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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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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Washington, D.C. - Alaska Congressman Don Young today filed a letter with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives updating his previous years Financial Disclosure (FD) statements. The letter amends Congressman Young’s FD statements between 1992–2014 to correct a clerical error within his May 2016 amendment that misidentified the date in which he became a one-third owner in his family’s farm.
Further, the letter corrects an oversight regarding delayed lease payments Congressman Young received – totaling $4100 over three years (2001 to 2003) – from a three-year oil and gas lease sale upon his family’s farm.
* The House Natural Resources Committee – a committee in which Congressman Young sits – does not have any jurisdiction involving lease sales upon private lands.
Upon discovering these oversights, and those that preceded them, Congressman Young has taken every action to self-report these incidents to the House. Today’s letter fulfills Congressman Young’s obligations to amend his prior year filings.
Click here to view the letter submitted to the House Clerk.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today introduced legislation to rename a section of federal education law in honor of Breanna “Bree” Moore, a young Alaskan woman murdered by her boyfriend in 2014.
“Breanna Moore will be remembered in so many ways; for her love and passion for life, her kindness and generosity to all those that knew her, and her dedication to make this world a better place. Although I did not personally know Bree, her story and the tragic events that led to her death are a constant reminder that we must never stop working to end this nation’s epidemic of domestic violence and abuse,” said Congressman Don Young. “I am thankful to Bree’s parents, Butch and Cindy, for their tireless advocacy to save others from facing the heartbreak and loss their family felt on June 26, 2014. This legislation, introduced alongside Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, is just a small step in honoring the life of Breanna Moore.”
Congressman Young meeting with Breanna Moore’s parents, Butch and Cindy, in Anchorage.
In 2015, Congress passed the first major reform and reauthorization to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) since the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) became law in 2002. Section 4108 of that law allows schools to use Safe and Healthy Students program funding to “improve instructional practices for developing relationship-building skills, such as effective communication, and improve safety through the recognition and prevention of coercion, violence, or abuse, including teen and dating violence, stalking, domestic abuse, and sexual violence and harassment.” Congressman Young’s legislation would allow Section 4108 to be referred to as “Bree’s Law.”
The legislation would:
Washington, D.C. – This week Alaska Congressman Don Young was presented the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) – the nation’s leading advocate for small businesses. The biennial recognition is given to Members of Congress for their commitment and outstanding support for America’s small business owners.
NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan presenting Congressman Young with the Guardian of Small Business Award
“Small businesses are the economic engine of our nation; they drive innovation, employ more than 70 percent of our nation’s workforce, and support communities and families across our great nation,” said Congressman Don Young. “I’m honored to once again receive this recognition, but more importantly proud to support efforts in Congress that strengthen our economies, protect American workers, and reduce regulatory burdens harming our small businesses.”
As the nation’s leading advocate for small business, the NFIB recognizes Members of Congress on a biennial basis for their record of supporting key legislation identified by American small business owners. In the 114th Congress, NFIB evaluated Members of the House on a range of issues, including efforts to repeal and improve the Affordable Care Act, to reduce the tax burden facing American families and small businesses, and pushing back against job-killing rules and regulations.
"Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows our members and other small business owners who is really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Based on his voting record, Rep. Young is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.”
Congressman Young, who received a 100 percent voting record by the NFIB, was evaluated on the following pieces of legislation in the 114th Congress:
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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, and Congressman Don Young introduced the Ensuring Health Care Opportunities Act of 2016 which will help Alaskans struggling with the high cost of health insurance, and strive to attract more insurance companies to Alaska.
President Obama, and many of those who voted for the Affordable Care Act, promised that those who liked their healthcare coverage could keep it under Obamacare, and that the act would lower costs and increase competition. The President said that every plan would offer an “affordable, basic package.” Six years later, hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly those in rural states like Alaska, have seen premiums and deductibles skyrocket, and choices decrease with an exodus of insurance companies. A recent Gallup poll reveals that 29% of Americans say they have been directly hurt by Obamacare, and 51% of Americans disapprove of the law.
When the Affordable Care Act became law, Alaskans had their choice of five insurers offering individual coverage on the federal exchange. Today, Alaska is one of as many as eight states down to one insurance company offering such policies. Further, one-in-four counties across the county are down to one insurance company offering individual plans.
Until full repeal is realized, Alaskans are desperate for solutions. The Ensuring Health Care Opportunities Act would allow Alaskans, along with residents of states and localities with only one insurance company offering plans on the exchange, the option to buy health insurance that doesn’t include certain Obamacare mandates that might not apply to them, like mental health services, addiction treatment and maternity care – services which every health care policy today is required to cover.
“The cost of health care coverage is crippling Alaska’s middle class,” Senator Sullivan said. “The stories I hear and the letters I receive from my constituents being forced to buy insurance they can’t afford, and insurance they can’t use because of high deductibles, are heartbreaking. The President and the law’s supporters are M.I.A. as announcement after announcement comes out detailing the abject failure of Obamacare, taking many Americans’ livelihoods with it. Something has to be done. Until we can repeal Obamacare, this bill will provide Alaskans what they have been asking for – a real choice in policies.”
“We have seen time and time again that the Affordable Care Act does not work for a low-population, high-risk state such as Alaska. This essential bill would once again give Alaskans a choice in their healthcare coverage, a choice that the Affordable Care Act had taken away,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am proud to join with Senator Sullivan and Congressman Young to bring relief and flexibility to Alaskans suffering from the failing ACA’s one-size-fits-all policies.”
“Long before the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, many predicted that this one-size-fits-all healthcare law simply wouldn’t work – especially in places like Alaska,” said Congressman Don Young. “With skyrocketing premiums and the loss of all but one healthcare provider, it’s clear that those predictions have come true. Alaskans need and demand relief from this overbearing government mandate, especially as our system faces near collapse. This bill takes serious efforts to confront the many healthcare challenges facing Alaskans by removing some of the most unreasonable requirements of this law, while also giving Alaskans the choice and flexibility they need and deserve.”
Background on the Ensuring Health Care Opportunities Act:
· This bill would allow states that have at least one county (or equivalent municipality) with only one insurer on the health exchange market to be exempted from certain coverage mandates in the Affordable Care Act.
· States are not required to file this exemption, and the authority is left up to the state insurance commissioner or equivalent official.
· Individuals will not be required to purchase insurance excluding these coverage mandates.
· States will have 90 days to file this exemption after the law is enacted, or 90 days once a state discovers it will have at least one county with only one insurer.
· The waiver is good for 5 years and can be recertified.
· No part of this law prevents health insurers from offering a health insurance plan with these mandates. The law simply allows for additional plans to be filed that offer more choice for the consumer as a one-size-fits-all approach has clearly not worked.
· The point of this bill is to give consumers more choice in their health insurance options while encouraging insurers to reenter states to offer more plans to meet consumer needs and demands.
· This law will not impact the preexisting condition clause of the Affordable Care Act or the ability for parents to keep children on their insurance plans until the age of 26.
Facts about the Affordable Care Act:
· A new study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation suggests there could be just one option for coverage in 31% of counties in 2017, and there might be only two in another 31%. That would give exchange customers in large swaths of the U.S. far less choice than they had this year, when 7% of counties had one insurer and 29% had two.
· 974 counties have only one insurer and make up part of 23 states.
· According to the American Action Forum, premium increases associated with coverage of these mandates have ranged from 0.13 percent in Rhode Island to 33 percent in Maine, with most states expecting single-digit increases.
Media reports on the ACA’s impact on Alaskans:
“Prior to implementation of the ACA, a consumer could choose which services and coverage they were willing to pay for and at what price point. Now, the federal government chooses for them, and they are required to pay up, or pay a penalty.” – Susan Bell, former commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, writing in the Juneau Empire, September 10, 2014.
“‘You never want to be without competition – that's not good for consumers,’ [Alaska Division of Insurance Director Lori] Wing-Heier said. ‘But in our case in particular it's troubling because [companies are] leaving because they're losing money. That makes it harder to attract new insurers to the market,’ Wing-Heier said.” – Alaska Dispatch News, July 7, 2016.
“A recent cost-of-living index highlighted what many Alaskans already know: Living up north is pricey, from groceries to housing to utilities. But only in one category -- health care -- did four of the state's cities top the nation. Juneau placed first, then Fairbanks and Kodiak, with Anchorage named fourth for most costly health care, followed by Everett, Wash., and Boston, according to a report released last week by the Council for Community and Economic Research. The organization of researches measured some 300 cities based on the average 2013 prices for visits with optometrists, dentists and physicians.” – Alaska Dispatch News, March 27, 2016.
“In health insurance prices, as in the weather, Alaska and the Sun Belt are extremes. This year Alaska is the most expensive health insurance market for people who do not get coverage through their employers, while Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., are among the very cheapest.” – NPR, January 15, 2015.
“Alaska Division of Insurance Director Lori Wing-Heier responded that the market is at a point where it may become so costly that Alaskans may flee the marketplace, creating an even smaller pool, and larger rate increase. The individual market could ‘go into a death spiral,’ she told legislators.” – Alaska Dispatch News, May 17, 2016.
“Alaskans on the individual market have already seen huge increases in their health insurance rates over the past two years. Premera's rate increases averaged 37.2 percent in 2015 and 38.7 percent in 2016, while Moda's increases were 27.4 percent and 39 percent.” – Alaska Dispatch News, January 28, 2016.
“It might not be a surprise to learn that Alaskans are much more likely to be uninsured than most other Americans. They are also more likely to live in remote areas and more likely to be people of color than those in the continental United States. They’re precisely the sort of population that the Affordable Care Act was designed to serve by expanding coverage, expanding access to health care, and making health care cheaper. But instead of proving the usefulness of health reform, the new health infrastructure in the state is quietly failing.” “Health Care Falters on the Last Frontier.” – Atlantic Monthly, July 1, 2016.
Editorials from newspapers across the country:
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: “Just around the time that Barack Obama packs his bags and leaves the White House, the house of cards that is ObamaCare could come tumbling down.” (Editorial, “Obamacare's Future: Condition Critical,” Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 8/15/16)
NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: “The entire Obamacare scheme was set up on faulty premises. You can’t force people to buy health insurance they don’t want, subsidize mediocre insurance plans people can’t afford, and still claim to hold down rising medical expenses.” (Editorial, “Another ACA Failure Bad Idea Keeps Getting Worse,” Union-Leader, 9/6/16)
DETROIT NEWS: “The Affordable Care Act — commonly called Obamacare — isn’t working as it was supposed to. Insurance premiums are set to skyrocket in 2017, following increases the past several years. … President Barack Obama’s signature health care law was built on a dream. But market realities still exist, and taxpayers and patients throughout the country will continue to pay the price for the president and Congress ignoring those realities.” (Editorial, “Obamacare Begs For Congressional Review,” The Detroit News, 8/18/16)
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today proudly supported House-passage of H.R. 5985, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2015, which extends numerous Veterans Administration (VA) programs – including the Highly Rural Veteran Transportation Grant (HRTG) program – originally scheduled to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2017.
“I am committed to standing up for Alaska’s veterans—especially those who live in our many highly-rural areas.” said Congressman Don Young (R-AK). “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.
Congressman Young brought the importance of extending this program to the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s attention earlier this summer by introducing H.R. 5558, the VA Highly Rural Transportation Program Extension Act. Through numerous discussions with House Veterans Affairs Committee leadership, Congressman Young secured this one-year extension as part of H.R. 5985.
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.
Click here for a list of programs and authorities extended within H.R. 5985.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young applauded the House-passage of H.R. 4576, Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act, which implements U.S. participation in two international fishery treaties that the U.S. helped negotiate: the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fishery Resources in the South Pacific Ocean.
“As an original sponsor of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, I have long supported a fisheries management system that balances the economic needs of our fishermen and the biological needs of our fish resources,” said Congressman Don Young. “This important piece of legislation is just another step in that direction. It importantly gives the United States a critical seat at the table to lead the many conversations and negotiations regarding fisheries management decisions upon the high seas, while also ensuring American fishermen have much needed access to shared international waters. I commend Representative Radewagen and the numerous stakeholders in this process for moving this bill forward and for working to protect the well-being of our Pacific fisheries.”
Congressman Young, a tireless advocate for our nation’s fishing industry, introduced H.R.3269, North Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act, on July 28, 2015. That legislation was folded into H.R. 4576, introduced by Rep. Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa, At-large), on February 12, 2016 and passed in the House yesterday by voice vote. Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan has led similar efforts in the Senate.
H.R. 4576 also makes positive changes to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act that will allow regional fishery councils and U.S. territories to participate in the Convention in order to protect our domestic fishing fleet from any adverse effects from the treaties. The bill will change existing law to help our Pacific tuna fishing industry compete on a level playing field against foreign fleets.
Click here to learn more about H.R. 4576.
Washington, D.C. – During a meeting of House and Senate Conferees, Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared his opening statements on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 – a comprehensive energy and natural resources package currently being negotiated between the two Chambers.
Young, a former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and author of numerous provisions within the House version of S. 2012, was appointed to serve on the Energy Conference by Speaker Paul Ryan in late May to negotiate the final terms of the first comprehensive energy and natural resources legislation in nearly a decade.
Congressman Young sharing his opening statement during a meeting of the House and Senate Conferees on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 (click here to watch).
“I have to remind my colleagues, Conferences are about give and take. And there’s a lot of taking and not much giving by certain people in this room. I have to remind people of that. I’ve been around here a little while.
“My interests in here of course are the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service] Alaska hunting regulations, which are illegal. My Native American Energy bill with Senator Barrasso; we hope to get that done. Alaska hydro – we’ve heard a lot about hydro – it’s important that we do this quicker and get the renewable energy that really works for a long period of time. And of course, we have the Polar Bear trophies. You may wonder what that’s doing. It’s in the House bill, the Administration supports it, and everybody supports that provision. Why it was not in the Senate bill, I don’t know. We’ll figure that out in Conference; that’s one of the things we can work on.
“I suggest respectively, we also heard about energy efficiency. I warn everybody about having the government decide what efficiency is and what will work in certain areas. We have a very efficient building industry in the state of Alaska for houses – probably the highest efficiency houses in the nation. We don’t need the federal government telling us how to do it. I do not want to see that overreach in Conference. I believe it’s wrong for the nation; I believe it’s wrong for the building industry; I believe it’s wrong for the people. Selection should be an individual choice.
“Madam Chairman there is a lot of good in the Senate bill, there is a lot of good in the House bill. Let’s see if we can’t get the good and eliminate the bad on both sides. With that we’ll have a Conference we can be proud of.”
On May 25, 2016, the House passed its own version of the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which included H.R 8, the North American Energy and Security and Infrastructure Act, and numerous other House-passed bills relating to energy, natural resources and public lands. The legislation is currently being reconciled with the Senate version of the legislation, S. 2012, sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski.
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Kenai Peninsula, AK – Alaska Congressman Don Young today issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final rule regarding wildlife management practices upon federal refuges within the State of Alaska:
“Make no mistake – the size, scope and impact of this rule is enormous,” said Alaska Congressman Don Young. “With over 76.8 million acres of wildlife refuges in Alaska – an area equaling the size of New Mexico – this unilateral power grab fundamentally alters Alaska’s authority to manage wildlife across all areas of our state. Not only does this rule undermine promises made in the Alaska Statehood Compact, it violates the law by ignoring provisions Senator Stevens and I secured within the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) to protect Alaska’s sovereignty and management authority. This newest attempt to exert federal authority over Alaska has not gone unchallenged and I will continue to work every angle in Congress to strike this rule, and a similar proposal by the National Park Service, from the federal register. If this rule is allowed to stand, we could see an opening for future jurisdictional takings by the federal government – transforming a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the Fish and Wildlife Service to one of servitude.”
Congressman Young’s Efforts to Reverse the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Rule:
Since the FWS rule was announced, Congressman Young and others have argued that it violates the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) – a law which protects the ability of the State of Alaska to manage wildlife across the state, on state, private, and federal lands. The State of Alaska, the Alaska Congressional delegation, and much of the hunting and angling community in Alaska opposes this rulemaking.
*ICYMI: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner Editorial Board recently supported the Alaska Congressional Delegation’s effort to stop the FWS rule from going into effect. Click here to read.
Click here for more information on the finalized rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
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.
Travel well Father Elliot. I will always cherish our time together & never forget your thoughtful guidance & wisdom. https://t.co/5PQe0rnHyr
Coast Guard Foundation AK Awards Dinner to celebrate & recognize remarkable members of the USCGC. https://t.co/jqd5NTvzqJ
At the AK Native Health Board Mega Meeting today in Anchorage to discuss a number of important issues. https://t.co/TRFyNYaRUy
As the co-chair of the Congressional Arctic Working Group and a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I actively
Months ago I introduced legislation to provide equitable treatment to Alaska Native Vietnam veterans who did not receive their land allotment
As an Army veteran and a tireless supporter of our military men and women, I’ve always worked to ensure our nation fulfills its many promises
Although I did not personally know Breanna “Bree” Moore, her story and the tragic events that led to her death are a constant reminder that
As Alaskans from across our state say goodbye to Father Norman Elliot, I’m reminded of the profound impact he had on my life and the many people