Republican Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who has been influential on military spending during his 43 years in Congress, has decided to retire.
The 82-year-old Florida lawmaker told the Tampa Bay Times that he won't seek re-election next year and will complete 22 terms in the House. His spokesman Harry Glenn confirmed Young's decision on Wednesday.
The congressman, who was elected in 1970, has been a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee where he focused on military spending. He has served as chairman of the powerful panel that oversaw Pentagon budgets. Young and his wife Beverly frequently visited ailing servicemembers at hospitals in the Washington area.
In recent years, Young has become increasingly frail and has relied on a wheelchair. Young cited his health and a desire to spend more time with his family in telling the newspaper he won't run for another term.