Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Young Supports House-Passage of 21st Century Cures Act

2016/12/01

Washington, D.C. ­– In a unified effort to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and cures for diseases, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures Act. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation – which passed the House by a vote of 392 to 26 ­– makes significant reforms, increases to funding, and advancements necessary to modernize the nation’s management of new healthcare innovations and infrastructure.

“Medical innovation and progress in this nation has seen remarkable progress in recent years, yet thousands of American families are still faced with the harsh realities and hardships of debilitating and incurable diseases,” said Congressman Don Young. “This important legislation – aimed at increasing the pace of discovery, development and delivery of life-saving and life-improving therapies, treatments and medications – is an important step to bringing our medical innovations and solutions into the 21st Century. Not only does this bill take critical steps to combat the nation’s growing opioid epidemic, it also places an important emphasis on mental health. I commend my colleagues for including the 5-year extension for the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program – utilized in Alaska by hospitals in Juneau, Soldotna and Sitka – and encourage the Senate to move this legislation across the finish line.”

The multi-faceted package of reforms represents a year’s long effort in Congress to update the out-of-date process for bringing new drug therapies and treatments to market, in addition to maintaining the nation’s status as a leader in biomedical innovation. The bill will:

  • Help bring drugs and devices to market efficiently by making needed reforms to the FDA, including: expedited review for breakthrough devices, increased patient involvement in the drug approval process, and a streamlined review process for combination products that are both a drug and device.
  • Provide $4.8 billion to National Institutes of Health, including: $1.4 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative to drive research into the genetic, lifestyle and environmental variations of disease; $1.8 billion for the "Cancer Moonshot” to speed research; and $1.6 billion for the BRAIN initiative to improve our understanding of diseases like Alzheimer's and speed diagnosis and treatment.
  • Provides $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Provides $1 billion in grants to states to address the opioid crisis.
  • Advance meaningful mental health reforms aimed at assisting the one in five American adults currently suffering from mental illness and substance abuse disorders.

Importantly, the 21st Century Cures package included language from legislation introduced by Congressman Don Young – H.R. 672, the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Extension Act. The language extends the Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Program (RCH), which has helped stabilize essential health services in rural Alaska and 10 other states, and allowed seniors to receive the care they need closer to home. For more information on the RCH, click here.

 

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Reps. Young and Gabbard Introduce Bipartisan Resolution on #GivingTuesday

2016/11/29

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced a bipartisan resolution today recognizing #GivingTuesday, a global day of charitable giving and volunteerism. #GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, begins the holiday season in the spirit of service, following widely-recognized shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The resolution recognizes that philanthropy and charitable giving transcend party divides and unite people across boundaries.

“As we kick off the holiday season, it’s extremely important to recognize the hard work and dedication of our many service organizations and non-profits,” said Congressman Don Young. “Because of your tremendous support and generous donations, these organizations are able to assist countless families and communities across the nation. Alaskans are often recognized for our hospitality and goodwill, and I encourage everyone back home to take part in this special day and share what you can with your local charity or non-profit.”

“Too often, we focus on the issues that divide us, rather than those that unite us. #GivingTuesday highlights the principles of service, volunteerism, giving back to our communities, and helping those in need,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Every single day, each of us can choose to be of service, whether it’s helping a friend or family member, caring for our community and our planet, having a positive impact on those around us, or giving our time to a cause we care about. #GivingTuesday recognizes our opportunity to put service before self and to be a force for positive change in the world.”

Background: #GivingTuesday was launched by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in 2012, and has since become a worldwide movement, harnessing the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change. In its first year, #GivingTuesday brought together more than 2,500 organizations in all 50 States, and it has continued to gain momentum every year since, with more than 35,000 partners in the United States and around the world.

Full text of the resolution can be found HERE.  

 

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Alaska Delegation Slams Decision to Strip Arctic Leases from New OCS Plan

2016/11/18

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today condemned the Obama administration’s decision to remove two Alaska lease sales – one each in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas – from its “Proposed Final Program” for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing for 2017-2022.

Eliminating the program’s Arctic sales will yield the weakest offshore development plan in American history and lock up vast resources that are needed to grow our economy, protect national security and keep energy affordable for American families and businesses.

“For years, the Obama Administration has tried to convince the American people that it supports an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. Yet, it has consistently delivered crippling blows to the Alaskan people in the form of new regulatory obstacles, insurmountable roadblocks, and overly prescriptive regulations – making in nearly impossible for new development to occur,” Young said. “Today’s announcement – politically driven and meant to appease the nation’s most extreme environmental groups – represents some of the worst decision making we’ve seen over the last eight years. I truly wish I could say I was surprised, but this administration has never been serious about Arctic OCS development. With the writing on the wall, we’ve taken numerous steps in Congress to enhance Arctic lease sales – going as far as passing an amendment to the House Interior Appropriations bill that would have prevented this lease removal from taking place. Make no mistake, this blatant disregard for Alaska’s social and economic future will be overturned. The Obama Administration has simply added one more obstacle to the list.”

“President Obama is well aware that the vast majority of Alaskans want OCS development, and I am infuriated that he has once again ignored our voices to side with the factions who oppose it,” Murkowski said. “We have shown that Arctic development is one of the best ways to create jobs, generate revenues, and refill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Why the president is willing to send all of those benefits overseas is beyond explanation. And it is even more stunning that just one day after urging the new administration to stand up to Russia, he continues to cede leadership on Arctic energy production to them. I will do all that I can to counteract this shortsighted decision.”

“With this action, the Obama Administration is once again capitulating to the demands of extreme environmental groups over Alaskans and their fellow Americans who want good-paying jobs, energy independence and a strong economy,” Sullivan said. “For nearly eight years this Administration has given lip service to an ‘all of the above energy strategy,’ when their actions say the opposite. As Alaska’s Attorney General, Commissioner for the Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Senator, I’ve fought this Administration every step of the way in their concerted efforts to lock up Alaska’s resources and turn our state into one giant national park. We will work hard to reverse the latest damage the Obama Administration has done to our citizens, economy and future. Let’s hope that this is the final chapter in the Obama Administration’s harmful legacy of putting the interests of anti-energy activists over those of hard-working Alaskans and their families. Our state and country still have a promising future in responsible resource development. I am hopeful that with the incoming Trump Administration we will be able to reach our potential as a state and nation in this important area.”

Alaska’s offshore areas contain prolific energy resources. According to Interior’s own technical analysts, the Beaufort and Chukchi seas form one of the most prospective basins in the world. Together, these areas are projected to hold 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. For perspective, that is enough to meet all of California’s demands for oil and natural gas for 37.5 years and 43.5 years, respectively.

According to a 2011 analysis by the firm Northern Economics, development of the resources in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas would create an annual average of 55,000 jobs over a 50-year period. Those jobs would create a total payroll of $145 billion over that span. Development is also projected to generate a total of $193 billion for local, state and federal treasuries. According to a 2014 poll, some 73 percent of Alaskans support Arctic OCS development.

While calling out the previous, draft offshore leasing plan as a bare minimum effort, the congressional delegation repeatedly urged the Obama administration to keep both Arctic lease sales in its final program. For example, in May, Chairman Murkowski led a delegation letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and chaired an oversight hearing of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on this issue. 

The Alaska delegation is now reviewing the Proposed Final Program and will determine what actions can be taken to ensure that Alaska’s federal waters are part of a more robust and economically beneficial offshore program during the next administration.

 

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Young Supports House-Passage of Midnight Rules Relief Act

2016/11/17

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to address the potential onslaught of end-of-term regulations released by the Obama administration in its final weeks, today the House passed H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2016. The legislation establishes a simple, rapid-response method for a new Congress to undo abusive midnight rules submitted during the final 60 legislative days of Congress by an outgoing administration.

“Over the last eight years, the Obama administration has moved ahead with one of the most aggressive and costly regulatory agendas in our nation’s history,” said Congressman Don Young. “In Alaska, this amounts to lost jobs, diminished certainty, an unworkable regulatory climate for new development, and roadblocks at every turn.  As the President prepares to leave office, there is serious cause for concern that the next two months will be used to advance some of the most extreme and drastic regulatory policies.”

“The Midnight Rules Relief Act gives Congress the tools and resources to push back against politically driven, overly burdensome rulemaking announced in the final days of a presidency,” Young said. “Like President Obama’s 2008 transition team and then Democrat Majority, Congressional leaders have called upon the current administration to cease the issuance of midnight rules and regulations. With little hope our concerns will be heard, I call upon the Senate to take up this common sense proposal to limit the potentially harmful impacts of last minute rulemaking.”

H.R. 5982, the Midnight Rules Relief Act, would:

• Amend the Congressional Review Act to allow CRA resolutions that disapprove of multiple midnight rules to be passed by an incoming Congress.

• Set neither a minimum nor maximum number of midnight rules that a CRA resolution can disapprove, thus preserving flexibility for a new Congress to respond with a resolution targeting multiple midnight rules.

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Young Concludes Successful Visit to Maine for Arctic Council’s Senior Officials Meeting

2016/10/07

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young, co-chair of the Congressional Arctic Working Group, recently wrapped up a visit to Portland, ME for the Arctic Council’s Senior Officials Meeting (SAO). Young’s visit included various meetings, discussions and events focused on cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic nations and stakeholders.

As the only member of the Alaska congressional delegation in attendance, Congressman Young worked to educate others on the unique challenges and opportunities we face as an Arctic nation, including resource development, national security needs and the development of ports, polar icebreakers, and other infrastructure. In addition, Young focused on collaboration between Maine and Alaska, which share many commonalities, including active marine and fishery economies.

The gathering represented the third SAO meeting of the Arctic Council. Juneau, AK will host the next SAO meeting from March 7-9, 2017. The U.S Chairmanship of the Arctic Council will conclude following the May 2017 Ministerial Meeting in Fairbanks, AK.


Maine-Alaska Arctic Roundtable

Young participated in the Maine-Alaska Arctic Roundtable, a gathering of U.S Arctic leaders focused on the many opportunities to collaborate on investments and decision-making. Young emphasized the need for new maritime infrastructure and navigational aids as shipping increases through the “choke point” to the Arctic – the Bering Strait. The roundtable included various Alaska and Maine officials, business and community leaders, and researches to share their perspectives, priorities and best practices related to the Arctic.

Congressman Young speaking at the Maine-Alaska Arctic Roundtable (click here to watch).


Ocean Observing Systems Mini-Science Summit

Congressman Young welcomed members from the scientific community during the Ocean Observing Systems Mini-Science Summit, which included discussions on the coordination and increased efficiency of how the federal government conducts and funds ocean research, data collection, and critical infrastructure for identifying extreme weather events and national security threats. Young is a longtime leader and advocate for the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (IOOS), of which Alaska is home to one of eleven regional associations.

Congressman Young speaking at the Ocean Observing Systems Mini-Science Summit (click here to watch).


Lobster Wholesaler Tour

In addition, Congressman Young joined Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) on a tour of a Portland-based lobster wholesaler – Ready Seafood – to gain in depth knowledge of our nation's diverse fishing industry. Young, a long-time leader on national fisheries policy and an original co-author of the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act, introduced and passed H.R. 1335 in the 114th Congress to update the laws governing commercial and recreation fishing in U.S. federal waters.

Congressman Young touring Ready Seafood, Portland- based lobster wholesaler (click here to watch). For B-roll of Congressman Young’s visit, click here.


Congressman Young began the week by attending the Maine Arctic Forum and Showcase, which included a presentation by Alaska Tara Sweeney, Chair of the Arctic Economic Council.

Congressman Young speaking to Senator Angus King (ME-I) at the Maine Arctic Forum and Showcase

Congressman Young speaking to Admiral Robert Papp, former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Special Representative for the Arctic, on national security needs in the Arctic.

 

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Young Applauds Enactment of Legislation Extending Highly Rural Veterans Transportation Program

2016/09/30

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today applauded the bill signing of H.R. 5985, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act, which extends numerous Veterans Administration (VA) programs, including the Highly Rural Veteran Transportation Grant (HRTG) program – originally set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2017.

Congressman Young introduced H.R. 5558, the VA Highly Rural Transportation Program Extension Act, earlier this year to raise awareness for the looming expiration of this program. Through numerous discussions with House Veterans Affairs Committee leadership, Congressman Young secured this one-year extension as part of H.R. 5985.

Upon House-passage of H.R. 5985, Congressman Young shared the following statement:

“I am committed to standing up for Alaska’s veterans—especially those who live in our many highly-rural areas. The Highly Rural Veteran Transportation program enables all of Alaska’s veterans to receive the care they earned, regardless of the area in which they live. I’m glad we were able to extend this critical program for an additional year, and I will continue to advocate on behalf of this program in the future. We must ensure our nation’s veterans receive the benefits they earned in service to this nation; this legislation takes important steps in that direction by increasing access, improving services and extending critical programs to assist veteran and their families.”

Set to expire at the end of FY 2017, the Highly Rural Transportation Program enables State Veterans Service Agencies and Veteran Service Organizations to provide no-cost transportation services to VA or VA-authorized healthcare facilities to veterans in counties with fewer than seven people per square mile.

Currently, 14 organizations in 11 states administer grants under the HRTG. Grantees are eligible to receive up to $50,000 per highly-rural area in order to “provide innovative transportation options to Veterans in highly rural areas.”

According to the Alaska Office of Veteran Affairs, 8,200 veterans are currently eligible for the program in areas that include Southwest Fairbanks, the Matanuska-Susitna region, Kodiak Island, the Kenai Peninsula, and Prince of Wales Island and Hyder. In just the three months between January and March, 2016, the HRTG program in Alaska provided 3,010 hours of transportation on 3,129 trips, totaling 113,237 miles (and 5,760 nautical miles), for 3,116 veterans.  Although FY 2016 HRTG grant funds have been exhausted in several Alaskan areas, Congressman Young remains committed to reauthorizing the program to provide future services to Alaskan veterans.

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House Passes Water Resource Development Bill

2016/09/28

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young and the U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 5303, the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, bipartisan legislation to promote economic competitiveness and strengthen the nation’s water transportation and infrastructure needs – including harbors and ports in coastal states like Alaska.

H.R. 5303, which passed by a margin of 399 to 25, contains a number of Alaska and Arctic specific provisions championed by Congressman Young, including $26 million and $29 million in authorizations for harbor projects in Little Diomede and the City of Craig, respectively. In addition, the bill makes important reforms to the Army Corps of Engineers current system for evaluating small, remote and subsistence port and harbor projects, works to recognize the value of a potential Arctic Port,  and broadens non-federal sponsors of water infrastructure projects to include Alaska Native Corporations. Congressman Young described the bill in the simplest of terms:

WRDA is about new infrastructure and new jobs. It means opportunities for our residents, critical infrastructure for our coastal communities, and economic development for our state.”

In a call for bipartisanship and cooperation on the legislation that ultimately freed the Senate from gridlock on the year end funding package, Young took to the House floor to speak in favor of the bill – saying it would allow Congress to “finish this project for the people of America.”

Congressman Don Young speaking on the House floor in favor of H.R. 5303 (click here to watch).

“This bill is a good bill. I just ask all of you – you know, we’re getting close to the end of this session and a lame duck too. This isn’t perfect for everyone. It’s not perfect for me in some cases. But let’s get a piece of legislation done without nitpicking it and say, “well, I didn’t get what I wanted…,” said Congressman Young yesterday on the House floor. “This is a good piece of legislation. It’ll create a better system of our infrastructure – for water, harbor and ports and other drinking water too. It’s a legislative package that’s been put together with a lot of hard work with staff. As usual, we get into this battle – “Well, I don’t want it. It’s a Democrat bill, it’s a Republican bill.” We ought to think of this as a House bill; a bill that can do the job. It will come out of this House, it will go over to the Senate and we’ll have a Conference. We’ll have another chance to finish this project for the people of America. So I’m asking us not to get into a little bit of nitpicking and get a good piece of legislation such as this passed.”

The following reforms and provisions of Alaskan importance were supported by Congressman Young in the 2016 House WRDA:

  • LITTLE DIOMEDE, AK: The legislation authorizes the construction of a harbor in Little Diomede, AK: $26,015,000
  • CRAIG, AK: The legislation authorizes the construction of a harbor in Craig, AK: $29,062,000
  • CITY OF VALDEZ: The legislation includes a bill sponsored by Congressman Young, H.R. 5087, which removes a navigational servitude on waterfront land in Valdez that currently impedes economic development of the property.  The bill removes the Federal Government’s taint on title in order to allow investment prospects for lands that were created due to dredging disposal from the construction of the harbor.
  •  SMALL REMOTE AND SUBSISTENCE HARBORS:  The legislation makes reforms to the current system the Corps of Engineers uses to evaluate small, remote, and subsistence port and harbor projects, by recognizing the regional benefits for justification of the project.  Increasing capabilities at a hub community will dramatically lower the costs of goods throughout the region, in many circumstances.
  • EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES: Allows Alaska Native Corporations to develop water infrastructure projects as non-federal sponsors.
  • ARCTIC PORTS:  Congressman Young successfully included a two-part amendment to H.R. 5303 in Committee to help with a justification for an Arctic port: one change recognizes the value of a potential Arctic Port to the surrounding communities, and another to enables Corps to consider the national security benefits of an Arctic port.
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Young on Short-Term Funding Bill: “Not a Perfect Approach, But We Were Able to Include a Tremendous Amount of Good for Alaska and the Nation”

2016/09/28

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young this evening voted in favor of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) Appropriations Package, which funds the federal government through December 9,2016. In addition to providing the full Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations, the bill contains $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight and prevent the spread of the Zika virus and $37 million to help fight the nation’s opioid epidemic.

“As I’ve said before, shutting down the government is both shortsighted and irresponsible. Ultimately, it hurts the American people – our military, our senior citizens, our small businesses and the working people of Alaska and the nation,” said Congressman Don Young. “Today’s short-term spending measure is certainly not a perfect approach, but we were able to include a tremendous amount of good for Alaska and the nation – vital funding to support our troops, major improvements and reforms for our veterans, and efforts to address the nation’s growing opioid epidemic. By prioritizing investments to support Defense infrastructure projects and improve the Department of Veteran Affairs, this bill will have a tremendous impact on Alaska – not only for our economy and our local communities but for the defense of our nation and the wellbeing of our veterans. Although there’s much work to be done when Congress returns – including a number of major reforms and policy provisions to roll back many of this Administration’s destructive rules and regulations – I’m pleased that Congress could put its differences aside to focus on the immediate needs of the nation.”

Today’s bill provides $7.9 billion to fund military family housing, Guard and Reserve facilities, and military bases in the U.S. and around the world, including numerous projects in Alaska requested by Congressman Don Young – totaling  $561 million dollars.

Clear Air Force Station:

  • $20 million for a Fire Station
  • $155 million for Phase 1 of the Long Range Discrimination Radar

Eielson Air Force Base:

  • $22 million to renovate the Field Training Detachment Facility for F-35s
  • $79.5 million to build a 16-bay Weather Shelter for the 1st squadron of F-35s
  • $83 million to build a 16-bay Weather Shelter for the 2nd squadron of F-35s
  • $11.3 million to build Earth Covered magazines for F-35s
  • $44.9 million to build a 4 bay hangar/Maintenance/Corrosion Control Facility for F-35s
  • $42.7 million to build a 4-bay F-35A Maintenance Hangar/Squadron Operations Center
  • $12.8 million to build a Missile Maintenance Facility for F-35s

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER):

  • $29.1 million to add to and alter the JBER Alert AWACS Hangar
  • $4.9 million for a Fuel Offload Facility

Fort Greely:

  • $9.56 million for a Missile Defense Switchgear Facility

Fort Wainwright:

  • $47 million for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Hangar

In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a total of $74.4 billion in discretionary funding for medical services which include critical funding for mental health, suicide prevention, traumatic brain injury, services for homeless veterans, and rural health initiatives. Congressman Young supported a number of items of Alaskan interest, including:

  • $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.
  • $7.9 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.
  • $173 million for Suicide Prevention Programs: Funds programs designed to prevent the incredible tragedy of 20 veteran suicides per day.
  • VA Contracts with Tribal Health Care Centers: Allows the VA to enter into agreements with Federally Qualified Health Centers in the State of Alaska and with Indian tribes and tribal organizations which are party to the Alaska Native Health Compact with the Indian Health Service. These contracts are critical to ensuring veterans in rural Alaska can access quality healthcare and services.
  • Medical Marijuana Provision: Allows VA physicians and health-care providers to make recommendations regarding marijuana to their patients in states where medical marijuana is legal.

 

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On 20th Anniversary of Arctic Council, Reps. Young and Larsen Call on U.S. to ‘Fulfill its Responsibilities as an Arctic Nation’

2016/09/23

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Representatives Don Young and Rick Larsen (WA-02) this week introduced a House Resolution to mark the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council and to express support for the Council’s work.  

The resolution cited the Arctic Council’s vital importance in promoting international cooperation on military, maritime, economic and scientific interests shared by Arctic nations.

“The United States’ current chairmanship of the Arctic Council offers an opportunity to promote and implement our policy objectives,” wrote the Chairs of the Congressional Arctic Working Group. “The House of Representatives supports the Arctic Council’s work and remains committed to ensuring that the United States fulfills its responsibilities as an Arctic nation and asserts leadership on issues affecting the Arctic.”

The Arctic Council – which is an intergovernmental body that promotes collaboration between the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia and Sweden – was established on September 19, 1996.

In 2014, Larsen and Young launched the bipartisan Congressional Arctic Working Group to help members of Congress better understand the opportunities and challenges for the U.S. as an Arctic nation and act as a resource for other Arctic countries to interact with Congress. The Working Group brings together people from across many stakeholder communities to advise Congress on Arctic policies and establishing a strong presence in the region.

Young and Larsen are two of the House’s leading voices focused on helping raise awareness about Arctic issues – including the need for the U.S. to strengthen its fleet of polar icebreakers. In recent years, Larsen and Young have called for a number of Government Accountability Office studies regarding the Arctic (found here and here).

For text of the resolution click HERE.

 

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Young’s Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act Passes Committee

2016/09/22

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 2387, the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act, introduced by Alaska Congressman Don Young – Chairman of the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee. The bill, which passed by voice vote, provides equitable treatment of Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans under the Native Allotment Act of 1906, allowing veterans to be eligible for land benefits from the federal government.

While serving overseas in the Vietnam War, many Alaska Native Veterans were unable to apply for land allotments promised by the federal government before the process ended. In 1998, Congress opened an application period for these veterans, but unfortunately only those who served from 1969–1971 were allowed to apply. H.R. 2387 expands the military service dates to coincide with the entire conflict, which officially lasted from 1964-1975.

“It’s absolutely wrong to punish these Alaska Native veterans, who proudly served their country during time of conflict, by denying them their allotment,” said Congressman Young. “Congress must once and for all rectify this inequity and fulfill its promise to these Native veterans. This is not the first time I’ve introduced this legislation, but I certainly hope it will be the last. I look forward to the day that this matter is closed.”

 “This piece of legislation will bring justice and parity for Alaska Natives who honorably served our nation in the Vietnam War,” House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said. “I am pleased to see this important bill advance. I thank Congressman Young for his effort in allowing our servicemen and women an equal opportunity to obtain what is rightfully theirs.”

Congressman Young’s bill also increases available land for selection by Alaska Native Veterans and reduces previous restrictions and occupancy requirements that prevented many veterans from receiving their allotment during the prior open season.

On June 10, 2015, Congressman Young chaired a legislative hearing on H.R. 2387, which included testimony from Nelson Angapak – Senior Vice President for the Alaska Federation of Natives and a veteran himself.

 “It is with urgency that we are asking Congress to pass this bill during the [114th] Congress so that there will be equitable treatment of our veterans who served during the whole Vietnam era,” Angapak said. “Again, it is with urgency. Our veterans are dying off. Some of our friends are no longer with us and some are dying, that is why we have the urgent request that you pass this bill."

Nelson Angapak testifying in favor of H.R. 2387, the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act on June 15, 2015 (click here to watch).

“These veterans deserve that land, that’s the whole intent of this bill...," said Congressman Young. “Why is the Department of Interior so intent in not allowing these veterans to have their land?  What’s the big hang up? If it stays in trust, mineral deposits stay in your ownership; this is their cultural land, why can’t you let them have their land?” 

Congressman Don Young Discussing the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act in June, 2015 (click here to watch).

 

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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: AFN 50th Annual Convention Address

2016-10-24 06:52:27


Congressman Young: Maine Lobster Wholesale Tour

2016-10-07 23:30:51


B-Roll: Rep. Young Touring Portland, ME based lobster wholesale

2016-10-07 23:03:09


Ocean Observing Systems Mini-Science Summit

2016-10-07 23:03:06


Maine-Alaska Arctic Roundtable

2016-10-07 23:03:03


Young Speaks on Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Water Transportation and Infrastructure

2016-09-27 22:11:01


Congressman Young Push Long Sought Provisions and Reforms in Energy Conference Hearing

2016-09-08 21:31:15


Rep. Young: FY 17 Interior Amendments - FWS and NPS, Arctic Lease Sales, Placer Mining

2016-07-14 19:50:14


Rep. Young: FY 17 Interior Appropriations - Blocking ANWR 10-02 Wilderness Designation

2016-07-14 19:50:12


Rep. Young: FY17 Interior Appropriations - DOI Arctic Rule

2016-07-14 19:50:10


Rep. Don Young: H.R. 5558, VAHighly Rural Veteran Transportation Program Extension Act

2016-06-23 22:36:05


Congressman Don Young: Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016

2016-06-08 17:12:29


Congressman Young: Memorial Day Message

2016-05-27 23:05:34


Congressman Young Offering Amendment to WRDA 2016

2016-05-26 19:39:38


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


Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
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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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