Trump should ‘just shut up,’ says a Republican who’s the longest serving member of Congress

Don Young Donald Trump
Rep. Don Young of Alaska; Former President Donald Trump. Marc Thiessen/AP via Getty; Evan Vucci/AP via Getty
  • Rep. Don Young of Alaska had a blunt message for Trump: “Just shut up.”
  • “That’s all he has to do. He’s not going to. I know that,” he told the Post in an interview.
  • Young was among the 13 House Republicans who backed Biden’s infrastructure bill.

A Republican who’s been the longest serving member of Congress had a blunt message for former President Donald Trump.

“I think his policy is just so good,” Rep. Don Young told The Washington Post in an interview published on Thursday. “Just shut up — that’s all he has to do. He’s not going to. I know that.”

Young, 88, has been in office since the Nixon administration. The Alaska Republican was sworn into the House in 1973 after winning a special election. 

Young was among the 13 House Republicans who cast a vote for President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, which passed the House in early November. That same group faced a barrage of attacks from Trump and vicious backlash from voters and far-right lawmakers such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She denounced them as “traitors.”

In the days after the vote, Trump said those Republicans “should be ashamed of themselves” for delivering Biden a victory on a critical element of his domestic agenda. It will infuse $US550 ($AU775) billion in new funding to repair roads, bridges, and highways, among other parts of physical infrastructure.

Young told The Post that Trump did not take the news well when he informed the former president that he intended to vote for Biden’s infrastructure package. 

He is part of a small cohort of Republicans in Congress willing to defy Trump, who has maintained a strong grip on the GOP even after leaving the White House. Young was not among the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results. In a statement at the time, Young said his vote to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory was about “defending our Constitution and respecting the will of voters in the states.”

Yet Young’s appetite to buck the party-line only goes so far. He was not among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6. 

Trump recently issued a statement calling for “good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns” against a number of House Republicans — including Young. Several of the Republicans singled out by Trump voted to impeach him. Despite not voting to impeach, Young’s infrastructure vote was enough to turn the former president against him.