Longest-serving U.S. House Republican to retire
WASHINGTON -- C.W. Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in the House, said he will retire at the end of his current term.
The Florida Republican disclosed his plans in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, during which he also said tea party conservatives were driving the direction of the Republican Party.
“He withstood the pressure for a long time,” Young said, referring to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). “He finally has agreed to the outspoken minority of his conference. And they’re pretty much in charge right now.”
He credited the conservative bloc, though, for “doing what they think is right. That’s what I did.” He said his decision to retire was based on a number of factors, including his health. He is currently at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with a back injury.
Young is one of just 17 House Republicans who represent a district that President Obama carried in the 2012 election. Now 83, he easily won his 22nd term last November with 58% of the vote, though that was his lowest vote percentage in 20 years, and second-lowest ever. His current term ends Jan. 3, 2015.
Young, a past chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had said last week he would vote in favor of a clean spending bill to reopen the government, breaking with party leaders who have attached a number of provisions related to the new healthcare law.
Young is the fourth member of the House to announce plans to retire, all of whom are Republicans.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement that Young’s departure “should serve as a wake-up call to Speaker Boehner and House Republicans: If they continue to cave to the tea party’s radical demands and threaten the country’s financial stability, they will see even their own members jump off their sinking ship.”
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