Deborah Ann Dingell was born in Detroit, Michigan on November 23, 1953. She earned a bachelor's degree in Foreign Service in 1975, and a master's degree in Liberal Studies in 1996—both from Georgetown University. In addition to working for General Motors Corporation (GM) for over 30 years, Dingell also served as president of the GM Foundation and as chairwoman of the American Automotive Policy Council's Manufacturing Initiative.
In 1999 Dingell and her husband, Democratic U.S. Congressman John Dingell, attended the second annual dinner of the Arab American Political Action Committee—an organization whose mission is to “encourage and help Arab Americans to pursue public service careers in all branches of the government,” and to “lobby on behalf of the Arab American political causes which are of concern to the majority of the community.”
In 2006 Mrs. Dingell was elected to Wayne State University's Board of Governors, where she served from 2007-14. Then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (2003-11) also appointed Dingell to positions with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth. In addition, Dingell worked as a co-host for the Detroit Public Television program Am I Right?, and was a frequent panelist on a program called Flashpoint. Crain's Detroit Business listed her as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Michigan.”
In February 2014, Dingell's 87-year-old husband—who had served in the House of Representatives since 1955—announced that he would be retiring from public life at the end of the year. That November, Mrs. Dingell won election to the House seat which her husband was vacating—that of Michigan's 12th Congressional District. Upon joining the House of Representatives, she quickly became a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. During her time in Congress, Mrs. Dingell has voted:
- against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill requiring health care practitioners who are present during an attempted abortion that results in an infant surviving the procedure, to exercises the same degree of care as would be provided to any infant born at the same gestational age, and to immediately transport and admit the infant to a hospital;
- against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act of 2015, which sought to prohibit abortions from being performed on any fetus that had reached the 20th week of its gestation period—except in cases where a pregnancy endangered the mother's life or was the result of rape or incest;
- against a proposal to prohibit the federal funding of any abortion services or any health insurance plans that cover such services;
- against the Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development (RAPID) Act of 2015, which aimed to bar federal agencies from considering the “social cost” of carbon emissions in environmental reviews;
- against a bill to suspend—until after the end of President Barack Obama's second term in office—the authority of the president to waive, suspend, reduce, or otherwise limit the application of sanctions pursuant to an agreement related to Iran's nuclear program;
- against the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which would have repealed certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and rescinded funds from abortion providers;
- against the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, which called for the cessation of federal funding to any state or local governments that restricted law enforcement from looking into the citizenship or immigration status of criminal suspects within their jurisdiction;
- against multiple 2015 bills authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have transported petroleum from Canadian oil sands to U.S. refineries;
- against defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in light of recent revelations that the organization had long been involved in the illegal sale of intact fetal organs and body parts harvested from abortion procedures; and
- against the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015, which sought to expand background checks for refugees applying for admission to the United States from Syria and Iraq, two countries ravaged by war and Islamic terrorism.
In September 2015, Dingell joined more than 70 fellow House Democrats in signing a letter exhorting President Obama to dramatically increase the number of Syrian refugees permitted to enter the United States. The letter claimed that Syrian resettlement in America had thus far been “insufficient in light of the current crisis” and “the dire circumstances” in Syria.
For additional details about Dingell's voting record on a wide range of issues, click here.
For more information on Debbie Dingell, click here.