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Retiring Rep. John Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress in hisory, said Friday that Washington’s dysfunction will make it nearly impossible for him to miss the place he spent nearly six decades.

“I will observe that my sadness is ameliorated by the poisonous atmosphere that we see in American politics today,” Dingell said during a lunch at the National Press Club.

After 59 years in the House, the Michigan Democrat will retire at the end of his current term. His wife, Deborah, is currently running for his seat.

Dingell said the only way he thinks Congress can return to the bipartisanship of the past is either a “national calamity” that forces Capitol Hill to come together or “seeing to it that the voters threw us all the hell out of Washington.”

The influx of outside money, fueled by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, along with gerrymandering have all created the gridlock that now plagues Congress, Dingell said.

-- Andrew Rafferty