Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) suggested Thursday that if he let loose wolves in some congressional districts, they "wouldn't have a homeless problem anymore." (House Committee on Natural Resources)

Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, famous for his salty tongue and brusque demeanor, suggested Thursday that if he let loose wolves in some congressional districts, they “wouldn’t have a homeless problem anymore.”

The strange comment was made during a halting five-minute exchange with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on her agency’s budget. He accused her and her department of making decisions without consulting the states they’d affect.

Young, who supports taking gray wolves off the endangered species list, mocked a letter 79 members of Congress sent urging Jewell to protect the gray wolf population. (In Alaska, for what it’s worth, you can hunt wolves.)

“How many of you have got wolves in your district?” he asked. “None. None. Not one.”

“They haven’t got a damn wolf in their whole district,” Young continued. “I’d like to introduce them in your district. If I introduced them in your district, you wouldn’t have a homeless problem anymore.”

We sought clarification to ensure we heard correctly. A spokesman for Young said the “analogy 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.”

This post has been updated.

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The gray wolf spotted near the Grand Canyon this fall has already been killed by a hunter