BioCongressman C. W. Bill Young has devoted his life to public service having represented Pinellas County in the Florida State Senate for 10 years (1961-1970) and since his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1970.
He now serves in his 21st term as the representative of the 13th Congressional District for this fall’s election and is the senior Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and the dean of the Florida Congressional delegation. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and the Chairman of its Subcommittee on Defense, he is widely recognized as an expert on national security issues. His focus has always been on providing for the needs of our men and women serving in uniform to ensure that they have the best training and equipment possible to perform their mission safely. Together with his wife Beverly, they also make sure our service men and women and their families are taken care of if they are injured in training or combat. They personally visit with the troops and their families at military and veterans medical facilities throughout the nation and the world.
With his seniority in the House, and the bipartisan respect with which he is held, he has a long list of accomplishments for the nation, the state, and the community he represents. It was under his Chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee, that Congress approved the last balanced federal budget in 2001. During the same time, he exerted his critical leadership on medical issues to fulfill his commitment to double federal funding for biomedical research.
As Chairman, he also ensured that Florida received the critical resources it needed to respond to the four hurricanes that crisscrossed the state in 2000 and he helped lead our national recovery from the tragic terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Through his work as Chairman and with his years of experience in the fields of national security and intelligence, he made sure our nation’s military, law enforcement, and first responders had the equipment and training they needed to protect our nation from future attacks and to carry out the international war on terrorism.
He has also used his seniority on the Appropriations Committee to protect Florida’s coastline from oil drilling. It was his amendment to a supplemental appropriations bill in 1983 that established the first moratorium on drilling off the west coast of Florida. He fought off repeated efforts by Presidents and members of Congress of both parties over the past 27 years to eliminate that moratorium. Instead, over the years, he increased the buffer protecting Florida and Pinellas County’s coast from 25 to 100 to 235 miles.
Congressman Young has also led the effort to protect some of Florida’s major economic and environmental resources. This includes his work to turn back proposals to close MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, which today leads the global war on terror, and his leadership in breaking a deadlock to passage of landmark legislation to protect the Everglades.
Closer to home, Congressman Young took on as his first Appropriations challenge to secure funding for a new hospital at Bay Pines to provide Tampa Bay area veterans with a state of the art medical facility. He has continued to ensure that veterans there and throughout the state and our nation receive the care and benefits which they earned and for which they were promised by a grateful country.
He also has personally led the effort to restore and maintain the natural beauty of Pinellas County’s beaches. First he ensured approval of his legislation in 1976 authorizing the federal program to renourish the beaches through a federal, state and local partnership and since then by securing more than $100 million in federal funding to support those efforts.
Understanding the importance of a diverse workforce, Congressman Young has undertaken numerous successful initiatives to spur the creation of good, high-technology and light industrial jobs throughout Pinellas County. This has included his support for countless research and development initiatives at St. Petersburg College, the University of South Florida and Eckerd College that have attracted a long list of new businesses, research organizations and government agencies to Pinellas County and the surrounding Tampa Bay area. One of his crowning achievements was his work with federal, state and local leaders to convert a former Department of Energy nuclear weapons facility in mid-Pinellas County that was designated for closure to a center for high technology business and development. The Pinellas County Star Center now employs more than 1,000 people.
Finally, when asked by reporters about his proudest of accomplishment, Congressman Young quickly responds that it was his work to establish the National Marrow Donor Program. Over the past 25 years, he has helped grow this national and international registry to more than ten million volunteer donors across 30 nations and it has given thousands of children and adults with otherwise terminal blood disorders a second chance at life.
Born in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, on December 16, 1930, Congressman Young moved with his mother and brother to Pinellas County at the age of 15. He and Beverly have three sons Rob, Billy and Patrick and nine grandchildren.