Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young approved S. 84, legislation granting a waiver to Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis to serve as the next Secretary of Defense. The waiver, which would exempt Gen. Mattis from federal law requiring a minimum of seven years between military service and appointment as Secretary of Defense, passed the House 268 to 151. The bill, which passed in the Senate 81 to 17, is expected to be signed by President Obama in the coming days.
“Given the unique opportunity to weigh in on this important nomination, I did not make this decision lightly,” said Congressman Don Young. “Having reviewed General Mattis’ career and extraordinary record of service, I fully believe he has the skills and experience necessary to lead the Department of Defense. General Mattis has led, and lost, men and women in combat – in the Persian Gulf War, in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has a firm understanding of the conflicts we have engaged in and the enemies we continue to face. He is aptly prepared to face the challenges in the Global War on Terror and to ensure the safety and security of the American people. Although some have asserted that General Mattis’ military experience is a liability in his continued service to our nation, I believe his record and experience – in extremely challenging situations and circumstances – may help him keep our men and women in uniform out of harm’s way. To say he understands the true price of war would be an understatement. I look forward to his swift confirmation, as we work to avoid a leadership gap in the Department Defense through the transition of Administrations.”
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the announcement by ConocoPhillips newest discovery in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska:
“Those adamantly opposed to resource development, including our current Interior Secretary, have attempted to sell the Alaskan and American people on the idea that Alaska’s energy sector is on its last legs. I fundamentally disagree,” said Alaska Congressman Don Young. Today’s announcement by ConocoPhillips – a discovery in the NPR-A that could yield 300 million barrels of oil – is living proof that Alaska’s abundant energy sector is alive and well. Although we face many challenges, many at the hands of an unwilling federal partner, there is great hope that we will once again fill the Trans-Alaska pipeline, provide high-paying/quality jobs for our workforce and reignite an industry which has provided so much for our state. As we move forward, I will continue to work with our federal officials – including the next Interior Secretary – to ensure development within the NPR-A, an area set aside precisely for resource development, is encouraged and not met with endless roadblocks.”
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today released the following statement after House passage S.Con.Res.3, a congressional budget resolution laying the foundation for a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act:
“For years, this Administration has done its best to convince the American people that the President’s healthcare law is working and is in fact affordable. However, in Alaska and across the nation we’ve seen the exact opposite,” said Congressman Don Young. “The facts speak for themselves. Year after year, Alaskans have faced skyrocketing premiums and soaring deductibles – pricing hardworking individuals and families out of access to healthcare entirely. The promise for increased competition and lower prices represents another major failure in this law, as insurers flee the individual marketplace and leave Alaska and more than one third of U.S. counties with just one insurer in 2017. Simply put, the real world application of this government-knows-best mandate has resulted in broken promises, inadequate results and a demand for change from the American people.
“In many ways, we are at a fundamental crossroads – a law on the verge of collapse and a unique opportunity, granted by the American people, to transition towards a more stable healthcare system,” Young said. “Given the numerous consequences of the law, I have chosen, without reservation, to move forward with a process to repeal and replace this unworkable law. This budget resolution represents the first step in an effort to transition away from Obamacare, and move towards a system that gives American consumers the choice and flexibility they need and deserve.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today introduced companion bills to accelerate an equal value land exchange between the Alaska Mental Health Trust (Trust) and the U.S. Forest Service. The legislation, which nearly passed last Congress, protects important community viewsheds, local trails, and other conservation values while expediting much-needed timber for local operators and generating new revenues for mental health services across the state.
“Our bill protects lands that are worth protecting, provides critical timber to keep our sawmills running, and raises money for mental health programs in the midst of our state’s ongoing fiscal crisis,” Murkowski said. “This is a widely supported, common sense solution that will deliver real economic and environmental benefits for Southeast communities. It is one of my top legislative priorities, and my goal is to have it signed into law as quickly as possible.”
“This common sense solution to a specific issue that Southeast Alaska faces is a perfect example of the federal government working cooperatively with local stakeholders,” Sullivan said. “It’s a win for communities and for the federal government, and we should pass this bill immediately.”
“This legislation represents a unified effort by stakeholders to resolve a longstanding issue facing Southeast Alaska,” Young said. “Not only does this assist the Alaska Mental Health Trust fulfill its mandate and mission, it also helps protect the region’s timber industry – which is quickly running out of timber to mill. I encourage the swift consideration and passage of this bill.”
The Forest Service and the Trust have already agreed to the land exchange in principle. It is accounted for in the Forest Service’s Tongass Land Management Plan amendment, but would take years to execute without expediting legislation.
In the exchange, the Forest Service would receive approximately 17,341 acres of the Trust’s “non-federal” land. Much of the land comprises the scenic backdrops of Southeast communities such as Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Wrangell, and Juneau. Under the terms of the bill, the exchanged lands will be added to the Tongass National Forest and managed to protect the scenic backdrops of the adjacent communities.
In return, the Trust will receive approximately 20,580 acres of Forest Service “federal” land that it may use to generate funds to help run the State of Alaska’s mental health system. The Trust will allow timber harvesting on some of its acquired lands to fund its mental health programs and provide “bridge” timber needed to keep current Southeast sawmills operating during the transition to more second-growth harvesting.
Murkowski is chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and has been a leader on this issue since exchange talks began. She has prioritized the passage of the time-sensitive AMHT legislation and held a legislative hearing on the delegation’s stand-alone bill, S. 3006, last September. Late last year, Murkowski also sought to move the AMHT land exchange bill through the conference report for her broad, bipartisan energy bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016.
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young today continued its efforts to stem the tide of overbearing and stifling federal regulations through the passage of H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) of 2017. The bill, which combines six separate reform bills that have previously passed the House, represents a multi-pronged approach to develop a transparent regulatory process and ensure regulators implement federal law in a manner that limits the burden placed upon the American people and economy. H.R. 5 passed the House this evening by a vote of 238 to 183.
“For too long, the lives of Alaskans and Americans have been ruled by regulatory law – never passed by Congress or supported by the people,” said Congressman Don Young. “This type of regulatory sprawl – ‘death by regulation’ for small businesses and the American economy – must be reformed in order to simplify the process, create stability across numerous sectors of the economy, and ensure regulations are working in the best interest of people and not Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. This cohesive reforms package, along with efforts taken in the House last week – the REINS Act and the Midnight Rules Relief Act – represents a unified commitment to hold the Executive Branch accountable, reduce the suffocating impacts of the federal government, and restore certainty in the rulemaking process.”
The avalanche of regulations by the federal government has resulted in costly, unnecessary, and ill-considered policies that continue to reduce America’s competitiveness. Estimates show that federal regulations in the United States now impose an annual burden of $1.89 trillion, equaling $15,000 per year for U.S. households and over 10% of America’s GDP. H.R. 5 would require commonsense reforms to the regulatory process, including provisions to ensure the Executive Branch adopts the least costly method to effectively implement federal law.
The Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which has passed the House in the previous three Congresses, would accomplish the following:
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement condemning the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Easter Interior Management Plan for Alaska:
“The management plan approved by the BLM for Alaska’s Eastern Interior shows the Obama Administration’s true disdain for the State of Alaska and its people,” said Congressman Don Young. “Regardless of what the BLM says, Alaskans know that a vast majority of this area will be managed like wilderness – restricting access and blocking resource development. This area has a century old mining heritage – which is still active today – and it is appalling that President Obama, weeks before leaving office, finds it necessary to target these hard-working Alaskan families and small businesses. Again and again, the BLM believes it is above the law. This action not only breaks the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which directs the BLM to manage lands for multiple use, including mining, but it also violates ANILCA’s “no more” clause which prevents further withdrawals by the Federal government. It’s truly disturbing that President Obama would move forward with this plan; it’s akin to putting glue in the locks before returning the keys. This, along with a number of atrocious actions taken in Alaska, will be added to the laundry list of items we’ll be working to overturn come January 20th."
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today voted in favor of H.R. 26, the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Congressional approval for all major rules resulting in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. The legislation represents a longstanding effort by Congress to curb the massive expansion of unnecessary and overly burdensome regulatory law that continues to stifle growth and eliminate opportunities for the American people.
Congressman Young on the Passage of H.R. 26, the REINS Act (click here to watch)
“The REINS Act is very simple, it requires any regulations that cost more than $100 million has to be reviewed by Congress,” said Congressman Don Young. “Federal regulations are often ill-considered, ill-conceived and often not scientific. It creates a tremendous burden on our economy – in building, in construction, in mining, in drilling and just living your everyday life.”
“This legislation we just passed – very frankly – is necessary because we’ve been governed by regulatory law through the bureaucracy of our federal agencies; not through the Congress,” Young said. “What the Congress has done is say, “No more.” We are in fact going to do this as the Constitution says we should do this. We are going to pass laws and the regulatory agencies are going to follow those laws... It costs jobs, tremendous costs to every aspect of our lives, slows down progress and in fact hurts our economy. So I’m happy we passed this; one of the first steps we’ve taken that puts forward a new attitude to get things done.”
Alaska Congressman Don Young, an original cosponsor of the REINS Act, has long supported efforts to strengthen Congress’ authority over the rulemaking process – which for too long has favored unelected bureaucrats rather than the American people – and eliminate federal regulations and red tape that are needlessly costly or simply unnecessary.
The REINS Act would require that Congress pass a joint resolution of approval for any major rule before such rule can take effect. This resolution guarantees an expedited up or down vote on major rules, which must be passed within 70 days legislative days of a major rule being proposed.
The REINS Act includes certain common sense exceptions.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young was sworn into office today to begin his 23rd term as Alaska’s sole Member in the United States House of Representatives. Wasting no time, Young’s first Congressional action was introducing 38 pieces of legislation – many of which saw great promise and support in the U.S. House, but ultimately fell victim to Congressional gridlock and unwilling partners in the White House.
Alaska Congressman Don Young shares a message with Alaskans on the first day of the 115th Congress (click hereto watch).
“Right off the bat, after being sworn-in, I introduced 38 bills today. It sounds like a lot, but most of these bills were bills that have passed the House under the [Obama] Administration,” said Congressman Young. “I believe with a new President and the Senate we’ll be able to get some of this legislation done very quickly….So this is an interesting period of time. We’re trying to play catch up on much of the work we did in the previous year – passing many bills to the Senate side but ultimately not getting them passed into law. We have a new President and we hope we can get these things done.”
Congressman Young, the most senior Republican and second longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, also shared his gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to once again serve the Alaskan people in Congress.
Congressman Don Young, Anne Walton Young and Speaker Paul Ryan during a ceremonial swearing-in (click here for B-Roll)
"It’s 23 times that I’ve held up my hand and sworn to uphold the Constitution – I’ve tried to do that throughout my career,” said Congressman Young. “I’m somewhat concerned, sometimes people forget the Constitution; they forget America. Because it’s expedient to respond – yes even the President-elect or the media – without looking at the rights of individuals. I’m going to keep fighting for those rights and fighting for the people of Alaska, especially when I believe our federal agencies have overstepped their boundaries.
Click here for a complete list bills introduced by Congressman Young on the first day of the 115th Congress.
### Read More
Washington, D.C. - Amid growing reports of additional withdrawals that the Obama administration plans to impose in Alaska in its final days in office, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young (all R-Alaska) today wrote President Barack Obama urging him to take no further action in Alaska and requesting a meeting to discuss the economic damage his previous decisions are causing in Alaska.
“On behalf of the people we serve, we write to seek an appointment with you to discuss federal land and water management in Alaska. Critically, we request that this meeting occur before you make any additional decisions that will harm our state’s future.”
In their letter, the delegation cited the Obama administration’s record of locking down development in federal areas in Alaska, which harms the state’s economy, undermines the Statehood Compact, and the security and competitiveness of our nation.
“During your time in office, Alaska’s ability to produce energy, minerals, and other resources for the good of the nation has come under direct and sustained assault. Your administration has withdrawn tens of thousands of square miles of our Outer Continental Shelf from energy exploration. You have canceled previously scheduled Arctic lease sales, removed Arctic lease sales that were proposed for the next Five-Year Program, and created a chaotic regulatory environment that appears designed to convince companies to relinquish their existing leases.
“Your administration has also locked away half of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, imposed costly and extralegal mitigation requirements on the companies seeking to develop there, sought to turn the Arctic Coastal Plain into de facto wilderness, issued land management plans that replace opportunity with regulatory burden, seized authority to manage wildlife in our national parks and refuges from the State of Alaska, and most recently designated the northern Bering Sea as a “climate resilience area”—a vague term with no legal basis.”
The delegation urged the president not to impose any further withdrawals in Alaska, and to instead meet with them so they can speak “openly and directly” about the consequences of his actions. The delegation also called out the President’s decision to focus on new development restrictions, while ignoring life-and-death issues in the state.
“These decisions, and others made during your administration, have consistently been executed over our objections, without meaningful consultation, and have drawn widespread opposition from the people we serve. These decisions also come even as life-and-death issues affecting Alaskans – such as the need for a short road for the people of King Cove, who have endured 52 medevacs in the past three years after your administration refused to protect their health and safety – are ignored and unaddressed.”
For a copy of the delegation letter, click here.Read More
ANCHORAGE, AK – Senator Lisa Murkowski, Senator Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young (all R-Alaska) today slammed President Barack Obama for unilaterally placing the entire Chukchi Sea and the vast majority of the Beaufort Sea off-limits to energy development.
The sweeping withdrawal disrespects the Alaskan people, is not based on sound science, and contradicts the administration’s own conclusions about Arctic development. It will have lasting consequences for Alaska’s economy, state finances, and the security and competitiveness of the nation. In making the decision, President Obama yet again sided with extreme environmentalists, while betraying his utter lack of commitment to improving the lives of the people who actually live in the Arctic.
Making matters worse, the joint announcement with Canada amounts to an incredibly lopsided trade for the United States. While President Obama’s Arctic withdrawal is indefinite, Canada will review the status of its Arctic waters every five years. With Russian development already underway in the Arctic, it may be just a few short years before our nation is bracketed by activity on both sides and importing the oil and natural gas resulting from it.
“The only thing more shocking than this reckless, short-sighted, last-minute gift to the extreme environmental agenda is that President Obama had the nerve to claim he is doing Alaska a favor,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski. “For him to suggest to the people of the Arctic that they must rely on a nonexistent government working group and $9 million a year in charity as a substitute for real economic opportunity is a slap in the face to countless Alaskans. President Obama has once again treated the Arctic like a snow globe, ignoring the desires of the people who live, work, and raise a family there. I cannot wait to work with the next administration to reverse this decision.”
“This announcement by the Obama Administration is an affront to our representative democracy,” said Senator Sullivan. “Make no mistake – the President betrayed Alaskans today – especially those living in the Arctic – who were not consulted, and instead gave one final Christmas gift to coastal environmental elites. This decision is not about environmental protection or the economics of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. This is hopefully the last act of a callous presidency, one that lacks any regard for America’s economic future and the hardworking families of Alaska. Presiding over a lost decade of economic growth for America, Obama’s legacy will not be one of transparency and inclusion of affected stakeholders, but instead one of executive overreach at the command of extreme special interests with agendas far removed from and unsympathetic to middle-class Alaskan families and other hardworking Americans.”
“Hell-bent on locking away our resources and suffocating our already weakened economy, President Obama is one step closer to solidifying his place next to Jimmy Carter as Alaska’s worst nightmare,” said Congressman Don Young. “Frankly, this is a cowardly move by a lame duck President – eight years to take this action, yet it comes at the 11th hour with little to no support from Alaskans. I’ve been adamant with this administration; Alaska is not and should not be used as the poster child for a pandering environmental agenda. This decision only strengthens our resolve – as a resources oriented state – to overturn the heavy hand of government and empower our people and communities with new social and economic opportunities. The groundwork is already being laid to overturn this terrible decision.”
The Beaufort and Chukchi seas together form one of the most prospective basins in the world, with an estimated 23.6 billion barrels of oil and 104.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. A 2011 analysis found that development of those resources would create an annual average of 55,000 jobs over a 50-year period and generate a total of $193 billion for local, state, and federal treasuries. According to a 2014 poll, 73 percent of Alaskans support Arctic OCS development.
2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
ConocoPhillips annc – discovery w/300 million barrels of oil – living proof AK's energy future in alive and well https://t.co/f7rBMYBiu9
I voted to move forward with a process to repeal and replace Obamacare. See my statement here: https://t.co/Yylg9dw95z
Thank you to all the Alaskans who attended today's Inauguration Welcome Reception hosted by the delegation. It's always nice seeing so many friendly
I recently spoke to C-SPAN’s American History TV about the importance of the Inauguration and the peaceful transition of power. As I’ve
I'm going live on the Rick Rydell Show to talk about tomorrow's Inauguration. Listen in: https://www.iheart.com/live/650-keni-3014/?autoplay=true&pname=608&campid=header&cid=%2Fonair%2Frick-rydell-3140%2F
For years, this Administration has done its best to convince the American people that the President’s healthcare law is working and is in fact
Those adamantly opposed to resource development, including our current Interior Secretary, have attempted to sell the Alaskan and American people