Pelosi Floor Speech Marking Congressman Don Young Becoming Longest-Serving Republican in the History of the House of Representatives

March 6, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to mark Congressman Don Young, the Dean of the House, becoming the longest-serving Republican in the history of the House of Representatives.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Mr. Speaker, I rise to mark an historic moment in our institution as Don Young, the Dean of the House, becomes the longest-serving Republican in the House’s history.


Is that a blushing Don Young that we see behind the beard there?

On behalf of the entire House, Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Congressman Young on this honor and on your 46 years of proud service on behalf of the people of Alaska.

Don Young has served alongside, from Alaska, six senators and 11 governors of his proud state.  Photographs of eight presidents signing his bills into law proudly cover the walls of his Rayburn office.

Despite – he is – despite the length of time, every single day he serves here, it is clear that Don is passionate about his patriotism and about working in this institution to make a difference for America.

As he said upon becoming Dean – remember, we celebrated his becoming Dean not too long ago?  He said, ‘I love this body. I believe in this body. My heart is in the House.’


Just over two months ago, Dean honored one of the special traditions of our institution when he, as Dean, administered the oath of office to me, a woman Speaker of the House.  That oath began, ‘I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’

As Don’s name becomes further etched in the history of this House, his Caucus and this Congress, we will look to him for leadership to protect our Constitution, to defend our institution and to drive progress for the American people.

Just so you know, my colleagues, in becoming the longest-serving Republican of the House, Don surpasses the record held by the legendary former Speaker of the House, Joseph Cannon.  Cannon once observed that the House is – this is a quote – ‘The House is the most peculiar assemblage in the world and only a man who has had long experience there can fully know its idiosyncrasies.  It’s true we engage in fierce combat.  We’re often intense partisans.  Sometimes we are unfair, yet, I venture to say that nowhere else will you find such a ready appreciation of merit and character.’

Joseph Cannon, now surpassed by Don Young as the longest-serving Republican in the Congress.

Don, thank you for being a leader of merit and character.  Congratulations to you, Anne and your entire family on this milestone.  Congratulations, Don.