President Biden is expected to pay his respects on Tuesday afternoon.
The late Rep. Don Young of Alaska, the longest-serving Republican in House of Representatives history, was recalled by his colleagues from Capitol Hill on Tuesday as his body rests in state at National Statuary Hall.
Young died at age 88 on March 18 after losing consciousness on a flight to Seattle while returning to Alaska with his wife, Anne, his office said. He is also survived by his two daughters, Joni and Dawn.
Young’s casket arrived on the hill just before 11 a.m. and lawmakers including Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, gathered nearby to watch the honor guard carry him down the east steps. A small group of family members, including his wife with her hand over her heart, waited near the top of the stairs for the arriving motorcade.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office said a formal ceremony would be opened to the Young family and guests on Tuesday before all members of Congress are invited to visit Young as he rests in the state, an honor reserved for the most revered Americans.
President Joe Biden’s scheduled afternoon trip to pay his respects on Tuesday marks the third time as president that he has traveled to Capitol Hill for the funeral of a former congressional colleague. Biden also visited former Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole, R-Kansas, and Harry Reid, D-Nev., and he left the presidential campaign in 2020 to honor the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.
“Don’s legacy lives on in the infrastructure projects he enjoyed leading across Alaska,” Biden said in a statement. “In the opportunities he advanced for his constituents. In the stronger protections for the Native tribes he stood up for. His legacy will live on in the America he loved.”
Young was one of 13 House Republicans to vote for Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill late last year.
Pelosi said in a statement that “Young’s reverence and dedication to the House shines through in everything he does,” calling him “an institution in the hallowed halls of Congress.”
Young, who was “Dean of the House” when he died, was first elected to Congress in 1973. Re-elected to his 25th term as Alaska’s only House member in 2020, he was known for his blunt style and to bring federal investments home to Alaska.
He said in 2016: “I will defend my state to the last breath, and I always will and they know it.”