The longest serving Republican lawmaker FL Rep. C.W. Bill Young has dies at age 82. Yesterday, there were several false reports that he had passed away, but the family has just confirmed today he has, in fact, pass away.
He had been hospitalized at Walter Reed for a back injury, where Bill Young received a call earlier this week from former President George W. Bush, thanking him for backing the military.
Rep. Bill Young was first elected in 1970, and became the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s panel on defense in 1995, where he continued to serve until his death. He was a champion of the military and a proponent of military spending. He also served on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee and was one of the most influential lawmakers responsible for building the country’s unrivaled defense budget.
Bill Young entered into politics in 1960 at the age of 29, when he was elected as the only Republican in the Florida Senate. He would eventually rise to minority leader within just 5 years, and years later he ran for Congress representing Florida’s tenth district. Young handily won reelection throughout his tenure as a lawmaker.
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, who has known the congressman and his family for years stated that the family was mourning the man whom they “cared for deeply.” Susteren said that Bill Young “would want to be known for his devotion to the military.”
As a young man, Young joined the National Guard when at age 18, serving from 1948 to 1957. He spent 6 years as a reservist, as well. He dropped out of high school and never attended college, instead working his way up as an insurance executive following his military service.
During President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address on January 31, 2006, the Capitol Police escorted Young’s wife, Beverly Young, out of the chamber’s Visitors Gallery. Beverly Young was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words, “Support the Troops – Defending Our Freedom,” when then0-Senator Barack Obama and other liberals were voting to defund appropriations to supply our troops already in combat theaters.
Not surprisingly, Young was not too happy by the treatment of his wife. “Because she had on a shirt that someone didn’t like that said support out troops, she was kicked out of this gallery,” Young said in a chamber floor speech the next day as he held up the shirt for all in attendance.
“Shame, shame,” he said with disgust.
His family had concerns for his health, and Young recently announced that he would not seek another term to represent the all-important Florida district, encompassing Clearwater and Jacksonville.
With the death of C.W. “Bill Young” the nation learned today that they lost two lawmakers — the other, former House Speaker Tom Foley D-WA — who represent a throwback to a bygone era when civility, shared national identity, and the importance of leadership example took priority over radical ideology.