John Dingell responded: 'Buddy, I think you might want to sit this one out'.
And when the House passed what would become the Affordable Care Act in 2009, leaders named the legislation after him. He died at home in Dearborn.
"Deepest sympathies to Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the entire family of John Dingell", Trump said.
The story behind it also helped: The Michigan Democrat is said to have felled the animal with a pistol as it charged him during a hunting trip in Soviet Georgia.
The former congressman was first elected to the House in 1955, a seat formerly held by his father, John Dingell, Sr.
"I don't want people to be sorry for me".
Dingell was not quiet in retirement.
Dingell was in hospice care after deciding not to treat prostate cancer that had metastasized, according to a source close to the Dingell family.
John Dingell recently released a memoir called: 'The Dean, the Best Seat in the House'.
Last September John Dingell suffered a heart attack and spent a week at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "In short, they were dreaded by their recipients".
Soon after Democrats regained the House majority in 2007, Dingell confronted Nancy Pelosi, then in her first stint as speaker, who hoped to pass an energy bill that raised fuel-economy standards for automobiles.
Dingell served in the House for almost 60 years.
He also played a key role in the creation of Medicare, the government-sponsored health programme for the elderly and disabled and was an early supporter of universal healthcare legislation, including President Obama's 2010 healthcare law.
Dingell's investigative skills were legendary, as well.
He employed its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, where he was the chairman, to initiate investigations that eventually led to the perjury conviction of Michael Deaver, a former top aide to President Ronald Reagan; and the resignation of Anne Gorsuch Burford as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 2008, Waxman ousted Dingell from the chairmanship of the full committee.
While Pelosi was anxious to legislate on climate, Dingell launched a lengthy series of hearings on the topic and collected reams of outside feedback for "white papers" meant to guide the drafting of the bill.
One of his most recent tweets was a classic insight for new members of Congress. He began his career during former President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration and retired in 2014 during former President Barack Obama's administration.
"He can appoint hostile people who won't address the cases that have to be addressed, he can appoint ignoramuses or people who are hostile to doing their jobs", said Dingell.
Having said that, what we are creating now is a group of institutions which are too big to fail. The late 20th century was viewed by the incoming class of politicians as something like the end of history, and after "winning" the Cold War, a common theme emerged in the 1990s: we won so we don't need to keep doing the things that got us here.
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow wrote in a post on Twitter: "We have been incredibly lucky to have you and will miss you dearly".
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