Fla. lawmaker Young to retire after 22 terms
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 9:51 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young, Florida's longest-serving member of Congress and a lawmaker who has been influential on military spending during his 43 years in Washington, has decided to retire.
Young said he will serve the rest of his term, which ends next year. His district is expected to be up for grabs, and the announcement on Wednesday makes it likely that Democrats will pour additional resources into the district during the 2014 election.
The 82-year-old Florida lawmaker first announced his decision in the Tampa Bay Times. His spokesman, Harry Glenn, confirmed it.
In recent years, Young has become increasingly frail and has relied on a wheelchair. He was quoted by the newspaper as saying that his decision was based on both his health and a desire to spend more time with his family.
He added that he has been in Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington since Friday because of back problems that stemmed from a 1970 small-plane crash.
Within an hour of Young's announcement, praise of his service from his fellow Florida politicians emerged.
“Congressman Bill Young is an American patriot,” tweeted former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. “We appreciate his service!”
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio praised Young for his support for the military. “No one has fought harder for the servicemen and women in this country and for returning veterans than Bill and his wife, Beverly,” wrote Rubio in a news release.
Said Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat: “He was always someone who approached solutions in a bipartisan way. He will be missed.”
Young was born in Harmarville and moved to Indian Shores, Fla., a small Gulf Coast community in Pinellas County.
He served in the Army National Guard from 1948 to 1957, then became an aide to Rep. William Cramer from 1957 to 1960. From 1961 to 1971, Young served in the Florida Senate.
He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1970. Young and his wife have three children.
The congressman has been a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee, where he focused on military spending. He and his wife frequently visited ailing service members in hospitals in the Washington area.
As one of the strongest defense hawks in Congress, Young made headlines in 2012 when he said the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan.
Young said at the time that “we're killing kids who don't need to die,” and reflected the growing weariness with a conflict that had dragged on for more than a decade.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NTSB chair Hersman steps down
- House pushes for data about GM defect
- 5th Amendment cited in N.J. bridge inquiry
- Georgia wants ‘slow poke’ drivers to stay in right lane
- Obama hams it up for health care on Funny or Die
- Senator: CIA improperly searched computer network
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Scientists: Test West Coast for Fukushima radiation
- Fannie, Freddie profits surprise
- Elephants attuned to human voices
- Deaths from heroin, pain pills called ‘urgent,’ growing’ crisis