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What people are saying about Rep. C.W. Bill Young

President Barack Obama: "Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman C.W. Bill Young. For over 50 years Bill served the people of Florida, both in the state legislature and as the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will be remembered for his advocacy and support for the armed forces, service members, and their families as well as his statesmanship and long history of working across the aisle to keep our country moving forward."

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House Speaker John Boehner: "It's only been a week since we began trying to imagine the House without Bill Young — an impossible task in its own right — and now he is gone. In our sorrow, we recall how not a day went by without a colleague seeking Bill's counsel as he sat on his perch in the corner of the House floor. There was a good reason for this. Here was a man who had seen it all and accomplished much. Looking out for our men and women in uniform was his life's work, and no one was better at it. No one was kinder too. I will miss Bill, as will countless others blessed by his life and service. To all those Floridians and Americans – especially his wife, Beverly, his family and friends – I extend the condolences of the whole House."

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman Bill Young this evening. On behalf of the three million men and women of the Department of Defense, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Beverly and the Young family. I have known and respected Bill Young for more than four decades. He dedicated his life to serving our country — beginning with nearly a decade in the Army National Guard and culminating in more than 40 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He will be remembered as a passionate advocate for the welfare of America's service members and military veterans. Though his loss will be felt by many, his legacy and commitment to a strong national defense will always inspire us. "

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: "Floridians have lost one of the greatest public servants we've ever had in our state's history. For over a half century, Bill fought tirelessly for the Tampa Bay region and to strengthen Florida's role as a critical part of our national defense. Largely because of Bill Young, many of our nation's brave men and women in uniform have called Florida home at some point in their careers, with many of them spending their golden retirement years here. Throughout Bill's career, our military and veterans have had no greater champion than him. My thoughts and prayers are with Bill's wife, Beverly, and their entire family."

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: "Bill Young was one of the exemplary figures in Congress who achieved legislative consensus in a bipartisan way. He put the good of the country and his constituents above partisan politics and he is going to be very much missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott: "As Florida's longest serving member of Congress, Bill will be remembered as a true statesman and champion for the Tampa Bay area. He served with eight U.S. presidents throughout his career, always putting the families of Florida first, and working across the aisle to find solutions. His work to support military families, our veterans, and his own service with the Army National Guard and as a reservist, will leave a lasting legacy. Representative Young will be missed by his constituents and our entire nation. Ann and I offer our support and prayers to his wife Beverly and his sons and grandchildren during this difficult time."

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Charlie Crist, former Florida governor (via Twitter): "My prayers are with the family of Congressman Bill Young. He served our county, state and country with distinction."

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Jeb Bush, former Florida governor: "Congressman Bill Young was a tremendous leader, great public servant, great Floridian and great friend. He was a relentless advocate for our veterans, especially those injured in the line of duty, and for the men and women serving in the military today. During his 22-term service in Congress, Bill never failed to fight for the best interests of Florida or Floridians. I will miss him, our state will miss his leadership and Washington will miss a great statesman. Columba's and my prayers are with Beverly and the entire Young family he cherished so much."

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Alex Sink, former Florida CFO: "My thoughts and prayers are with Bill Young's wife Beverly and his whole family. Congressman Young represented his district, state, and country with honor and accomplished so much for the people of Pinellas County and the entire Tampa Bay region. Congressman Young's decades of service stand as a shining example of a public servant who was a true representative and advocate for his district, who was a champion for our brave veterans and men and women in uniform, and who was able to find common ground to achieve so many accomplishments in a less partisan time."

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Allison Tant, chair of the Florida Democratic Party: "Congressman Bill Young was a dedicated public servant and a true gentleman. For over 40 years, Congressman Young's dedication to Florida and consistent civility has set the standard for all of Florida public servants. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his many close friends today. Let us honor his service and the long legacy of accomplishment for our state and our country that he leaves behind."

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Don Gaetz, Florida Senate president: "For more than 50 years, Congressman Young dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida in Tallahassee and in our nation's capital. As a young man, he took standing for your principles to a new level, literally standing by himself on the floor of the State Senate as the lone Republican voice in Tallahassee. As a member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Young will long be remembered for his dedication to our nation's active duty military and our veterans."

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Will Weatherford, Florida House speaker: "I am saddened by the news of Bill's passing. He was a tireless advocate for the people of Florida, our military and our veterans. Bill understood the unique challenges facing our members of the military and veterans because he was one of them, serving as a member of the Army National Guard and the reserves. During his more than 50 years in public service that brought him to the Florida Senate and the U.S. Congress, Congressman Young always put the interests of his constituents first. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Beverly and their family."

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.: "Bill Young dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida, and his loss is a great one for his constituents. For over 13 years, I considered Bill to be a dear friend and a colleague that could always be counted on to provide sage advice based on decades of experience. The families of veterans and wounded soldiers will never forget his steadfast commitment to their needs. The U.S. House of Representatives is a better institution as a result of his leadership. The thoughts and prayers of my family and staff are with the Young family today."

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston: "I am saddened by the news of the passing of my friend, colleague, and fellow Floridian, Rep. Bill Young. At a time when Congress seems more divided than ever, Bill Young could be counted on to reach across the aisle and counsel cooperation. As Dean of the Florida delegation and a long time member and former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Young worked to advance the needs of Floridians. A veteran of the Army National Guard, Congressman Young was a true advocate for our nation's service members and veterans. He was also a longtime champion of biomedical research and worked throughout his career to prioritize funding for medical research. I remember fondly when I was first elected to the House of Representatives, Bill went out of his way to meet with me and share his years of insight on how to work effectively in Congress."

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U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville: "It was an honor to work with Chairman Young. I've known him from his days in the Florida Senate. He was my mentor and my friend, and I will always be grateful for his kindness. He was dedicated to our men and women in uniform, fought hard for their needs, and the needs of all Americans. I join a long list of colleagues who will miss his leadership. His family and loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers."

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U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: "Bill dedicated so much of his life as a public servant. It has been a privilege to get to know him better as we've both represented central Floridians in Congress. Cindy and I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Beverly, Rob, Billy, Pat, and the whole Young family during this incredibly difficult time."

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U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: "Chairman Young, who I always referred to as 'Chairman' because of the respect he commanded, was a mentor and someone I admired greatly for his wisdom and humility. I am extremely thankful that I was able to express my gratitude and admiration to him two nights ago when I visited with him at his bedside. I know he will be remembered for his pure and honest leadership on behalf of all Tampa Bay residents, especially its veterans and members of the armed services. I pray that God blesses Beverly, his children, his grandchildren and all of his loved ones with peace and comfort knowing that his memory will be eternal."

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U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar: "It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I learned of the passing of my friend Bill Young. Bill was an assiduous public servant and a tireless advocate for all Floridians. But above all, he was a man of integrity and a true statesman. The House of Representatives will not be the same without him."

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U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.: "I join in mourning the loss of Rep. Bill Young, with whom I was honored to serve in Congress for over thirty years and to work alongside on the Appropriations Committee for much of that time. He embodied the spirit of cooperation that helped achieve important bipartisan legislation - a spirit he continued to promote throughout his time in Congress. Bill was a skilled legislator who achieved results for his constituents through bipartisan action. He will always be remembered as a champion of veterans and military service members, whom he saw as the ultimate guarantors of our freedom and democracy. Bill will be greatly missed in the House, where he had developed strong friendships with members from both parties."

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Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.: "The Congress has lost a leader. The nation has lost an experienced authority on national security. Our Armed Forces have lost a valuable partner. And whether they realize it or not, our troops and their families have lost one of the best friends they ever had in Congress. May our prayers be a source of comfort and strength to his wife Beverly, and to sons Billy, Patrick and Robbie and the rest of the Young family and his loyal, long-serving staff — past and present."

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U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Spring Hill: "For over forty years, Bill Young has been one of America's strongest advocates. He has worked tirelessly to better this country and to look out for all Americans — most especially our troops. He was always a gentleman and to so very many people, a true American hero. I sought his counsel every chance I could get. His insight on the issues before us was second to none. His service to this country, his good nature, his strong character, and his tireless wisdom will be sorely missed by all of us. My prayers go out to his family and his many, many dear friends."

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U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR, chairman National Republican Congressional Committee: "My deepest prayers and condolences are with Bill's wife Beverly and their family as they grieve the loss of an outstanding man and celebrate his phenomenal life. Bill was an institution here in the U.S. House of Representatives and back home in Florida – and for good reason. Bill was a tireless public servant and a statesman, who put his heart and soul into improving the lives of Americans, and in particular, the people he represented in Florida for more than 40 years. Already, Bill's retirement was set to leave a void here in the House – his leadership, institutional knowledge and warmth would be deeply missed. Now, we grieve the loss of a friend and mentor who will always be remembered. Bill's spirit and legacy will continue to live in the halls of Congress, and the many lives he touched will forever be grateful for his leadership, friendship and wisdom."

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St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster: "Tonight, our country lost a national treasure; our state lost its finest representative; our city lost its biggest advocate; and me — my friend and mentor. God bless Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his family. Well done good and faithful servant."

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: "Bill Young's love for his country and our community was best shown in his dedication to public service. Tonight, we lost a champion who never forgot where he came from and always had Tampa Bay at the top of his agenda. He was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He was also a man who served our community in more ways than one: first in uniform and later in public office. Bill Young represented what a public servant should be. Country before party, progress before partisanship, and service above self. He was my friend, a friend to Tampa, and a friend to anyone who has worn this country's uniform. My thoughts and prayers tonight are with the Young family."

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam: "Florida lost a statesman tonight, in every sense of the word. Bill Young rose from humble beginnings, invented the modern Republican Party in Florida, was friend and counselor to U.S. and foreign leaders, and helped shape today's military. Bill was a tireless supporter of our troops and made sure the support continued when they became veterans. He and Beverly never missed an opportunity to give comfort and support to the wounded and their families. He saved MacDill for Tampa Bay and saved the Everglades for all of us. His leadership aided our state in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes and rebuilt the beaches for the world to enjoy. I never once heard a cross word uttered by him or about him. Once, when a major vote was pending, and the vote was tight, Bill asked the White House Legislative affairs director if he could speak personally with President (George W.) Bush. The staffer walked out with me and shared that, as it was past 2 a.m., the president was asleep. 'What are you going to do?,' I asked. 'Wake him up for Mr. Young,' was the reply. Many will say or write over the next few days, 'They don't make them like Bill Young anymore.' The truth is, they never did."

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Chris Latvala, a Pinellas Republican candidate (via Twitter): “No one will ever fill Bill Young's shoes. He made our county, state and country a better place."

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Rick Baker, former mayor of St. Petersburg: "When I was mayor, and the city needed help from the federal government, I didn't get a lobbyist. I just called Congressman Young."

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Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation CEO: "A powerful advocate for protecting Florida's environment, Congressman Young was a champion of restoring and protecting America's Everglades. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Young succeeded in winning approval for millions of dollars to invest in Everglades restoration."

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U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chair of the House appropriations committee: "Bill was a Lion of the House, a natural leader who fiercely defended this institution and who fought with everything he had to make this land a better place — not just for the people of his district, but for the nation. His valiant and unwavering commitment to protect and defend our country, to support our troops, and to ensure the respect and care of our veterans will remain forever unparalleled. He served the House and the Appropriations Committee with distinction, compassion, enthusiasm, and sometimes with stubborn determination, but always with the rare and quiet grace of a truly great man. He will be truly missed, and I know that the House — and the country — will be a lesser place without him."

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U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville: "While I did not have the honor of serving with Representative Young for as long as many of my colleagues, his strong commitment to our great state will be felt for many years to come. Florida suffers a true loss today and Carolyn and I send our thoughts and prayers to Beverly and the entire Young family during this very difficult time."

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: "As the dean of the Florida delegation and the most senior House Republican, Chairman Young was among the most distinguished members of the House of Representatives. He was a constant advocate for our men and women serving in the Armed Forces and for the needs of our veterans. A veteran himself, he frequently visited our injured men and women returning from overseas in our military hospitals and was a champion for our national security known to servicemembers and presidents. I was privileged to serve with him on the Appropriations Committee, where he was a leading advocate for biomedical research. Chairman Young's work to create a national registry for bone marrow donors has saved countless lives; now named in his honor, the initiative boasts millions of volunteer donors and has served as a model around the globe. I hope it is a comfort to his wife, Beverly — herself an advocate for our veterans — and to his three sons, how many across our country join them in mourning at this sad time."

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U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park: "Florida has lost an effective and powerful leader, and while one of our military and veterans' strongest voices has been silenced, his legacy in support of American patriots will live on."

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State Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, via Twitter: "Florida will forever be in the debt of Congressman Bill Young. His legacy of service is eternal."

What people are saying about Rep. C.W. Bill Young 10/18/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 19, 2013 2:15pm]
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