Rep. Debbie Dingell shares who’s really delivering for Michigan

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic member Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) questions witnesses during the subcommittee's first public hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 08, 2023 in Washington, DC. Witnesses and members of the subcommittee aired and debated their disagreements about the possible origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus and whether it came from nature or a laboratory in China. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Bonnie Fuller

March 7, 2024

While Donald Trump turned Infrastructure Week into a joke, Joe Biden ensured Michigan received nearly $10 billion to fund infrastructure projects.

Donald Trump talks, Biden delivers.” That’s Debbie Dingell’s take, and she has the receipts, the congresswoman tells The ’Gander.

“Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ran on fixing the damn roads and it’s the money that’s coming into our state now and into states across the country that is fixing the roads and our bridges and getting the lead out of every pipe and putting internet into every home,” Dingell proudly points out in an interview. 

Dingell, who has served in Congress since 2015 representing Michigan’s 6th Congressional District, is referring to the $9.9 billion earmarked for Michigan in President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), with that funding slated to help push through 444 specified projects.

About $6.7 billion of that funding has been designated for large-scale improvements in roads, bridges, public transportation, ports and airports, with some improvements already underway. Over $2 billion from the Infrastructure Law, which Dingell enthusiastically voted for, has been invested in high-speed internet for every household in the state. 

There’s also $490 million designated to help remove lead from every pipe in Michigan and upgrade the water supply infrastructure so every Michigander has clean and safe water—no more disasters like what was discovered in Flint in 2014. 

This is what Dingell is talking about when she says Biden and the Democrats in Congress are delivering for Michigan. She was one of 215 House Democrats who voted for the Infrastructure Bill, while only 13 Republicans joined in support.

In the US Senate, all 50 Democrats plus 19 Republicans voted for the $1-trillion law.

“You’ve got a ton of orange cones around here,” boasts Dingell, who says she’s delighted to see so many infrastructure projects already underway.  

Now that the effects can be seen, Dingell is calling out the six Michigan House reps, all Republicans, who voted against the popular law, including Peter Meijer, a current candidate for the US Senate seat that Democrat Debbie Stabenow will vacate when she retires at the end of her term this year.

“I’m going to call out all those Republicans who voted against all this and then go home and take money for those roads,” she says. “And they take credit when they’re dedicating that road or that bridge, or for getting the lead out of pipes or the internet going to places it’s never been. That’s happening despite those Republicans that voted against it.”

Dingell says she wants Michiganders to know without question that it was Joe Biden who pushed the Infrastructure Law through Congress after former President Trump spent his term in office announcing endless “Infrastructure Weeks” while never actually ensuring any meaningful legislation to improve the country’s roads, bridges, tunnels, water or internet got passed.

“I was yelling at my mayors,” Dingell says of the outreach she’s been doing in her district. “I said, ‘You need to tell people where the money’s going … We’ve got a lot done.’”

What else is Dingell proud to have helped accomplish for Michiganders

Dingell ran for the District 6 seat after her beloved husband John, the longest serving member of Congress with 59 years of service, announced he would not seek reelection in 2014. John passed away in 2019 at the age of 92. She carries on the Dingell family tradition; her husband’s father John Sr. also served in Congress for 22 years representing Michigan’s 15th District from 1933-1955. 

In fact, Dingell is hoping to be re-elected to a sixth term in the House of Representatives this November. “I love this district, I love my job, and I love this community,” she tweeted when she announced she had filed to run again.

But in the face of a highly consequential presidential election this year, Dingell says she is deeply concerned that Biden and the Democrats aren’t getting credit for the heavy lifting they’ve done on the roaring post-pandemic economy that has created 14.8 million jobs, kept unemployment below 4%, and resulted in a record 5.5 million new small business filings in 2023 alone while reducing inflation to 2%.

“Wages, wealth, and jobs are higher than before the pandemic,” Dingell tells The ’Gander. “It’s the biggest two-month surge in consumer sentiment in the last 30 years.

Dingell says she is also proud of the work Biden and the Democrats have accomplished for Americans in the area of health care. 

Insulin for seniors with diabetes who are on Medicare has been capped at $35 a month as part of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. Plus, prescription costs of certain drugs have been capped at $3,000 a year for seniors, scheduled to drop to $2,000 a year by 2025.

“It’s happening because Joe Biden did it, and Democrats got it through the Congress,” the congresswoman says.

In contrast, Trump has doubled down on plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the comprehensive healthcare law that ensured millions of Americans could afford health insurance, if elected. Yet, the former president has presented no alternative—just as he never came up with a workable alternative when he was president.

“Obamacare sucks”, Trump posted on Truth Social on Nov. 29. 

“The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus it’s not good Healthcare…i’m seriously looking at alternatives,” he proclaimed in another posting.

That wouldn’t be good news for the more than 418,000 Michiganders enrolled in a health care plan through the ACA, in 2024—topping a record of about 322,300 in 2023. 

Across the country, 21.3 million Americans now get health insurance through the ACA, breaking 2023’s record by nearly 5 million.

All of this makes Dingell enthusiastic about supporting Biden’s re-election campaign, as Trump is set to win the Republican nomination. 

“For me, that’s the easiest choice I’ve ever made in a presidential election,” Dingell says. “I’m not going to support someone who’s going to divide us, who’s going to spread hate wherever it is, who’s going to rip health care away from millions of people. So that’s an easy choice, and I hope that people will take the time to understand what the issues are that are at stake.”

Author

  • Bonnie Fuller

    Bonnie Fuller is the former CEO & Editor-in-Chief of HollywoodLife.com, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, USWeekly and YM. She now writes about politics and reproductive rights.

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