Rep. Don Young Becomes Longest-Serving Republican in History of Congress
WASHINGTON DC—On March 6, Alaska Congressman Don Young achieved a history-making milestone by becoming the longest serving Republican in the history of the United States Congress. Congressman Young breaks a record previously held by former Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon.
“It has been the honor of my life to represent our great state in the House of Representatives for forty-six years,” said Congressman Young. “I love and respect this institution, and it is a privilege to have worked with over two-thousand other Members throughout my tenure. I would like to thank my friends on both sides of the aisle for taking time to recognize this milestone today. I stand energized and as ready as ever to keep up the fight for all of Alaska.”
This a great United States of America. And we’re representative of our districts. One thing I learned during my 46 years is that each one of you represent your people. And I respect it. I may not agree with some of the things you stand for, but I respect that you were elected by your people. I had the privilege of traveling a lot, and still do, into members’ districts. Not to campaign against them. But to find out why and how they are elected and what they stand for in that community. This democracy, this House is the People’s House.
Congressman Young was recognized on the House Floor by Congressional Leadership from both parties. Full speeches recognizing Congressman Young can be watched below.
His career is an important reminder of how young this wonderful experience we call America truly is. They lied to me during freshman orientation. They told me nobody has an assigned seat in this House. That’s how I got to know Don Young. I made the mistake of coming in and sitting down right over by that door…I always heard if you find a job you love, you will not work a day in your life. And it’s clear that Don Young loves what he does. Because he loves this institution and he loves the People’s House. So, to Don, we say congratulations on this incredible accomplishment.
As chairman the Natural Resources, you were focused like a laser on making sure that your state was treated fairly. I know there are still some things you didn’t accomplish that you would have like to accomplish and you have much time left to do that, but the fact is, all of us have benefited, I think, from your honesty, your recognition of how the House ought to work, and, yes, your regular order which you demanded and didn’t always get. And, of course, you took that with just very low-key response, as I recall, walking by your seat from time to time. But Don Young is an institution.
Ultimately it’s our desire to serve the people that we represent. That’s the thing I love the most about serving with Don Young is that he has such a passion and he fights for his beliefs. And he works with other people. We all know that for 37 years one of his great causes was to open up ANWR. And finally when we were on the White House lawn in December of 2017 to have that ceremony and watch Don Young giddy as a school child as the President was making that announcement, and then to see him still this day and every day come to work with the passion of representing the great people of Alaska and continuing to work with all of us on all of the different issues that we come here to address. As we celebrate this great achievement, I think as we all know he comes and sits in that same spot, and he yells order, and he yells a few other things, and pushes us all to do our job in a much more efficient way, how fitting is it that the United States’ largest state has such a larger than life personality as its Representative.
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The Alaska Marine Lifeline
The current conversation Alaskans are having was spurred by Governor Mike Dunleavy’s initial budget proposal for 2020, which would cut funding to the AMHS by 75 percent and essentially end most operations by October.