(NATIONAL JOURNAL) Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, a former House Appropriations chairman whose 42 years in Congress make him the House's current longest-serving Republican member, is reported by his family to be gravely ill.
Young's office announced just last week that he would be retiring at the end of this term.
His long-time chief of staff, Harry Glenn, explained then that the 82-year-old lawmaker had been battling ailments for a couple of years, including back problems, and that he had reinjured his back. Glenn said the congressman, "Needs (physical therapy), so he will miss a few weeks" of votes and other congressional activity. He was not present Wednesday night for the vote on the debt-ceiling and government-funding package.
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