Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Congressman Young Applauds Presidential Bill Signing of Huna Tlingit Gull Egg Use Act

2014/07/25

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young today applauded the bill signing of H.R. 3110, the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act, legislation he introduced to resolve a longstanding concern for the Huna Tlingit people and once again allow members of the Hoonah Indian Association to harvest gull eggs in Glacier Bay National Park.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve been very fortunate to gather support behind a number of bipartisan efforts to protect the rights of Alaskans and Americans and ensure that our federal government does not stand in the way of our social and economic well-being,” said Congressman Don Young. “I must commend the Huna Tlingit people and Senator Lisa Murkowski for their years of persistence and dedication to support this bill through the difficult legislative process, and once and for all correct this wrong made more than 50 years ago.”

“As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs, I introduced and passed H.R. 3110 in the House in order to protect the traditional way of life for Alaska’s First People,” Congressman Young said. “For the Huna Tlingit people, this traditional gull egg harvest is a significant part of their culture that took place well before the establishment of the Glacier Bay National Park and it’s truly unfortunate that it took this long to allow the practice to resume. While I don’t often agree with this Administration and its policies, I must thank President Obama for doing the right thing by making the Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act law.”

H.R. 3110 is the third piece of Young legislation signed into law by President Obama during the 113th Congress, among only 142 total bills signed.  The two additional bills are:

  • H.R. 623, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Land Transfer Act (PL 113-68), a bill that directed the Indian Health Service to transfer a 2.79 acre parcel of federal land located in Anchorage to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) to be used to strengthen critical healthcare delivery for Alaska Natives by constructing a patient housing facility on the parcel.
  • H.R. 588, the Vietnam Veterans Donors Acknowledgement Act of 2013 (PL 113-21), a bill that would assist in the construction of the Education Center at the Wall of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial by allowing for the acknowledgement of donor contributions.

The longest serving House Republican, Congressman Young has had more bills enacted into law than any other member of the House of Representatives, and is currently tied for the most bills enacted into law during the 113th Congress.

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House Passes Commonsense Reforms to Improve Tax Code for American Families

2014/07/25

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young today applauded passage of H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014, which would expand and reform access for a $1,000 child tax credit claimed by parents and families across the nation. The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 237 to 173, would address an unintentional penalty for married couples wishing to claim the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), in addition to instituting common sense reforms to prevent undocumented workers from collecting the same tax benefit.

“American households, whether married or single, deserve equal tax relief under the tax code,” said Congressman Don Young. “This bill would eliminate a marriage tax penalty by giving married couples the same chance to access the ACTC as individuals currently have. Currently, individuals making less than $75,000 a year can access this tax credit, but the combined income cut off for married couples is far from equitable. The idea that our tax code would punish marriage seems absolutely wrong to me, which is why I believe raising the ACTC phase out level for married couples is the right thing to do."

Under current law, an individual or married couple can claim a $1,000 tax credit for every child under the age of 17.  However, individuals with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over $75,000 and $110,000 for married couples are ineligible. H.R. 4935 would raise the phase out amount for married couples to claim the ACTC to $150,000.

“This bill would also index the eligibility requirement for inflation so future households will not be held to today’s standards of income levels,” said Congressman Young. “Since 1960, the cost of raising a child has gone up 4.4% annually, and I believe allowing the eligibility requirement to rise with inflation only makes sense.”

In addition to adjusting the ACTC eligibility requirement for inflation, H.R. 4935 would also make changes to a loophole in current law that allows undocumented workers to access the tax credit through the use of an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The legislation would require all individuals claiming the ACTC to provide a valid Social Security Number.

“With a staggering $17.6 trillion national debt, we must do everything in our power to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in our intricate tax code,” said Congressman Young. Through a loophole in our tax code, in 2010 alone, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that 2.3 million undocumented workers claimed $4.2 billion in ACTC benefits. H.R. 4935 would force the Treasury Department to close that loophole. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly consider and pass this common sense legislation so hard working American households can once again access a tax credit that undocumented workers currently find easier to claim that many taxpayers do.”

 

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House Sends Clear Message to President, No Troops in Iraq Without Congressional Approval

2014/07/25

Washington, D.C. – In an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young today sent a resounding message to the President that they do not support deploying or maintaining a military presence in Iraq without Congressional approval. By a vote of 370 to 40, the House passed H. Con. Res. 105, which states that “the President shall not deploy or maintain United States Armed Forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory authorization for such use enacted after the date of the adoption of this concurrent resolution."

Following the passage of the resolution, Congressman Don Young shared the following thoughts:

“As radical extremism and violence spreads across Iraq and conditions further deteriorate, there’s no question that my colleagues and I remain concerned. The passage of H.Con. Res. 105 today sends a clear message to the President that before a single soldier returns to Iraqi soil, Congress must first grant the authority.

“While the safety and protection of our nation and its interests abroad continue to be a top priority of mine, at this time I do not support returning American boots to the ground in Iraq. The United States cannot sit idle in accepting the spread of radical violence, but the actions we take to curb the advancements of global enemies must not put even more American troops in danger.

“As I’ve said before, at this point there is no easy solution to the current situation in Iraq. President Obama and his failed foreign policy decisions have led us to this point by allowing our enemies to regroup and expand in the massive void left open by our inaction and by leaving our global allies to fend for themselves. Until we can begin to change this type of thinking, we will continue to see global hostility grow.

“I ultimately believe that these are the conversations and policy debates that must take place in the legislative body elected to listen and represent the will of the American people. Today’s bipartisan step by the House sends an important message the President that only Congress has the Constitutional Authority to declare war.  I encourage the Senate to quickly pass this measure.”

 

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On Eve of Ted Stevens Day, Congressman Young Shares Message with Alaskans

2014/07/25

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared this message to honor the life and legacy of the late Senator Ted Stevens and commemorate the fourth Saturday in July, Ted Stevens Day:

“As Alaskans gather to celebrate the 4th Ted Stevens Day, I am filled with emotion and sentiment for my good friend and former colleague Senator Ted Stevens. Throughout my travels in the state, it’s clear to me that Ted remains a major inspiration for Alaskans from Ketchikan to Nome and everywhere in between. His presence still surrounds us, not just in his many accomplishments, but in the vision he set forth for our state’s bright future.

“I was proud to call Ted my friend, and often look back to reflect on our time together as we worked to defend the Alaskan people from outside attacks. Ted was a force to be reckoned with, his passion and dedication for our people, our policies and principals is something I will never forget.

“On the day of his memory, I encourage all Alaskans to celebrate as Ted would have wished, by getting outside our homes and enjoying the great state he helped build. Whether it’s time on the water, in the air, or simply in good company of friends and family, I know Ted would be proud to see us Alaskans taking time to get out and play.

“God bless and I wish you all a very enjoyable Ted Stevens Day.”

 

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Congressman Young Continues to Seek Resolution for Traditional Alaska Native Artwork Containing Bird Parts

2014/07/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing today, Alaskan Congressman Don Young questioned Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Steven Guertin on legislation he introduced to address the sale of Alaska Native artwork containing non-edible migratory bird parts.

“For thousands of years, the inclusion of bones, feathers, and other non-edible bird parts in traditional handicrafts has been commonplace in the Alaska Native culture,” said Congressman Don Young. “However, an issue came to light  a couple of years ago when a widely celebrated Tlingit artist was cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for including feathers in a piece he offered for sale. While he could have served jail time or received a hefty fine, he ultimately settled with the Service for a —still significant— couple thousand dollars.”

 As a result, in 2012, the Alaska Federation of Natives passed a resolution supporting a legislative fix to a problem that many Native artists were previously unaware even existed.

Today, the House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs convened a legislative hearing to discuss H.R. 3109, legislation introduced by Congressman Young that would amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to provide a commonsense fix for future incidents involving the sale of handicrafts by Alaska Natives. During his questioning, Congressman Young asked Fish and Wildlife Deputy Director Steven Guertin for clarification on the Administration’s opposition to his legislation, and demanded a quick and timely resolution to the issue affecting Alaska Native artists using non-edible migratory bird parts.


Congressman Young questioning Fish and Wildlife Deputy Director Steven Guertin on H.R. 3109, legislation to provide a commonsense fix for Alaska Native artists (Click here to watch).

“I would make a suggestion, don’t cite anybody in my state again until we work this issue out,” Congressman Young said to Deputy Director Steven Guertin. “If you don’t, we will do it legislatively. It’s silly to use a dead bird’s feather – that has no value to anyone – to cite a person, an individual citizen of my state, especially when they have a cultural background.”

Congressman Young’s legislation comes at the request of multiple Alaskan Native organizations, including the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and will now continue through the House Natural Resources Committee legislative process.

"I applaud Congressman Young for his efforts in introducing this much needed legislative fix,” Rosita Worl, President of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, said following introduction of the legislation.  “Artists such as Archie have been making their artwork for ceremonial, for trade and for sale with others for thousands of years.  Today, arts and crafts sales are often the only way economically depressed villages can earn an income, and H.R. 3109 will allow them to continue to do so.”

 

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Congressman Young Shares Thoughts on 17 Billionth Barrel Milestone

2014/07/21

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young today commended the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company for moving its 17 billionth barrel of Alaskan crude down the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) on Saturday, July 19, 2014:

“This weekend, the 17 billionth barrel of oil entered the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) to make its 800 mile journey south from Alaska’s North Slope – a significant milestone for the Alaskan people and our nation as a whole. I must commend the countless men and women who made this moment possible, including the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company and the thousands of dedicated individuals in our energy sector working to fuel this significant Alaskan lifeline.

“When we first envisioned a pipeline to connect our oil-rich North Slope to the rest of the world, and subsequently passed the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline Authorization Act through Congress in1973, we knew this vital piece of Alaskan infrastructure would provide for Alaskans then, now, and into the future. And since its construction, there’s no question the impacts TAPS has had on the Alaskan people and our economy.

“While TAPS continues to make great strides, it’s important for Alaskans to remember that we must continue to support policies to responsibly develop our lands, stabilize our marketplace, and bring added investments to our North Slope. It’s these types of policies that will once again fill TAPS to capacity, create jobs, increase pay, and provide a brighter future for all Alaskans.”

 

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Congressman Young Comments on EPA Assault of Alaska State Lands

2014/07/18

Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young today denounced the EPA’s proposal to place unprecedented restrictions on state lands in the Bristol Bay region, and called it a major attack on state’s rights both in Alaska and nationwide. 

“For the EPA to put forward these types of restrictions, prior to any permit applications and without due process, is alarming to say the least,” said Congressman Don Young. “As I’ve said in the past, the EPA’s expansive, jurisdictional power grab is a very serious threat to Alaska’s sovereignty and the future of any development on state, Alaska Native, or privately owned lands both in Alaska and across the United States.”

“People must understand the implications of the EPA’s actions. If they get away with taking these actions in the Bristol Bay region, they can and will replay this strategy nationwide and stop projects in their tracks – before, during, and after the permitting process. These actions give the EPA absolute authority to meddle in even the most basic development and infrastructure projects, a fact that should be chilling to any private land owner or anyone who has benefited from even the most basic construction project.”

Congressman Young recently condemned the EPA during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup on H.R. 4854, the Regulator Certainty Act of 2014. The legislation would clarify when the EPA has authority to prohibit, deny, or restrict the use of a defined area as a disposal site under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, and limit a preemptive veto by the EPA.

Congressman Young recently condemned the EPA during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup on H.R. 4854, the Regulator Certainty Act of 2014 (click here to watch).

 

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House Passes Spending Measure to Rein in IRS and Streamline Critical Financial Services

2014/07/18

Washington, D.C. – In an attempt to rein in federal spending while maintaining vital government responsibilities, Alaskan Congressman Don Young and the House of Representatives passed its seventh appropriations bill this week, H.R. 5016, the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. The bill, which provides $21.3 billion in annual funding for several financial services related agencies, funds critical law-enforcing programs, maintains an effective judiciary system, and helps small businesses.  This bill also targets lower-priority or poor-performing programs – such as the Internal Revenue Service – for reductions.

“This spending measure represents a commonsense approach to holding our many financial services agencies accountable while increasing transparency in their everyday functions,” said Congressman Don Young. “The House of Representatives has continued a balanced approach to funding our many federal agencies during the appropriations process, while also ensuring the American public sees added economic opportunity and job growth during these difficult times. I must commend the Chairman of Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, for his leadership on this legislation and am pleased with the efforts made to ensure Americans are never again targeted by the IRS for their political beliefs or affiliations. I now call upon the Senate to begin taking similar steps to passing funding measures, as outlined in the Constitution.”

H.R. 5016, which passed by a vote of 228 to 195, funds a number of agencies, including the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service.

In stark contrast to the Senate, who has yet to pass a single FY15 appropriations bill, the House of Representatives has passed seven FY15 appropriations bills to date, including: Financial Services, Energy and Water, Transportation Housing and Urban Development, Commerce Justice and Science, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

Important funding measures included in the bill:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - The bill includes approximately $11 billion for IRS funding for FY15 – a $340 million reduction below FY14 enacted levels. This funding will allow the IRS to perform its core duties, including appropriate tax collection and related services, while requiring the agency to streamline its services and make better use of its budget.

Following the targeting on certain political groups and inappropriate use of funds, the legislation also included language that would prohibit the IRS from using funds to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs, to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights, and to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs. The bill includes the following provisions:

  • A prohibition on funds for bonuses or awards unless employee conduct and tax compliance are given consideration.
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs.
  • A prohibition on funds for the IRS to target individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights.
  • A prohibition on funds for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences.
  • A prohibition on funds for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.
  • A requirement for extensive reporting on IRS spending.

Affordable Care Act (ACA): The bill includes language to prevent the IRS from further implementing Obamacare, including a prohibition on the transfer of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to the IRS for Obamacare uses.  The legislation also prevents the IRS from implementing the individual insurance mandate.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): The bill includes $1.4 billion for the SEC, which is $50 million above the FY14 enacted level and $300 million below the request by President Obama.  The increase in funding from the FY14 enacted level is targeted toward information technology initiatives.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):  Includes a number of provisions to improve transparency and accountability within the CFPB.  Specifically, it includes a provision to change the funding source of the CFPB from the Federal Reserve to the appropriations process starting in fiscal year 2016.  Under current law, funding for this agency is provided by mandatory spending and is not subject to congressional review.

 

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Congress Passes Bipartisan Package of Charitable Tax Bills

2014/07/17

Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4719, the American Gives More Act of 2014, a bipartisan package of five charitable tax donation bills that included language offered by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to protect and extend favorable tax treatment for Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs).

On May 22, 2014, Congressman Young introduced H.R. 4721, which would allow Alaska Native Corporations an equitable tax deduction for donations of conservation easements related to lands conveyed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Under the current tax code, the federal government permits corporations owned by farmers and ranchers to deduct the value of a conservation easement donation up to 100% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).  However, ANCs are only eligible to claim up to 10% for the same easement donation.  Congressman Young’s language in H.R. 4719 would change that by raising the cap to match the 100% deduction available to certain farmers and ranchers.

“A conservation easement donation, for some ANCs, is an attractive way to monetize their lands by protecting wildlife, timber, flora, and general recreational availability while retaining underlying ownership of their lands,” said Congressman Don Young. “ANCs generally pay federal corporate taxes at the highest marginal rate, but are not able to take advantage of the many corporate tax credits available to other corporations. In order to ensure the tax code for ANCs is in line with other non-Alaska Native corporations who donate conservation easements, I believe this is the right thing to do. This change will further the spirit of ANCSA by allowing ANCSA Native Corporations to maximize the economic, cultural, and conservation values of their land.”

Congressman Young speaking in favor of his language included within H.R. 4719, which would provide equitable tax treatment for Alaska Native Corporations (click here to watch).

This language was accepted as part of H.R. 4719, which passed the House today by a margin of 277-130.

H.R. 4719, the American Gives More Act of 2014, included the following tax bills:

  • The Fighting Hunger Incentive Act – would make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory by farmers, restaurants and grocery stores;
  • The Conservation Easement Incentive Act – would make permanent the tax deduction for charitable contributions by individuals and corporations of real property interests for conservation purposes;
  • The Permanent IRA Contribution Act – would allow seniors to contribute annually from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to charitable organizations without a tax penalty;
  • The Charitable Giving Extension Act – would encourage increased charitable giving by allowing taxpayers to claim dedications until April 15th of the following year;
  • The Private Excise Tax Simplification Act – would reduce administrative and compliance costs for private foundations by decreasing the investment income excise tax rate in order to encourage greater giving.

 

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Congressman Young Comments on Special Representative to the Arctic Announcement

2014/07/16

following the State Department’s announcement to name retired Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp, Jr. the first United States Special Representative to the Arctic:

“As I’ve said before, our nation needs a strong leader in the Arctic with the means necessary to dedicate special attention to the many relationships and interests in the region, including resource development, increased shipping and tourism, and Alaska Native priorities. The announcement of our Nation’s first Arctic Representative is a great step for Alaska and the rest of the nation as we begin to make substantial efforts to become active players in forming global Arctic policy. We must remember, the United States is an Arctic nation because of Alaska, and we must prepare to be an active participant in the Arctic theater. 

“I have proudly worked with Admiral Papp for years on behalf of Alaska and the Arctic during his time as Coast Guard Commandant and welcome him to the job with open arms.  I believe he holds the know-how and understanding to begin making headway on these vital American issues, especially as we prepare to take over the Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2015. I was pleased to see this Administration has finally taken steps to improve our Arctic presence by selecting an individual with a wealth of knowledge and understanding on Arctic issues, and a tested record of working with Alaskans.

“I must also congratulate Fran Ulmer, the Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, for her new State Department role as a Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. Fran has always been a strong advocate for Alaskan issues and causes, and I know she’ll continue to do so as an advisor to the Secretary of State.

Congressman Don Young is a long Arctic advocate, has consistently fought to protect and increase U.S. Icebreaking capabilities, and introduced legislation in the House to create a U.S. Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs.

 

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Contact Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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