Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rep. C.W. Bill Young records milestone vote in Congress

In Rep. C.W. Bill Young's 38 years of congressional votes, the one cast Wednesday afternoon didn't look like one for the history books. It was on Amendment 4 to the 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act. Young voted yes.

It was Young's 20,000th recorded vote, a milestone for the Floridian who is the longest-serving Republican currently in the House. (The longest-serving Democrat is John Dingle of Michigan, who has been there since 1955.)

Young, whose district includes southern Pinellas County, joined Congress under President Richard Nixon and cast his first vote in January 1971. It was for his party's choice for House speaker, Gerald Ford, who lost because Democrats were in control.

Young has worked with eight presidents, seven House speakers and more committee chairmen than you can name. He started as a back-bencher for the minority party and rose to become chairman of the House Appropriations Committee from 1999 to 2005, a job so influential that the adjective "powerful" seems permanently tacked on the front.

When he started in Congress, he voted by saying "yay" or "nay," in an alphabetical roll call that took 45 minutes. He didn't have to sprint for the votes because, when your name is Young, you weren't called until the end.

Now, each House member has a plastic card that they insert in a little slot and push a button — green for yes, red for no, yellow for "present."

On Wednesday, after he inserted the card and pushed the green button, leaders of both parties interrupted the proceedings to pay tribute and give him a standing ovation.

Democrats praised him for his cheerful, bipartisan approach.

"The real measure of Bill Young, which Americans would have observed had they been with him in those votes, is the decency of Bill Young, the collegiality of Bill Young, of his inclination to reach across the aisle,'' said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. "Bill Young is an example for us all of how to treat one another."

Times staff writer Wes Allison contributed to this report. Bill Adair can be reached at (202) 463-0575 or



of votes made (he's missed 7%) since his first vote in January 1971.


Rep. Young's votes

Total recorded votes: 20,000 (does not include thousands of voice votes in which individual votes are not recorded)

His 1,000th vote: Nov. 13, 1974 on the State, Justice, Commerce Appropriations Bill

His 10,000th vote: Nov. 18, 1991, on the 1992 Defense Authorization Bill

Most difficult votes: Authorizing military action. "I was there for voting to go to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Any time you are voting to send a kid to war, that's a tough vote."

Source: Rep. C.W. Bill Young

Rep. C.W. Bill Young records milestone vote in Congress 05/13/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.