches a career milestone today when he becomes the longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives. But in assessing Dingell's career, it's not how long, but how well.

... Dingell's first question about any bill that comes before him is how it will impact the jobs of his constituents. He has stood firmly for balancing the needs of autoworkers and their families against proposals to curb emissions and increase fuel economy of automobiles. ...

Dingell gets a bad rap on the environment. Throughout his career, he has championed conservation measures ... The air and water are cleaner, and there are more more wetlands where waterfowl can breed, because of Dingell's efforts.

Dingell has also been a champion of civil rights and a dogged pursuer of government waste, corruption and mismanagement.

He stresses that he is celebrating a milestone ... but not the completion of a career. He still has things he wants to do, including writing national health insurance legislation. And he vows to continue speaking for the auto industry against unreasonable regulation. ...