Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Half a Billion Dollars for Alaska Military Construction Included in House-Passed Appropriations Bill

2016/05/19

Washington, D.C. – In its first action on Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations, today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4974, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017, with the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young. The bipartisan funding package provides $81.6 billion in total discretionary funding to support critical Department of Defense infrastructure projects and programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The decision to base two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson Air Force Base and position the Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Air Force Station were major victories for Alaska and the nation. Not only will these systems play an immense role in the defense of our nation, they also mean a significant boost to our economy and our local communities,” said Congressman Young. “Today’s House-passed Milcon-VA Appropriations Act lays the groundwork for these two important basing decisions and further supports the needs of our military men and women. I look forward to moving ahead in this process so Alaskans can begin working on these critical projects.

“Not only does this legislation fund vital DOD construction projects, it also works to reaffirm our commitment to our nation’s service members and veterans,” Congressman Young said. “There’s no question that the VA is still in need of major repair and I believe this legislation takes a number of important steps to improve the services being provided. By making investments in medical treatment, mental health, suicide prevention and other services to modernize and reduce wait times, we are taking serious steps to ensure our veterans receive the quality healthcare and benefits they’ve earned through service to our nation.”

H.R. 4974 provides $7.9 billion for military construction projects, including family housing, military medical facilities, DOD education facilities, and Guard and Reserve facilities. The legislation fully funds numerous FY 2017 military construction projects in Alaska requested by Congressman Don Young, totaling nearly $500 million dollars.


Alaska based Military Construction Projects Requested by Congressman Young:

Clear Air Force Station:

  • $20 million for a Fire Station: Clear AFS supports the Active Air Force and Air National Guard space warning missions, and will soon be the home of Missile Defense Agency’s Long Range Discrimination Radar. The Clear AFS Fire Department currently occupies a structure built in 1961; a facility inadequate to fulfill the department’s required tasks.
  •  $155 million for Phase 1 of the Long Range Discrimination Radar: This phase is required for deployment of the Long Range Discrimination Radar, a new midcourse tracking radar that will provide persistent coverage and improve lethal object discrimination capabilities against threats to the homeland from the Pacific theater.

 

Eielson Air Force Base:

  • $22 million to renovate the Field Training Detachment Facility for F-35s: This project will renovate the current Field Training Detachment Facility in order to accommodate requirements necessary for the beddown of F-35s at Eielson.
  • $79.5 million to build a 16-bay Weather Shelter for F-35s: This shelter is required to sustain aircraft generation rates during cold weather, mitigate the impact of arctic weather on aircraft support equipment, and maintain overall fleet health.
  •  $11.3 million to build Earth Covered magazines for F-35s: These facilities are necessary to ensure the two F-35A squadrons will have sufficient munitions storage space.
  •  $44.9 million to build a 4 bay hangar/Maintenance/Corrosion Control Facility for F-35s: This facility is needed to ensure the F-35A’s state of the art technology and composite materials used to meet stealth mission criteria receive the necessary maintenance and repairs in a secure, climate controlled environment.

    $42.7 million to build a 4-bay F-35A Maintenance Hangar/Squadron Operations Center:  This facility is necessary to ensure that engine removal/installation and effective maintenance can be performed, critical to ensuring that the F-35A squadrons are able to mobilize quickly, safely, and effectively.
  •  $12.8 million to build a Missile Maintenance Facility for F-35s:  This facility will replace Eielson’s current missile maintenance facility, which is currently in a much degraded condition. The new facility will be larger than the current facility, and will ensure that there is sufficient space to conduct missile maintenance for the two F-35A squadrons.

 

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER):

  • $29.1 million to add to and alter the JBER Alert AWACS Hangar: This project will upgrade the current AWACS aircraft sheltering and maintenance hangar space, as well as repair and expand existing squadron operations spaces. The project is necessary for the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron (AACS) at JBER to fully accomplish its mission.
  •  $4.9 million for a Fuel Offload Facility: Currently, JBER’s jet fuel is resupplied via a pipeline. In the event of a delay with the pipeline, the mission to supply fuel to the aircraft stationed at JBER will be delayed as well. This project will ensure that, in the event that the pipeline receipt mode stops, JBER will be able to receive fuel in sufficient quantities to satisfy mission requirements by being off-loaded from trucks.

 

Fort Greely:

  • $9.56 million for a Missile Defense Switchgear Facility: This facility is required to provide the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System with increased capabilities for homeland defense. This project constructs a shielded Switchgear Facility providing redundant switchgear units and site electrical infrastructure upgrades to support current survivability and reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) requirements.

 

Fort Wainwright:

  • $47 million for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Hangar: Supports operations for the Grey Eagle UAV unit stationed at Fort Wainwright, which serve as a critical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance platform for the Army and greatly increases training capabilities of Alaska-based soldiers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a total of $73.5 billion in discretionary funding under H.R. 4974, an increase of $13.4 billion from FY16 levels.


VA funding of Alaskan interest supported by Congressman Young:

  • $250 million for Rural Health Initiative:  Continues the VA’s rural health initiative to provide access and quality care to Veterans in rural areas, including home-based primary care, rural Community Based Outpatient Clinics, transportation of rural Veterans, and home-based therapies.
  • $29.3 million for Indian Health Services Reimbursement: Used to reimburse Indian Health Service (IHS) for direct health care services provided to eligible American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans in IHS facilities.
  • $7.8 billion for Mental Health Programs: Ensures the VA has the adequate funding for treating veterans with mental health issues. $164 million of this amount is specifically set aside for suicide prevention outreach.


*A state by state military construction projects list can be found here (Alaskan projects are found on page 86). 


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Young Holds Hearing on Alaska Native Land Transfer Legislation

2016/05/18

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young, Chairman of the House Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, today held a hearing on H.R. 4289, legislation directing the conveyance of certain federal property to the Tanana Tribal Council (TCC) and the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC).

 “On three separate occasions, Congress has approved similar legislation – all focused on expanding health care operations and facilities in some of the most remote regions of Alaska,” said Congressman Don Young. “Both the Tanana Tribal Council and BBAHC have already worked with the Indian Health Service towards reaching solutions; however legislation is needed to ensure the long-term success of both these health facilities.  These widely supported land transfers – which allow Tanana Tribal Council to construct a new community wellness clinic and BBAHC to work on a new, free standing dental clinic – are only one small step in upholding our nation’s sacred trust responsibility. I commend Senator Murkowski for joining me on this bicameral, bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to its enactment in the coming months.”

Introduced by Congressman Young on December 22, 2015, H.R. 4289 calls for the conveyance of 11.25 acres of federal land to the Tanana Tribal Council (TTC) located in Tanana, Alaska, and 1.474 acres to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) located in Dillingham, Alaska, for use in connection with health and social services related programs. Similar legislation – authorizing the warranty deed for parcels of land to the Maniilaq Association, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation – has previously been signed into law.

Testimony before the House IIANA Subcommittee was heard from Dorothy Jordan, Secretary of Tanana Tribal Council, and Lecia Scotford, Executive Vice President of the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation.

Companion legislation, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski, was approved in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on April 27, 2016.

 

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Murkowski, Sullivan, Young Press Interior on Alaska OCS Development

2016/05/18

Washington, D.C. – Alaska’s congressional delegation – Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young – on Tuesday sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urging the Department to keep all three lease sales proposed for Alaska’s OCS in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) final Five-Year Program for the years 2017 to 2022.

“The areas under consideration for leasing in Alaska’s OCS contain vast resources that our nation will need to maintain its economy and security. Those resources can be produced safely if a stable, predictable regulatory regime is put in place. Bringing them to market is favored by most Alaskans and will help maintain affordable energy prices for the American people. With longer lead times and considerable investment required for production in the Alaska OCS, it is critical that the process begin now with new, area-wide lease sales,” the members wrote.

The congressional delegation also expressed frustration with the Interior Department’s actions to stifle energy development in the Arctic. The Department has delayed and canceled lease sales that were scheduled for Alaska’s OCS, and included just three lease sales for Alaska in its Proposed Five-Year Program: one in the Beaufort Sea, in 2020; one in the Cook Inlet, in 2021; and one in the Chukchi Sea, in 2022.

The Beaufort and Chukchi Seas off of Alaska’s northern coast contain an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. An analysis by Northern Economics and the Institute for Social and Economic Research found that development of those resources could create 35,000 jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenues for the state and local governments. Offshore development is also strongly supported by Alaskans, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of local residents support Arctic drilling.

After outlining the economic benefits that would come to Alaska and the nation with expanded energy development in Alaska’s OCS, the delegation concluded the letter by urging Secretary Jewell to keep Alaska’s OCS leases in the proposed plan.

“We ask that you recognize Alaska’s strong preference for expanded OCS development within the Five-Year Program for 2017-2022. We urge you to maintain all three proposed sales for the Alaska OCS in the final Program. We also encourage you to work collaboratively with us to make the fundamental regulatory improvements that are necessary to prudently advance the development of the critical resources located in our state,” the members wrote.

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will press the administration to maintain its proposed lease sales in Alaska’s OCS at Thursday’s oversight hearing on BOEM’s 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Full text of the letter is attached and available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.

 

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Young Supports House Passage of National Defense Authorization

2016/05/18

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young, this evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 277 to 147. The bill authorizes $610.5 billion in national defense spending for both domestic and overseas contingency operations, including a 2.1% troop pay increase, efforts to address military readiness and strength, and reforms to protect the health and safety of our military men and women. The House-passed NDAA contains numerous Alaska-focused provisions secured by Congressman Young.

Congressman Young sharing his thoughts on the House passed FY 17 National Defense Authorization Act (click here to watch).

“This year’s NDAA places a major emphasis on restoring strength, agility and readiness to our nation’s military,” said Congressman Don Young. “It permanently halts cuts to our Army force structure – including those facing JBER’s 4-25 – makes critical investments in our personnel and aging platforms, and ensures our bases – barracks, hangars, and runways – are adequately supported to fulfill the mission. We live in a very dangerous world and we must be vigilant in the safety and security of this nation.  Alaska continues to play a vital role in safeguarding our freedoms and projecting our influence across the Asia-Pacific. I commend Chairman Thornberry and countless others for recognizing this importance and for supporting the many Alaska focused provisions within this year’s defense authorization.”


Language Secured by Congressman Young in the FY 2017 NDAA:

H.R.4424, the Rural Guard and Reserve Act:

  • This bill seeks to eliminate barriers facing rural members of the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities. Congressman Young introduced the Rural Guard and Reserve Act on February 2, 2016.


Reserve Component Direct Hire Authority:

  • This language will allow Reserve Component units, like 477th Fighter group at JBER, to more quickly fill readiness gaps by authorizing direct hire authority for dual-status technicians. Working to streamline the exhaustive and bureaucratic process to hire these technicians, Congressman Young secured this language as an amendment on the House floor.

Galena Land Transfer:

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey approximately 1,290 acres of public land, the former home of the Campion Air Force Radar Station, to the town of Galena, Alaska for the purposes of ensuring the safety of the town in future Yukon River flood events. This land would be crucial to the future wellbeing of Galena’s residents, as it would allow them to continue to rebuild from the 2013 flooding of the Yukon River without future threats. Congressman Young secured this language as an amendment to the FY 2016 NDAA. This language, along with other land transfer provisions, was dropped during negotiations with the Senate.  


HAARP Transfer to University of Alaska and AHTNA, Inc

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Air Force to convey the High Frequency, Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility to the University of Alaska, and its surrounding areas the AHTNA, Inc.
  • Following a 2014 decision by the Air Force to discontinue use of the HAARP facility, the University of Alaska worked to continue its use. Although the University has secured an operational agreement, legislation is necessary to provide for a full transfer of the facility.
  • Congressman Young’s request fulfills the Air Force’s desire to relinquish ownership of the HAARP facility and its surrounding areas by authorizing the Air Force to transfer the facility and underlying land to the University of Alaska, and the surrounding areas to AHTNA, Inc.


168th Air National Guard Refueling Wing

  • Congressman Young secured an amendment to the FY15 NDAA requiring the Air Force to complete a business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing to an Active Associate Wing. While this analysis was only recently completed, Congressman Young secured language to the FY17 NDAA that requires the Secretary of the Air Force to take into account the basing of two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base when conducting its business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing at JBER to an Active- Guard unit.


Native American/Hawaiian SBA Section 811 Fix

  • Congressman Young successfully included language to repeal Section 811 of the 2010 NDAA, which has had chilling effects on Native owned contractors, and replace it with a commonly used and understood procurement practice for other contracts.
  • Young’s language, which was approved in the House passed FY16 NDAA but fell off during negotiations with the Senate, eliminates the confusing and foreign Section 811 five step Justification and Approval (J&A) process for Small Business Administration 8(a) program contracts and replaces it with the a J&A process from the Competition in Contracting Act.


Arctic Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V):

  • In order to secure the next generation of Arctic support vehicles, Congressman Young secured report language requiring the Army to present a plan to Congress for replacing the Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V).
  • The Army’s SUS-V fleet is used to train and operate in extreme cold weather conditions, providing units with unique arctic capabilities. According to the Army, these vehicles are far beyond their normal service life and have become extremely difficult to maintain.


Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska:

  • Congressman Young secured report language requiring a review of state-owned spaceports and the role they play in Department of Defense space launch operations, including the role of the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska.
  • State-owned spaceports, like Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, have played a large role in supporting national security and missile defense launch activities. This language notes the value of these spaceports, and requires the Secretary of Defense to detail opportunities to enhance the capability of these state-owned spaceports to support national security.

 

Provisions of Alaskan Interest Included in the FY17 NDAA:

  • Military Pay Raises: The NDAA fully funds the 2.1% pay raise our troops are entitled to under law, while blocking the President’s ability to reduce troop pay.
  • F-35 Procurement:  Authorizes full funding for the procurement of F-35A Fighters. This funding continues progress on stationing two squadrons of F-35’s at Eielson Air Force Base, and is critical to ensuring the on-time delivery of these aircraft to Interior Alaska.  
  • Preserving Army Force Structure, Protecting JBER’s 4-25: Language authorizing Army Active-Duty end strength at 480,000 soldiers. This end strength level would stop the Army’s drawdown to 450,000 troops and eliminate reductions facing JBER’s 4-25. This language is in line with the POSTURE Act, legislation cosponsored by Congressman Young.
  • Increases Air Force End Strength: Authorizes 321,000 Air Force Active-duty members, which ensures the Air Force will have sufficient maintainers to support the bed down of F-35s at Eielson AFB and across the nation.
  • Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility: The FY17 NDAA continues annual restrictions against transferring detainees from the detention facility at Guantanmo Bay to the United States and building or modifying facilities in the United States for housing detainees. The bill also prohibits DOD from using funds to transfer the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba.
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Includes a provision explicitly stating nothing in the NDAA should be construed as authorizing an additional round of BRAC.
  • Defeating Islamic Extremists: Provisions in this bill reflect the view that U.S. Forces in Afghanistan should not be reduced to below 9,8000 troops and the President’s incremental approach to confronting ISIS cannot achieve his goal of defeating this terrorist group.

 

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Media Advisory: Chairman Young to Hold Subcommittee Hearing on Alaska Native Land Conveyance Legislation

2016/05/17

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman of the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, Alaska Congressman Don Young, will hold a hearing on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 10 am (AK) to discuss legislation directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to convey certain property to the Tanana Tribal Council and Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation.

H.R. 4289, introduced by Congressman Don Young on December 22, 2015, would provide for the conveyance of 11.25 acres of federal land to the Tanana Tribal Council (TCC) located in Tanana, Alaska, and 1.474 acres to the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (BBAHC) located in Dillingham, Alaska, for use in connection with health and social services related programs. Click here for more information on H.R. 4289.


WITNESSES:

  • Mr. Gary Hartz, Director
    Office of Environmental Health and Engineering
    Indian Health Service
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    Washington, D.C.
  • Dorothy Jordan, Secretary
    Tanana Tribal Council
    Tanana, AK
  • Ms. Lecia Scotford M.D, M.H.A, Executive Vice President & COO
    Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
    Dillingham, AK

The IIANA Subcommittee will convene on Wednesday, May 18th at 10 am (AK), 2 pm (ET) in room 1324 Longworth House Office Building. The hearing is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast on the House Natural Resources Committee website.


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Anchorage Land Transfer Bill Headed to President’s Desk

2016/05/16

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) to allow for the sale of nine acres of unused and undeveloped federal property to the Municipality of Anchorage. S. 1492 facilitates the conveyance of the National Archives and Records Administration property located at 400 East 40th Avenue in Anchorage to the Municipality for no less than fair market value. 

“Working closely alongside Congressman Young, I am pleased to see this commonsense land transfer – which for years has been met with Senate gridlock – headed to the President’s desk for his signature,” said Senator Sullivan. “This legislation has a number of concrete benefits for all stakeholders: Taxpayers will see the sale of the land go toward paying down the federal debt and streamlining the long, costly administrative process, the Archives will be able to offload a property it no longer needs, and the Municipality will be able to acquire a valuable plot of developable land, which is increasingly scarce in the Anchorage area. This legislation is long overdue." 

“This federal land transfer is a win-win for all those involved: it saves the American taxpayer money by reducing the federal government’s growing footprint of unused properties, it provides the people of Anchorage significant benefit, and it fulfills a need for new growth and economic development within Alaska,” said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said before, this legislation is a prime example of how Congress should work – identify a problem or issue, build broad support, and pass commonsense solutions on behalf of your constituents. After more than three years of working on this legislation, I’m very excited to see this land in the hands of the Municipality. I commend Senator Sullivan, and countless others, for working to make this legislation a reality; it truly was a team effort.”

Congressman Don Young speaking on behalf of S. 1492 on the House floor (Click here to watch).

S. 1492, which has the support of Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and was supported by former Mayor Dan Sullivan, would specifically direct the General Services Administration, on behalf of the National Archives, to convey the property in Anchorage to the Municipality. The National Archives has determined that it no longer needs the property and supports the sale as part of its efforts to reduce costs to the taxpayer and shrink its overall footprint. The bill will require fair market value based on highest and best use for the property, determined by an independent appraisal.    

Congressman Young is the sponsor of H.R. 336, companion to S. 1492, which passed the House on June 1, 2015. Congressman Young previously passed identical legislation in the House during the 113th Congress.

 

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House Works to Combat Nation’s Growing Opioid Epidemic

2016/05/13

Washington, D.C. – With the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young, this week the House of Representatives passed more than a dozen bills aimed at combating the nationwide epidemic of opioid and heroin addiction through expanded treatment, prevention, and substance abuse programs across the nation. Today, by a vote of 400 to 5, the House consolidated those bills into the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act – setting up negotiations with the Senate.

Congressman Young sharing his thought on the nation’s growing opioid epidemic (click here to watch).

“With overwhelming support, this week the House advanced a wide-range of bills focused on solving a great disaster in this nation – the growing opioid epidemic,” said Congressman Don Young. “No state, community or family is immune to the widespread growth of illicit prescription drugs. From Alaska to Florida, we’ve seen this epidemic spread at alarming rates – taking the lives of more than 28,000 Americans in 2014; a rate that has quadrupled in less than 15 years. As someone who’s personally felt the impacts of a family member suffering from painkiller addition, like one in five other American families, I stand committed to tackling these important issues head-on and ensuring our states and local communities have the tools and resources they need to end this epidemic. Although there is no silver bullet in our fight to end this national disaster, I am proud of the efforts taken this week to prevent and treat opioid addiction, strengthen our nation’s drugs laws, and stop the flow of illicit drugs in the nation.”


For a list of opioid-related bills passed in the House this week, click here.

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Congressman Young Responds to EPA Methane Rules

2016/05/12

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement upon release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) methane emissions regulations:

“Once again this administration throws garbage at the wall hoping it’ll stick. Much like their Clean Power Plan, WOTUS rule and others, these highly questionable actions, taken unilaterally and without proper consultation, will be fought in court,” said Congressman Don Young. “This administration has proposed every regulation under the sun for our resource developers. To no end, they’ve added layer upon layer of new red tape and created insurmountable hurdles, all of which harm Alaska’s already vulnerable economy. These job-killing, growth-destroying, anti-fossil fuel policies ignore the many great strides already being made to reduce methane emissions through private innovation and 21st century technologies. Sadly, in the waning days of this administration, we shouldn’t expect anything less.”


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Congressman Young's May E-Newsletter

2016/05/06

Dear Friends,

Congressman Don Young Shares a Message with E-newsletter Subscribers (click here to watch).

Thank you for being part of this email newsletter. More than 12,000 Alaskans have already joined me on this endeavor to open the lines of communication, stay connected, and keep you informed on the many issues before Congress. I thank you for your continued engagement, input and support as we work to defend Alaska’s many interests and priorities.

Across many fronts, Alaska and the nation are faced with significant challenges:  the slowest GDP growth in more than two years, the spread of ISIS and radical extremism, the deterioration of our federal agencies – including the Veterans Administration, IRS, EPA and the Department of Interior, and the accelerated growth of federal rules and regulations never passed by Congress or supported by the American people. Although these are all realities, I remained focused on finding opportunities to push back against the government-knows-best policies of Washington, D.C; to ensuring the safety and security of all Americans; to restoring confidence in the economy and in the minds of our people; and to making certain Alaskan families and small business have every opportunity to succeed.

Once again, I thank you for being part of this email newsletter and I hope you will share your thoughts, comments and concerns by clicking here.

Thank you and God Bless,

Don Young
Congressman for All Alaska 

 

Alaskan Priorities and Interests Spread Throughout House FY17 NDAA

Alaska offers so much to our military; unwavering support for our service members, unparalleled training areas, proximity to the Asia-Pacific, and a mutually shared respect between our Alaska-based military and our communities. As Congress works to reauthorize military funding for the coming year, it’s important that these characteristics remain at the forefront.

I’m proud to announce that this year’s National Defense Authorization (NDAA), which passed the House Armed Services Committee last week, builds upon a number of recent military successes in Alaska. By working with my colleagues in the House, we were able to ensure Alaskan needs and priorities were reflected throughout this bill, including language I offered to protect the future of JBER’s 4-25, meet the needs of the Alaska National Guard, transfer unused federal lands to our local communities, and update the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) procurement process.

During these times of growing global threats, we must ensure our military men and women have the resources they need to serve the mission. This bipartisan legislation works to restore the strength and ability of our military, while recognizing Alaska’s vital importance.

Click here to learn more about the House NDAA, which includes numerous Alaska focused provisions.  

 

Teacher Appreciation Week 

As a former school teacher myself, I am committed to ensuring that our nation’s children are provided with the best education possible and much of that begins with the dedicated individuals leading our classrooms.

Sometimes, it takes a tough teacher to put you on the right track, which is exactly what Mrs. McCall did for me in the 4th grade. What I learned from Mrs. McCall was the importance of working hard and earning your success, principles I shared this week with 8th graders from Birchtree Charter School in Palmer – a group that included my two grandsons.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I must thank the fine educators that accompanied these young Alaskans on this history-focused trip. Because of them and the 8,000 + teachers in Alaska, our students have a bright and promising future ahead.


House Bill Protects 4th Amendment Rights, Updates Email Privacy Laws

The last time our email privacy laws were updated the world was a very different place. Google wouldn’t be created for another 13 years, most Americans wouldn’t use text messaging for another 15, and Facebook wouldn’t exist for another 20. The date was October 21, 1985.

While I’m the first to admit that I prefer more traditional forms of communication, I understand the need to bring our email privacy laws into the 21st century – not only to keep pace with changing technologies but to ensure our laws protect the constitutional rights of Americans. Because these laws were written long before the use of the internet or email, they currently contain glaring holes – giving the government the ability to access emails and other digital communication 180 days old or older without a warrant.

Last week, the House took an important step in fixing this violation of privacy by passing legislation I cosponsored, the Email Privacy Act. This bill ensures our electronic communication laws contain important 4th Amendment protections and our law enforcement agencies follow uniform warrant standards when conduction criminal investigations.

 

House Passes Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Assessing Foreign Security Threats, Thwarting ISIS

In the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the United States must be ever vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety and security of all Americans. This must include common sense improvements to screening, security, and risk assessments – not only at home but abroad. H.R. 4698, the Securing Aviation from Foreign Entry Points Act, which passed the House last week, is only one effort we’re taking to enhance collaboration and coordination with our foreign partners to ensure we eliminate risks to our national security.

In addition to this important bill, the House passed two other bills focused on combating terrorist recruitment and restricting the importation of cultural artifacts stolen from Syria – which has become a multi-million dollar industry for ISIS as they destroy ancient cities, loot culturally significant artifacts, and organize operations to smuggle antiquities.

Click here to learn more.

 

House Passed Bill: Responsible Party, Regardless of Origin, Must Pay for American Cleanup Costs

In April, the House passed the Foreign Spill Protection Act of 2015, which ensures that the responsible party, regardless of origin, pays for ALL American cleanup costs associated with an oil spill. Under current law, spills occurring in U.S. waters must be paid for in full by the responsible party. However, this is not the case for foreign oil spills reaching U.S. waters.

With maritime activity increasing in the Arctic, particularly as Russia expands its off-shore operations, it’s  important to ensure American interests and waters are protected. If a vessel transporting oil within Russian waters were to ever suffer an oil spill, ocean currents may very well bring that oil into Alaskan waters. H.R. 1684 would force the responsible party to cover all costs associated with cleanup within U.S. waters and upon nearby shores.

As an original sponsor of OPA 90, the law governing oil spill response, protection and liability - which passed following the devastating Exxon Valdez Oil Spill – I am committed to ensuring our laws are updated to ensure all responsible parties  (both foreign and domestic)  are liable for actions in our waters.

 

Raising Awareness for FDA’s Misguided Approval of Frankenfish

I have long opposed the marketplace approval of GE Salmon, not only because of the flawed process in which it was approved but for the serious impacts it could have on wild salmon species, ocean ecosystems and the U.S. fishing economy. Last month, Senator Lisa Murkowski and I hosted a briefing to discuss GE salmon and the potential risks of the FDA’s first ever genetically engineered animal for human consumption.

The briefing was an important step in raising awareness for the FDA’s misguided decision, while also building a broad coalition of support for efforts taken in Alaska and elsewhere to institute mandatory labeling requirements for GE fish and seafood. I’ve always said that if this science experiment were ever approved, at the very least the American consumer should be given clear and transparent information about what they are eating.

 

Holding the IRS Accountable

Most Americans recognize the tax filing process for its extreme complexity and confusion. For too long, the IRS and the American tax code have gotten in the way of hardworking Americans, the rights of individuals, and economic opportunity. The Federal government, particularly the Department entrusted with Americans’ hard earned tax dollars, must be held to the highest of standards. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for the IRS under this administration.

Picking up from previous efforts to rein in the IRS and provide hardworking Americans and small businesses with permanent tax relief, last month the House tackled a number of common sense bills to improve transparency and the operations of the IRS. These efforts included legislation to bring attention to the fact that numerous IRS employees have serious delinquencies on their own personal taxes, and another that prevents the IRS from rehiring employees who were terminated for work related misconduct or fraud.

 

Lifesaving Road to King Cove

Pictured: Della Trumble, Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Aleutians East Borough Mayor Stanley Mack, Congressman Don Young

In April, Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan and I hosted a press conference with members of the King Cove community and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott to discuss the administration’s heartless decision to deny the community of King Cove a life-saving, 11-mile gravel road, and options for dealing with the lack of reliable emergency transportation in the isolated community.

Since the administration rejected a 300:1 land exchange (in favor of the government), King Cove has endured more than 40 medevacs, many by our Kodiak-based Coast Guard. Sadly, this administration listens to the nation’s most extreme environmental groups instead of the Alaskans that live and depend on these lands.  I remain committed to working with my colleagues, members of the Alaska delegation, and the community of King Cove to find a solution to this travesty.

 

Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess 2016

Congressman Young served as Alaska Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred’s escort during the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Princess Reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

It was an honor to nominate Nicole Eldred of Anchorage as Alaska's 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess and to join her in the annual celebration between our nation and Japan. Nicole, an accomplished young woman in her own right, joins the ranks of so many others, including Lisa Murkowski, who have so honorably represented our state in this celebration of nations. As a valued member of my staff last summer, Nicole proved to be a remarkable ambassador for Alaska – something she continued throughout this year’s festival and will do long into the future.

Although Nicole wasn’t selected to represent the United States as Cherry Blossom Queen, she certainly made Alaska proud. To read more about the festival and Alaska's 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess, click here: http://1.usa.gov/1Voqw4p

Congressman Young sharing a video message with 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred of Anchorage (click here to watch).

 

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Act

Congressman Don Young, Senator Ted Stevens, and Governor Jay Hammond discussing the 200-mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in October of 1975.

April 13th marked the 40th anniversary of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, an act that “Americanized” our fisheries and created wealth and certainty for our coastal communities and state. As many may know, it was our Alaskan fishermen that spearheaded these efforts – calling upon Congress to develop reforms that protected Alaska’s fisheries resources and pushed foreign fleets off our shores – a fight Senator Stevens and I gladly took on.

As one of the original authors of the Act, alongside Senator Stevens and a bipartisan partnership in the House and Senate, I’m proud to see the many successes under this law – which has allowed our fisheries to flourish, our coastal communities to succeed, and our state to build the strongest and most sustainable fisheries in the world. Because of the tremendous strides made in the MSA, Alaska is considered the gold standard of fisheries management – home to 11 of the nation’s top 20 most value fishing ports; accounting for more than 60 percent of the nation’s seafood.

As a tireless advocate of our fisheries, I am honored to continue the fight of Senator Stevens and countless others as we work to reauthorize the MSA in Congress. I remain committed to ensuring our fisheries and the people that support it are best protected by balancing the biological needs of our fish stocks and the economic needs of our fishermen and coastal communities.

 

Preventing Crimes Against Veterans

Alaska is home to more than 77,000 veterans – the highest ratio of veterans per capita in the country – and I’m honored to represent each and every one of these remarkable men and women in Congress. My office takes the work we do on behalf of our nation’s veterans very seriously, whether it’s resolving problems with the VA, assisting with individual benefit claims, or eliminating red tape in the federal government. While we’ve taken many successful steps to protect and serve our nation’s veterans, there is always more work to be done.

The House recently passed bipartisan legislation – H.R. 4676, the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act – to hold people and companies that prey upon our nation’s veterans responsible for their crimes; often a series of financial scams and fraudulent services that target senior veterans and their families. While already illegal to engage in such activity, these crimes are free of criminal or financial penalty. H.R. 4676 changes that by properly penalizing those who knowingly engage in these deplorable actions.

 

F-35 Squadrons Officially to be Based at Eielson Air Force Base


Last month the Air Force confirmed a longstanding belief that Alaska’s strategic location and unique military value are far too important to be overlooked. The decision to base two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson Air Force base, the latest in a series of events, demonstrates that the Department of Defense has truly recognized Alaska for the vital role we play in supporting the military’s mission.

 From the announcement to delay cuts to JBER’s 4-25, basing the Gray Eagle UAV’s and Apache Helicopters at Fort Wainwright, keeping the F-16s at Eielson and now this announcement, it's clear DOD understands that Alaska’s strategic value – its vast training areas, proximity to the Asia-Pacific, and our commitment to serving our military – is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

From the beginning, my case for bringing the F-35 to Alaska has focused on fulfilling the mission. While I’m proud to have played a role in this process, having secured language in each of the last two National Defense Authorization Acts that emphasized Alaska’s immense military value and the benefits Eielson offers the Air Force, I’ve always said that Alaska’s contributions to our military sell themselves.

 

Push for Permanent Headstones for Alaska Territorial Guard Members, Young Requests VA Policy Change


I recently wrote the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to highlight the deteriorating condition of numerous Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) grave markers and the need for change within Department policy to appropriately recognize these soldiers with permanent VA-provided headstones.

Many families of ATG members have submitted applications for permanent headstones – which are made of marble, granite and other materials – but have been denied because these graves are ‘currently marked’ with wooden markers. However, since the Civil War, wooden markers have not been considered adequate permanent markers for the graves of Veterans.

The VA should do what’s right and update its policy to recognize the inadequate nature of these wooden markers (being destroyed by harsh weather conditions) and ensure these soldiers – who volunteered to protect Alaska’s coastline from foreign incursion during WWII – are appropriately recognized with true, permanent headstones.

 

Alaskans in Washington, D.C.


Congressman Young, Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan meeting with a group of Alaskan students in the U.S. Capitol. Click here to watch a short video with these students.

Commander and Senior Enlisted Advisor for JBER’s 477th Fighter Group – Colonel David “Piff” Piffarerio and Chief Master Sergeant Beau Honeycutt – meeting with Congressman Young.

Alaskan students visiting Washington, D.C. with the Southcentral Foundation recently stopped by Congressman Young’s office to get an up close look at Congress and snap a few photos.

Maire Nakada of Anchorage, the 2015 Distinguished Young Woman of America, discussing her pursuit and love of competitive Irish dance –  an art she performed at the National Finals in Mobile, Alabama last June (click here to watch: http://bit.ly/21y1ePO) .

Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Young with a group of Alaskan middle school students visiting the nation’s capital as part of Close Up.

 

Congressman Young in Alaska


Members of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and the Southeast Conference Transportation and Timber Committees hosted Congressman Young in April to discuss efforts to improve economic opportunity in the Panhandle, including the major failures of federal land management agencies.

Sitka Sentinel owner and editor Thad Poulson greeting Congressman Young with his own “hot off the press” edition.

Congressman Young touring the operations center for the Marine Exchange of Alaska to see first-hand the efforts they're taking to provide information, communication and other services for safe and secure maritime activity.


Congressman Young discussing the essential role industries and businesses play in growing and developing the economy at an Alaska Chamber of Commerce “Meet and Greet.”

Congressman Young speaking on a wide range of issues and policies impacting home ownership and housing markets at the Anchorage Board of Realtors meeting.

The Big Lake Chamber of Commerce recently hosted Congressman Young where he discusses actions he’s taking in the House to hold the Executive Branch accountable.

 

In The News

Alaska Journal of Commerce: Delegation wants repeal of regs aimed at Native contracts

Cordova Times: Amended Oil Pollution Act of 1990 passes House

Alaska Dispatch News: Fort Yukon post office reopens amid tax filing hassles, delayed medicine

Alaska Dispatch News: How Kodiak could get a major boost in military funding

APRN:  Mallott, Murkowski try to put human face on King Cove road

Alaska Dispatch News: Murkowski and King Cove road advocates launch new DC campaign

Ketchikan Daily News: EDITORIAL: The gift of hindsight

APRN: Rep. Young: Alaska needs to diversify economy

KCAW: Don Young talks cheap power, development

Juneau Empire: Supreme Court ruling praised as win for Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News: Supreme Court tosses ruling that barred hovercraft in Alaska preserve

KTVA: Army delays decision to cut 2,600 JBER troops

Alaska Dispatch News: It's official: Anchorage military base cuts are delayed

APRN: AK: New “marriage” between Iditarod and politics

Alaska Dispatch News: Federal transportation funds from unused earmarks coming to Alaska

Alaska Dispatch News: New Obama offshore plan eyes further Arctic protections

YourAlaskaLink: Alaska US Congressman Don Young Celebrates 43 Years of Service

Alaska Dispatch News: Obama, Trudeau announce plans to fight Arctic oil and gas pollution; Alaskans criticize lack of input

Read More

Alaskan Priorities and Interests Spread Throughout House FY17 NDAA

2016/04/28

Washington, D.C. – Early this morning the House Armed Services Committee approved H.R. 4909, the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bipartisan bill authorizing national defense spending for domestic and overseas operations. Alaska Congressman Don Young successfully secured numerous Alaska-focused provisions within the bill, which passed the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 60-2.

“Alaska offers so much to our military; unwavering support for our service members, unparalleled training areas, proximity to the Asia-Pacific, and a mutually shared respect between our Alaska-based military and our communities,” said Congressman Young. “As Congress works to reauthorize military funding for the coming year, it’s important that these characteristics remain at the forefront.  I’m proud to say that this year’s NDAA builds upon a number of recent military successes in Alaska. By working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee, we’ve been able to ensure Alaskan needs and priorities are reflected throughout this bill, including language to protect the future of JBER’s 4-25, meet the needs of the Alaska National Guard, transfer unused federal lands to our local communities, and update the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) procurement process. During these times of growing global threats, we must ensure our military men and women have the resources they need to serve the mission. This bipartisan legislation works to restore the strength and ability of our military, while recognizing the vital importance of Alaska.”

Language Secured by Congressman Young in the FY 2017 NDAA:

H.R.4424, the Rural Guard and Reserve Act:

  • This bill seeks to eliminate barriers facing rural members of the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities.
  • Congressman Young introduced the Rural Guard and Reserve Act on February 2, 2016.


Galena Land Transfer:

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey approximately 1,290 acres of public land, the former home of the Campion Air Force Radar Station, to the town of Galena, Alaska for the purposes of ensuring the safety of the town in future Yukon River flood events. This land would be crucial to the future wellbeing of Galena’s residents, as it would allow them to continue to rebuild from the 2013 flooding of the Yukon River without future threats.
  • Congressman Young secured this language as an amendment to the FY 2016 NDAA. This language, along with other land transfer provisions, was dropped during negotiations with the Senate.  


HAARP Transfer to University of Alaska and AHTNA, Inc

  • This language directs the Secretary of the Air Force to convey the High Frequency, Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility to the University of Alaska, and its surrounding areas the AHTNA, Inc.
  • Following a 2014 decision by the Air Force to discontinue use of the HAARP facility, the University of Alaska worked to continue its use. Although the University has secured an operational agreement, legislation is necessary to provide for a full transfer of the facility.
  • Congressman Young’s request fulfills the Air Force’s desire to relinquish ownership of the HAARP facility and its surrounding areas by authorizing the Air Force to transfer the facility and underlying land to the University of Alaska, and the surrounding areas to AHTNA, Inc.


168th Air National Guard Refueling Wing

  • Congressman Young secured an amendment to the FY15 NDAA requiring the Air Force to complete a business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing to an Active Associate Wing.
  • Given that this analysis has yet to be completed, Congressman Young secured language to the FY17 NDAA that requires the Secretary of the Air Force to take into account the basing of two F-35 squadrons at Eielson Air Force base when conducting its business case analysis for converting the 168th Air Refueling Wing at JBER to an Active- Guard unit.


Native American/Hawaiian SBA Section 811 Fix

  • Congressman Young successfully included language to repeal Section 811 of the 2010 NDAA, which has had chilling affects on Native owned contractors, and replace it with a commonly used and understood procurement practice for other contracts.
  • Young’s language, which was approved in the House passed FY16 NDAA but fell off during negotiations with the Senate, eliminates the confusing and foreign Section 811 five step Justification and Approval (J&A) process for Small Business Administration 8(a) program contracts and replaces it with the a J&A process from the Competition in Contracting Act.


Arctic Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V):

  • In order to secure the next generation of Arctic support vehicles, Congressman Young secured report language requiring the Army to present a plan to Congress for replacing the Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUS-V).
  • The Army’s SUS-V fleet is used to train and operate in extreme cold weather conditions, providing units with unique arctic capabilities. According to the Army, these vehicles are far beyond their normal service life and have become extremely difficult to maintain.


Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska:

  • Congressman Young secured report language requiring a review of state-owned spaceports and the role they play in Department of Defense space launch operations, including the role of the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska.
  • State-owned spaceports, like Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, have played a large role in supporting national security and missile defense launch activities. This language notes the value of these spaceports, and requires the Secretary of Defense to detail opportunities to enhance the capability of these state-owned spaceports to support national security.

Provisions included in the 2017 NDAA of Alaska interest:

F-35 Procurement:  

  • Authorizes full funding for the procurement of F-35A Fighters. This funding continues progress on stationing two squadrons of F-35’s at Eielson Air Force Base, and is critical to ensuring the on-time delivery of these aircraft to Interior Alaska.  

Preserving Army Force Structure, Protecting JBER’s 4-25:

  • Language authorizing Army Active-Duty end strength at 480,000 soldiers. This end strength level would stop the Army’s drawdown to 450,000 troops and eliminate reductions facing JBER’s 4-25. This language is in line with the POSTURE Act, legislation cosponsored by Congressman Young.


Space-A Travel:

  • Report language developed by Rep. Bridenstine (R-OK) and Congressman Young to require a study on the Department of Defense’s Space-A Travel program, which allows military personnel to use excess seating aboard military aircraft.
  • Many military flights originating in Alaska are vastly underused; this language requires a study on the effects of adding the inclusion of reserve component personnel and their dependents. 

 

 

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Read More

2011/04/14

Meeting with Sebastian Donoso, Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs within the Government of Chile Read More

2011/04/14

Meeting with Benjamin Tucker of the Yakima Nation Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with 33 Close-Up students from Chugiak High School, East High School, Stellar High School, South Anchorage High School and Yukon Koyukuk Scools Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with John Katz of the Alaska Governor's Office Read More

2011/04/13

House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on "American Energy Initiative" with both Senators testifying Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Dalton Riser, Student Wasilla Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Mallory Givens, UAA Student Read More

2011/04/06

Meeting with Sheri Buretta, Ed Herndon and Trudi Komakhuk Read More

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Congressman Don Young: USO Care Package Service Project

2016-05-17 21:53:47


Congressman Don Young: Anchorage Land Transfer Act

2016-05-16 21:06:33


Congressman Young: House Works to Combat Nation’s Growing Opioid Epidemic

2016-05-13 17:35:07


Congressman Young: Nurses Appreciation Week

2016-05-11 22:22:35


Congressman Young: May Newsletter

2016-05-11 21:19:54


AK Delegation Meeting with Alaska Close Up Students

2016-04-20 23:18:44


Congressman Young Welcomes Alaska's 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess Nicole Eldred

2016-04-14 22:17:55


Congressman Don Young Reflects on His 43 Years of Service in the U.S. House of Representatives

2016-03-14 23:51:07


Rep. Young Discussing Dog Mushing and the Iditarod

2016-03-03 19:31:44


Media Report: Young Defends ANWR on House Floor

2016-03-03 16:54:15


Don Young Questioning Secretary Sally Jewell Before the House Natural Resources Committee

2016-03-02 23:37:04


H.R. 2406, the SHARE Act: Young Defends Polar Bear Provision

2016-02-26 21:55:27


H.R. 2406, SHARE Act - Amendment to Designate 10-02 Area of ANWR as Wilderness

2016-02-26 19:50:44


H.R. 2406, SHARE Act - Young Amendment to Reverse FWS & NPS Rulemaking

2016-02-26 19:40:10


Congressman Young Discussing H.R. 3650, the State National Forest Management Act

2016-02-25 21:17:48


Congressman Young Discussing Alaska Changes to H.R. 4441, the AIRR Act.

2016-02-12 02:37:44


Congressman Don Young: February E-Newsletter

2016-02-05 23:17:05


Congressman Young on the Passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015

2016-02-02 01:30:04


ICYMI: Office Space Don Young's Alaska Tundra (Roll Call)

2016-01-29 23:17:56


Congressman Young Shares Thoughts Following 2016 State of the Union

2016-01-13 04:20:12


Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425
donyoung.house.gov

Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 113th Congress in 2012 to serve his 21st term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the 1st ranking Republican member and the the 4th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.

Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs.  Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.

Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.

When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.

It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years, they were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009.

Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”

That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419-1 vote, the National Wildlife Improvement Act, which sets guidelines for the nation’s 500-plus wildlife refuges.

Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 111th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.


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