Rep. Don Young (R-AK) was on the defensive after suggesting gray wolves as a means of fighting homelessness, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
“The grey wolf in fact is a predator that’s killing the cloven hoof animals,” Young told Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Thursday. “And we’ve got 79 congressmen sending you a letter, haven’t got a damn wolf in their whole district. I’d like to introduce them to your district. I introduce them in your district, you wouldn’t have a homeless problem any more.”
The remark came during a meeting of the House Natural Resources Committee regarding Jewell’s department’s budget. The letter in question was sent to Jewell a day earlier. The committee’s ranking member, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), was among the 79 signatories calling on Jewell to list gray wolves as threatened under the Environmental Protection Act.
“Gray wolves are still subject to intense persecution where they are not protected,” Grijalva said in a statement. “They currently inhabit only five percent of their historical range and are clearly still threatened with extinction.”
During the meeting, Young mocked Grijalva’s appeal to the department.
“How many of you have got wolves in your district?” he asked. “None. None. Not one.”
A spokesperson for Young — who was forced to apologize last year after attributing suicide to depression caused by “government handouts” — told the Post that the remark was “purposely hyperbolic to stress the point that these predators pose serious threats to wildlife management and their listing has damaging impacts to local communities.”
Watch footage of Young’s remarks, as posted online on Thursday, below.
[h/t The Huffington Post]