Donald Young

Donald Young


House Passes Fisheries Legislation Aimed at Defeating and Deterring Pirate Fishing


Washington, D.C. – The House today passed bipartisan legislation aimed at deterring and eliminating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, also known as “pirate” fishing, a longstanding issue widely identified as a leading threat to sustainable fisheries worldwide.

Congressman Young on the passage of H.R. 774, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 (click here to watch).

Alaska Congressman Don Young, an original cosponsor of the bill and longtime advocate for ocean conservation efforts, today offered the following statement upon passage of H.R. 774, the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015:

“I think everyone can agree that pirate fishing should not and cannot be tolerated,” said Congressman Don Young. “These significant efforts will help defeat the growing number of criminals stealing our resources and harming our local economies. As a staunch support of our oceans and U.S. fishing industry, I’ve proudly worked to give our authorities the tools they need to fight back and eliminate these illegal vessels, in addition to ensuring the millions of pounds of illegally caught seafood and fish never reach the global markets.”

H.R. 774 significantly strengthens existing enforcement measures by increasing U.S. capacity for inspection, identification, and monitoring of illegal foreign vessels. The legislation would amend several international agreements to incorporate civil and criminal penalties against IUU violators, and broaden data sharing authority with foreign governments in order to identify and penalize nations not in compliance with fisheries management regulations.

H.R. 774 would also implement the Port States Measures Agreement, a provision which further works to prevent and deter IUU fishing by placing additional controls on foreign vessels seeking entry into U.S. ports, ultimately restricting their access to U.S. markets.

Passed today by voice vote, the legislation has garnered support from a broad coalition of stakeholders in the fishing and conservation community. H.R. 774 is the product of extensive negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in the House during the 113th and 114th Congress.


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Congressman Young Shares Message in Celebration of Ted Stevens Day


Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared a message in celebration of Ted Stevens Day, the fourth Saturday in July: 

Congressman Young Shares Message in Celebration of Ted Stevens Day (click here to watch).

“This is the 5th annual Ted Stevens Day, July 25th, 2015. Of course the theme is ‘get out and play’. God bless you all that live in Alaska. Ted feels the same way about it; too many of us stay inside our homes in the summer time, but he believed in getting out.

“Ted and I were good friends. We worked together; we were a team together. He always believed in fishing, going hunting once in awhile, getting together with friends and family, and participating in the great Alaska.

“A lot of Alaskans get so wrapped up in their jobs, including myself, that we forget the beauty of Alaska. We forget the great days – yes some of the warm days and the wet days – but the days we have, the beauty we have, the mountains we have, the wildlife we see. And Ted believed in that. He was one that supported a lot of great outdoor events, especially with women athletes. He was very important to that cause. But mostly he just wanted you to get out, like he did.

“Unfortunately, as you know, we lost Ted. He was doing what he wanted to do. He just finished catching a lot of fish, drinking some good red wine, and we lost him. But he wanted Alaskans to enjoy Alaska. We watched him build the state of Alaska. Every time I go around Alaska I see things that he was able to do.

“So this is a time for a little sadness because I miss him. But also a time of great joy, because he helped build Alaska and he wanted Alaskans to enjoy it. So get out and play. Get out and enjoy Alaska. Get out and be a real Alaskan. God bless you Ted and God bless all of you.”



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House Cracks Down on Sanctuary Cities, Works to Prevent Future Tragedies


Washington, D.C. – In an effort to crack down on cities that ignore federal immigration law, today the House passed bipartisan legislation to encourage cooperation between local, state and federal law enforcement. H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act, passed the House today 241 to 179.

“This important legislation represents a concentrated effort in the House to crack down on the growing number of ‘sanctuary cities’ across the country,”
said Congressman Don Young. “These cities have passed rules, regulations and statutes that, perhaps unintentionally, have created safe-havens for illegal immigration and allowed undocumented immigrants, convicted of crimes and felonies, to remain in the country. By limiting federal funds to these sanctuary cities, we send a clear and resounding message that Congress will not accept the ‘innocent bystander’ defense from these cities on the many challenges of illegal immigration.”

H.R. 3009 would deny federal funding from law-enforcement related Department of Justice programs to states or localities that operate as “sanctuary cities” and fail to enforce federal immigration laws.

Localities with policies, statues or procedures that prohibit or restrict communication with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or other government entities regarding an individual’s citizenship of immigration status, or prohibit state or local law enforcement officials from gathering information regarding an individual's citizenship or immigration status would be ineligible from the following DOJ programs:

  • State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) - SCAAP provides federal payments to states and localities that incurred correctional officer salary costs for incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens with at least one felony or two misdemeanor convictions for violations of state or local law
  • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS )- Grant program designed to advance the practice of community policing in law enforcement agencies through training and technical assistance, the development of innovative community policing strategies, and national best practices.
  • Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) - States and localities use Byrne-JAG to test emerging and evidence-based approaches to the public safety challenges in their jurisdictions, including anti-gang strategies, drug courts, reentry programs, and information sharing.

The need for H.R. 3009 was recently highlighted by the tragic murder of 32-year-old California resident Kathryn Steinle, who was allegedly shot and killed by an illegal immigrant – deported five times and convicted of seven felonies – recently released from a San Francisco jail.



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***MEDIA ALERT*** Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Two Bills, Including Young’s “Subsistence Access Management Act of 2015”


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM (ET), Alaska Congressman Don Young will chair a legislative hearing in the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs on the following bills:

H.R. 2388, the Subsistence Access Management Act of 2015 (Young - AK), to reverse the designation by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture of certain communities in the State of Alaska as non-rural.

H.R. 2388 would rescind the authority of the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture to designate an area or community as non-rural with respect to administering the Federal Subsistence Management Program on public lands within the State of Alaska pursuant to the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The bill also provides that seven areas re-designated as non-rural pursuant to the Secretaries’ revised regulation in 2007 be reinstated as rural. Finally, the bill would set forth that only an Act of Congress may re-designate an area as non-rural for subsistence purposes on public lands in Alaska.

For more on H.R. 2388, click here.

H.R. 1880, the Albuquerque Indian School Land Transfer Act (Lujan Grisham – NM), to require the Secretary of the Interior to take into trust 4 parcels of Federal land for the benefit of certain Indian Pueblos in the State of New Mexico.

H.R. 1880 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to take four tracts of land totaling 11.11 acres into trust for the benefit of nineteen (19) Pueblos in the State of New Mexico. These lands were historically part of the Albuquerque Indian School site, which are culturally and historically significant to the Pueblos. Upon transfer, the lands may be used by the 19 Pueblos only for educational, health, cultural, business, and economic development purposes by these Pueblo tribes. Under the bill, gaming would be prohibited on these lands taken into trust.

For more on H.R. 1880, click here.

A live video stream of the IIANA Subcommittee hearing will be broadcast at House Committee on Natural Resources. The meeting, which will be held in 1334 Longworth House Office Building, is open to the public.


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Bipartisan Group in House Introduce Bill to Support Language Education


Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young recently joined Reps. David Price (D-NC), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), and Joe Crowley (D-NY) to introduce H.R. 3096, the World Language Advancement Act, which would help state and local school districts implement innovative K-12 language programs, including those that focus on Alaska Native and American Indian languages.

Since 2012, there has been no federal support for world language instruction in elementary and secondary schools.  The World Language Advancement Act would help fill this gap and foster the language learning pipeline by providing competitive grants to states and local school districts to support the establishment, improvement, or expansion of innovative programs in language learning in grades K-12. 

“In addition to increasing academic achievement through innovative, community-based learning programs, I am particularly pleased to see the inclusion of Alaska Native and American Indian languages in the World Language Advancement Act,” said Congressman Don Young. “Teaching, preserving, and promoting the use of indigenous languages is tremendously important for Native communities in Alaska, and across the country. I am proud to be part of this important piece of legislation that works to protect and preserve our state’s more than 20 Alaska Native languages and other language learning programs.”

“In today’s global economy, K-12 foreign language and cultural knowledge have become necessary skills for government, private-sector, and non-profit employers,” said Congressman Price.  “Federal incentives will help to ensure we are providing these competencies and equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills to communicate and collaborate across borders.”

“Fluency in a foreign language is critical in today’s 21st Century global economy,” said Congressman Lance.  “The World Language Advancement Act will help state and local school districts implement the type of innovative language learning programs in elementary and secondary schools that will help increase U.S. economic global competitiveness for future generations of American workers."

“With over 150 languages spoken in Queens, I’ve seen firsthand how language can be a gateway to cultural understanding,” said Congressman Crowley.  “In addition to increasing our young people’s interest in other cultures, studies show that learning a foreign language greatly benefits students’ success in other core areas, such as math and critical thinking.  We should do everything we can to prepare and equip the next generation of American workers with the skills needed to compete in the global economy, and that includes expanding opportunities to learn foreign languages.”

Early language learning has been shown to strengthen performance across all academic subjects, yet only 25 percent of elementary schools in the United States offer any world language studies and only half of all American high school students take one year of a world language.   

Alaska is currently home to a number of language immersion programs, including a Yup’ik language program in Bethel, AK, a Spanish language program in Wasilla, and a diverse world languages program in the Anchorage School District; all of which could benefit from the passage of H.R. 3096.


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Congressman Young Shares Comment on President’s Travel to Alaska


Anchorage, AK – Alaska Congressman Don Young today commented on the White House’s announcement that President Obama will travel to Alaska this August:

“After all the ‘legacy building’ he’s done in Alaska, I guess we’re owed more than a refueling stop.”


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Congressman Young Shares Statement on Highway Funding Extension


Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young, former Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, released the following statement after House passage of H.R. 3038, the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2015:

“As the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee when the last long-term highway funding bill was enacted, I can personally attest to how difficult it is to construct such a package. Our nation will always need federal funds for roads and bridges, which is why I believe it makes sense to craft a multiyear package that gives federal and state transportation departments the ability to plan vital, long term projects. There’s no question, under the current fiscal environment, Congress will struggle to find funding sources to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the committees of jurisdiction, along with their staffs, to tackle the considerable challenge we face in finding a fiscally responsibly method to pay for these projects. I applaud and thank Chairman Bill Shuster, Chairman Paul Ryan, and House leadership for considering all reasonable options to reach our goal.”



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Congressman Young Shares Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal


Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the Obama Administration’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran:

“For months we’ve heard that a deal with Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism and repeat offender of human rights violations, must establish concrete and enforceable measures to dismantle its nuclear weapons ambitions, infrastructure and capabilities. Unsurprisingly, detailed reports and information show that these negotiations have fallen far short from what Congress and the American people demanded.

“As the Administration prepares to roll out its dog and pony show in support of this deal, the fact remains that this agreement, if properly enforced, will only delay Iran’s longstanding pursuit of a nuclear weapon, while providing billions of dollars in sanctions relief that support radicalism in the region. 

“The idea that Iran, a nation with 10 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, is pursuing a nuclear energy program for legitimate purposes goes beyond all conventional wisdom. Setting aside permanent economic sanctions in exchange for manipulated access for verification and temporary compliance will only rubber stamp the path to a nuclear armed Iran.

“Congress must not abandon the strict level of scrutiny we called for upon passing the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which is why I will oppose the President’s deal to lift economic sanctions on Iran.”



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Congressman Young Works to Strengthen Small Business


Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young today passed three pieces of legislation aimed at strengthening local economies and increasing small business across the country, a particularly important issue given the fact that the nation’s 28 million small businesses account for more than 50% of all U.S. sales and private sector jobs; a figure echoed in Alaska.

“In Alaska and across the nation, a strong and healthy economy depends on the many contributions of our small businesses,” said Congressman Don Young. “Seven out of 10 jobs, more than half of the country’s private workforce, and a majority of innovations all come from small businesses. These entrepreneurs and risk takers are truly the engine that drives the American economy. I’m proud to support a number of efforts to encourage and support small business, including these three commonsense reforms and initiatives that work to build brighter and better economies.”

The overwhelmingly bipartisan bills that passed this evening focused on the following:

  • assisting veterans starting new businesses,
  • modernizing a micro-loan program to help first-generation entrepreneurs get their business off the ground,
  • strengthening successful public-private partnerships that supports small businesses obtain private capital.

Veterans Entrepreneurship Act (H.R. 2499):

This bill makes it easier for veterans to get the capital needed to start their own business by waiving the upfront guarantee fee on Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Express Loans. H.R. 2499 would permanently extend the SBA fee waiver, set to expire in September, as long as the program is self-sustaining.

Microloan Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2670):

Small-dollar loans are often cited as a leading barrier for new business and first-generation entrepreneurs. This bill modernizes the SBA’s Microloan Program by allowing lending partners greater flexibility in providing loans and technical assistance. H.R. 2670 would raise the amount that intermediary lenders could borrow from the SBA, from $5 million to $6 million, and make other changes to enable SBA to lend more money to nonprofits that provide microloans to small businesses.

Small Business Investment Company Capital Act (H.R. 1023):

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program is a public-private partnership that provides small businesses access to equity and debt financing. H.R. 1023 would increase the SBIC’s leverage cap by $125 million in order to increase the flow of private funds into small businesses and assist in growth.

Congressman Young touring Alaska Glacier Seafoods in Juneau, AK.


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AK Congressional Delegation Speaks Out Against Troop Cuts at Fort Richardson


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaska’s Congressional Delegation today is responding to the news of continued significant reductions in the size and capability of the U.S. Army.  In addition to cuts in Georgia and Hawaii, the Army told the delegation it will be downsizing its operations in Alaska at Fort Richardson by cutting 2,600 soldiers there and 75 soldiers at Fort Wainwright.

“Along with thousands of Alaskans, I find this decision devastating, far beyond what it means to our state economy, but what it means to America’s defense.  It is staggering that the Obama administration is making such short-sighted decisions and ignoring the emerging threat before our noses presented by Russia, China and North Korea,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski.  “The Secretary of Defense told me he wants a robust Arctic defense immediately, the Army Chief of Staff testified on the need to maintain a strong military presence in Alaska and every cabinet official and military commander I speak to acknowledges the need for a strong Arctic posture. The Alaska Congressional delegation will continue to challenge this decision and seek a more responsible outcome to defend our nation in this vital and volatile region.”

“I am extremely frustrated with today’s decision. But I take some solace that the U.S. Army left the door open to reversing this decision by not eliminating a full brigade from Alaska,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “While I understand these troop reductions reflect the Administration’s world view of what the Army should be, I do not believe that the Department of Defense’s decision adhered to the Senate’s defense guidance in the NDAA. This decision was obviously made without a full understanding of the geostrategic importance of Alaska’s troops to our national security. Since day one, I have worked on the Senate Armed Services Committee to call attention to Russia’s increasingly aggressive military buildup in the Arctic. And as I’m sure President Obama would even admit, Russia is not a JV team and neither is North Korea. Like this year’s National Defense Authorization Act says, we need more forces in the Asia-Pacific – like Alaska – not less. These decisions need to be made based on strategy, not on bean-counting. Therefore, I have placed a hold on a senior DOD official who was set to be confirmed by the Senate today. I will continue the hold until I get answers to questions about how this affects our national security, and continue to work with our Congressional delegation to reverse this strategically misguided decision.”

"I was extremely disturbed to hear the Army even consider – let alone reach a final decision on – plans to reduce troop levels in Alaska," said Congressman Don Young. "In these times of growing global threats, especially in the Asia-Pacific and Arctic regions, the Army should be increasing its presence in Alaska – not cutting it by more than 2,600 soldiers. While the Army masks its decision as a budgetary issue, they’ve failed to fully consider the strategic interests of the nation. Losing the only airborne brigade in the Pacific Theater – the only airborne brigade with cold-weather, mountainous, and Arctic training – will negatively affect the Army’s ability to operate in the Pacific region for years to come. As the Alaska delegation has done in the past, we will continue to fight this decision to ensure there is a strong Army presence in the most strategic location in the world: Alaska."

In light of the Pacific region’s volatility and the heightened Russian aggression in the Arctic, Alaska’s Congressional Delegation reached out to the U.S. Army in March urging them to consider adding soldiers in Alaska – not reductions.


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


Meeting with Benjamin Tucker of the Yakima Nation Read More


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


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


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


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


Meeting with Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill Read More


Meeting with Dalton Riser, Student Wasilla Read More


Meeting with Mallory Givens, UAA Student Read More


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

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Rep. Young on Passage of Fisheries Legislation Aimed at Defeating and Deterring Pirate Fishing

2015-07-27 22:57:11

Congressman Young Shares Message in Celebration of Ted Stevens Day

2015-07-24 18:12:39

Young: "Remember, there are people who live in the Arctic Circle"

2015-07-16 00:22:38

Rep. Young Shares Statement in Response to Army Reductions at Fort Richardson and Wainwright

2015-07-08 23:10:11

Congressman Young: Administration ANWR Plan is a "Betrayal to the Alaskan People"

2015-07-07 22:05:19

Congressman Young on Interior Appropriations Amendment: "We Should Follow the Law"

2015-07-07 21:55:34

Rep. Young Amendment Restricts Funding for Implementing Administration’s ANWR Designation

2015-07-07 21:13:49

Congressman Young Shares a Father's Day Message with Alaskans on Summer Solstice

2015-06-21 15:21:00

Congressman Don Young Speaking in Favor of H.R. 1335, Bill to Reauthorize Magnuson-Stevens Act

2015-06-01 23:50:33

Rep. Young Sharing His Thoughts Following the Passage of H.R. 336, the Anchorage Land Transfer Act

2015-06-01 23:27:23

Congressman Young Speaking in Support of H.R. 336, the Anchorage Land Transfer Act

2015-06-01 23:25:04

Congressman Young Shares Memorial Day Message with Alaskans

2015-05-22 21:07:49

Congressman Young Shares Thoughts on MSA Reauthorization Prior to Committee Markup

2015-04-30 17:14:38

Congressman Young Shares Thoughts on U.S. Chairmanship of Arctic Council

2015-04-24 21:54:44

Congressman Young and the Last Frontier Honor Flight at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

2015-04-24 19:48:42

Congressman Young Highlighting the Work of the 114th Congress on Its 100th Day

2015-04-16 22:07:58

Congressman Young Testifying Before the House Armed Services Committee on Priorities Within NDAA

2015-04-14 21:43:02

Heather Schloeman, Boys & Girls Club Kenai Peninsula, Discussing the Summer Meals Act of 2015

2015-03-26 20:23:03

Congressman Young Discussing House Passage of FY16 Budget Resolution

2015-03-25 23:41:06

Congressman Young: F-35 Lighting Cockpit Demonstrator

2015-03-25 22:00:53

Contact Information

2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5765
Fax 202-225-0425

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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