Biden pays respects to late GOP Rep. Don Young at Capitol

President Joe Biden pays his respects to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) as he lies in state in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. Young passed away at the age of 88 serving 49 years in the House and the longest-s
Greg Nash

President Biden on Tuesday paid his respects to longtime Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who died earlier this month.

Biden arrived inside Statuary Hall at the Capitol after speaking to people who appeared to be Young’s family just outside the space. Once he was inside, Biden put his hand over his heart for a few seconds, gave himself the sign of the cross and then approached the casket. He touched it with both hands for a couple moments, backed away and saluted it.

The president walked out of Statuary Hall after just more than a minute inside. The room was mostly empty beside security personnel and photographers. Once the president left, lawmakers resumed paying their respects. 

Young was the longest-serving member of the House, also known as the dean of the House, and was the longest-serving House Republican in history. He died at the age of 88 after having served in Congress since 1973.

Biden had commemorated Young as “larger than life” and “tough.” He said he knew Young for a long time and remembered the Republican as a consensus builder. 

There was a formal ceremony for Young on Tuesday morning and then viewing for members of Congress for the rest of the day.

Only 18 other House members have been granted the rare honor of lying in state in the Capitol, either in Statuary Hall or in the Capitol Rotunda. The last House member to receive the honor was the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Before Biden went to the Capitol, he hosted Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for a bilateral meeting at the White House.

Tags Don Young Elijah Cummings Joe Biden

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