Longest-serving Florida congressman gravely ill

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Associated Press

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:37 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Florida's longest-serving member of Congress is gravely ill.

The office of Republican C.W. Bill Young says the lawmaker's condition worsened Wednesday night, and his doctors say his prognosis is guarded.

The 82-year-old House member announced last week he plans to retire after 43 years in Congress.

Young has been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., due to back problems stemming from a 1970 small-plane crash.

In recent years, Young has become increasingly frail and has relied on a wheelchair.

The congressman is a longtime member of the House Appropriations Committee and is influential on military spending and other defense issues.

His office issued a statement Thursday about his condition.

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