Longest-serving House Republican dismisses GOP critics of McCarthy’s leadership: ‘Show me anybody else can do the job better’

Don Young.
Rep. Don Young of Alaska. AP Photo/Mark Thiessenm File
  • Rep. Don Young dismissed critics of Kevin McCarthy in a recent interview with The Washington Post.
  • “Show me anybody else can do the job better than he can,” he said of the California Republican.
  • Young also brushed off critics who are upset over his support of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who unabashedly supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill championed by President Joe Biden, has seen many political battles during his nearly 49 years in office.

First elected to Congress in 1972, Young is the longest-serving Republican House member in US history, and as someone who represents a state with vast rural expanses, he has long prioritized transportation projects that would benefit his constituents.

So the conservative lawmaker is undaunted by conservative anger at being one of the 13 House Republicans who backed the $US1.2 ($AU2) trillion infrastructure legislation — including frustration from former President Donald Trump, whom Young agrees with on most policy matters.

In recent weeks, Trump and many leading conservatives have threatened to find GOP primary challengers for the lawmakers who supported critical funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, and roads.

“If they want to campaign against me, have at it,” Young laughingly said during a recent interview with The Washington Post.

The congressman also dismissed conservatives who are threatening to potentially block House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California from holding the speaker’s gavel if the party regains a majority in the lower chamber next year.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who in February was removed from her committee assignments in response to incendiary social-media posts, described fellow party members who backed the infrastructure bill as “traitor Republicans.” She, along with several other conservatives, have been deeply critical of McCarthy’s leadership.

However, Young continues to stand firm with McCarthy.

“Show me anybody else can do the job better than he can,” he told The Post, pointing out that some of those same critics want to unseat him for his infrastructure vote. “These guys shooting their mouth off are just not really thinking very well.”