As 2016 moves forward, it’s important to stay connected and update you on the progress of the 114th Congress. As always, I remain committed to ensuring the federal government is Alaska’s partner and not a roadblock to our success. This means pushing back against the massive growth of our federal agencies, fighting for access of our lands and abundant resources, and actively pursuing solutions that give Alaskans a better chance to succeed.
Congressman Don Young sharing a message with Alaskans (click here to watch).
Building upon a number of successes in 2015 – the first real, structural entitlement reform in decades ( the “Doc Fix”), directly overriding the president’s veto of reform-centered national defense legislation, major reductions to the nation’s growing tax burden, and passage of a long-term highway transportation bill that brings $2.9 billion to Alaska over the next five years – I look forward to advancing a number of Alaskan causes and priorities in the coming year.
Importantly, this week Congress passed and sent to the president a Coast Guard reauthorization bill that strengthens mission readiness, brings us closer to updating our aging fleet of icebreakers, and eliminates a series of overbearing rules and regulations placed upon our fishermen and mariners. Included in this bill were three separate provisions I introduced to move federal lands – in Tok, on Point Spencer, and in the Pribilof Islands – back to state and private ownership.
As noted, these land transfers included:
Another noteworthy item coming before the House is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. While I have concerns with the bill as written, I remain vigilant in protecting important Alaskan programs and initiatives, including Essential Air Service – a vital lifeline for many Southeast communities that would not otherwise receive air service – the Pilot’s Bill of Rights II, and funding for the Airport Improvement Program.
As a nation and a state we will continue to face challenges, and together I am optimistic that we can overcome these hurdles and defend Alaska’s interests. Thank you again for your years of support and for actively engaging in the many issues before the United States Congress.
Congressman for All Alaska,
Sturgeon v. Frost: A Fight for Alaskan Sovereignty
John Sturgeon pictured in front of the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo: Bill O’Leary/ The Washington Post)
Last month, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Sturgeon v. Frost – a case about who, under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), controls state and Native property located within ANILCA Conservation System Units. In December, I filed an amicus brief in support of John Sturgeon. I argue, along with many others, that only the State of Alaska and Alaska Native Corporations – not the federal government – have the authority to make land use decisions on non-federal lands.
On the surface, this case is about a man, his hovercraft and a moose hunt on the Nation’s River. Digging a bit deeper, this case is about the growing stranglehold of the federal government and the “mother may I” enforcement of Western states. In my mind, the actions of the National Park Service represent a new level of arrogance on the part of the federal government. The intent of ANILCA, the law at the heart of this case, was always clear in the minds of Congress and its authors. Congressional leaders at the time – including Mo Udall, Scoop Jackson, Ted Stevens and myself – all understood the terms of law; it specifically guaranteed the protection of Alaska’s sovereignty and closed the door to future government encroachment. By ignoring the law and dismissing the intent of Congress, the federal government has once again attempted to expand its authority beyond anything ever imagined.
While I’m disappointed that recognizing federal law and Alaska’s sovereignty requires a Supreme Court ruling, I am pleased to see John and our fellow Alaskans have their day in court.
In Case You Missed It – Office Space: Don Young's Alaska Tundra (Roll Call)
Click here to watch Congressman Young’s tour of his Washington, D.C. office.
In December, between meetings with Alaskans and votes on the House floor, I met with reporters to film a web series called “Office Space.” We discussed hunting, former presidents, Alaskan artwork, and my time in Congress. As you can see, a touch of Alaska goes a long way in our nation’s capital. If you’re even in Washington, D.C., please come on by and visit in person.
Earlier this week, I introduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate barriers facing members of the National Guard and Reserves living in rural areas of the country.
The bill, which is supported by the Alaska National Guard and the National Guard Association of the United States, works to increase rural participation and remove cost-prohibitive factors in the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary $300 reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities.
Congressman Young discussing the Rural Guard and Reserve Act of 2016 (click here to watch).
Alaska Division of Insurance Suspends Moda Health’s Business Activity
In late January, the Alaska Division of Insurance announced actions to significantly limit Moda Health’s business practices in Alaska. The announcement was meant to protect Alaskans from the failings of an individual insurance provider, but it also begs the question of the overall instability of our current healthcare system. With the departure of Aetna, Assurant Health and State Farm last year, Alaskans are now left with only one viable option to obtain individual health insurance – which is extremely concerning from a competition and marketplace standpoint.
The Alaska Division of Insurance has made assurances that Moda policy holders will continue to be able to access healthcare services, their claims will be paid and consumers will be protected. Alaskans should know that the State and the congressional delegation will be working with them as this process moves forward.
For more information, please see this note to Alaska consumers from the Division of Insurance.
Congressman Young Announces 2016 Service Academy Nominations
As an Army veteran, I take great pride in nominating some of Alaska’s best and brightest students to our nation’s service academies. Graduates of these distinguished institutions have defended our nation throughout history – from the Spanish American War to the Battle of Fallujah, the Civil War to the Korengal Valley. They have produced three US Presidents, numerous Cabinet secretaries, astronauts, and leaders of our nation in times of war and times of peace.
The 54 Alaskans I nominated for the class of 2020 have all demonstrated exceptional leadership, strength of character and a commitment to serving others. I have no doubt they will serve this nation proudly as the next generation of American leaders forged at our service academies.
For a list of Alaskan students nominated for appointment to a U.S. Service Academy, click here.
FDA Name Change of Alaskan Pollock
Months ago, I introduced legislation to change the market name of “Alaska Pollock” to “pollock” in order to fix a major loophole in FDA labeling. Under FDA standards, pollock caught in any part of the world could be labeled as “Alaskan”, which allowed 40% of “Alaskan Pollock” to be caught in Russian waters.
There’s no reason why foreign caught pollock should ever be disguised as Alaskan – it only confuses consumers, jeopardizes our fishing industry, and allows millions of pounds of mislabeled fish into our markets. Last month, in compliance with new federal law, the FDA officially announced its change to the Pollock name. This is good news for our many coastal communities and Alaska’s fishing industry as a whole.
After months of push back – from the American people, a majority of states, the courts and Congress – the Obama Administration should get the message loud and clear: the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is unacceptable. Not only does this massive expansion of federal jurisdiction erode states rights, it will cause damaging effects across the country and result in significant confusion among industry and businesses.
In Alaska, even the most basic economic activity would become subject to this new federal jurisdiction – which could include areas with permafrost or seasonal wet areas. The end result is more litigation, higher costs for development and construction projects, and prolonged delays – an impact that reaches every corner of our state. That’s why earlier this month, I voted to send a resolution to the President’s desk that would nullify the WOTUS rule. Unfortunately, the President used his veto pen to defend party politics and kowtow to special interests.
We’ve seen a massive expansion of federal regulations in this country – 79,000 pages of new regulations in the federal register in 2015 alone. This out of control system of unchecked growth, amounting to $1.86 trillion annually, has caused our economy to suffer and eliminated numerous opportunities to lower costs, raise wages, and create new jobs for hardworking Americans.
Last month, the House passed two important regulatory reform bills – the SCRUB Act and the SUNSHINE Act, both prime examples of good governance that restore certainty to our system and eliminate outdated, obsolete and needless regulations. These two bills will take important steps to improve our unmanageable regulatory system and save hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
President Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns
When the President doesn’t get his way – on immigration, healthcare, gun control – it seems he operates in some sort of parallel universe, one void of Congress and the Constitution. For years, the Obama Administration and its anti-gun advocates have dramatically pushed to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans, and for years the American people and Congress have pushed back.
Now, the President has unilaterally – without the consent of the body authorized to make or change laws – announced executive orders to further restrict gun ownership in the United States. There’s no question, these actions undermine Congress, the Constitution and the American people. The Second Amendment is something I hold near to my heart; it’s sacred in my mind. Please know, I’m going to fight the President’s actions every step of the way.
Congressman Young sharing his thoughts on the President’s Executive Orders to Further Restrict Second Amendment Rights (click here to watch).
Congressman Young Welcomes New Addition to the Family
Parenthood has been one of the greatest honors of my life, so words can hardly describe the joy I felt holding my great grandson for the first time. With big smiles and open hearts, we welcomed Jaxson to the world on December 13th, 2015.
Alaskans in DC
I recently met with Isaac Vanderburg and Bryan Zak from the Alaska Small Business Development Center (ASBDC), a center which provides no-cost advising services and low cost educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business. I have long supported efforts to diversify Alaska’s economy, and the ASBDC is on the leading edge of these efforts.
This week, I joined the Alaska Food Coalition (via teleconference) to discuss a variety of issues, including food security, nutrition, and my legislation to fight childhood hunger – the Summer Meals Act.
David Fleming of Anchorage recently stopped by my office to share his experiences as a U.S. Fulbright student in Mexico City (2014-2015) and his selection as a 2016 Fulbright Alumni Ambassador. Not only is David a talented student, he also runs his own commercial fishing operation in Prince William Sound.
State Senator Bill Stoltze and Alaskan farmer Arthur Keyes, owner of Glacier Valley Farms, recently shared some home grown product during a discussion on Alaskan agriculture issues.
Alaskan student and hockey player Kaylah Larson of Anchorage saying hello on a recent visit to Washington, D.C.
#Flash Back Friday
After January’s record setting snowfall in Washington, D.C., I thought I’d share a picture of my first snowfall in our nation’s capital. Here I am giving my snowshoes a try on the East Front of the Capitol (December 19, 1973).
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Senator Ted Stevens, President Gerald Ford, and myself during a November 1975 visit to Fairbanks. President Ford said it well, “ the hardy people of Alaska and the alert Armed Forces stationed in this strategic area are a source of great reassurance to all Americans.”
In The News
Your Alaska Link: Representative Don Young Praises Coast Guard Authorization Act Passage
Associated Press: Oregon, Alaska suspend activity by Moda Health Plan
Alaska Public Radio Network: Obama’s energy remark baffles Alaska senators
Juneau Empire: FDA: Only Alaska pollock is 'Alaska pollock'
Alaska Journal of Commerce: Alaska’s Congressional delegation has likes and dislikes in Obama's final State of the Union
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young and Representative Mark Takai (D-HI) today introduced the bipartisan Rural Guard and Reserve Act of 2016 to eliminate barriers facing members of the National Guard and Reserves living in rural areas of the country. The legislation seeks to increase rural participation and remove cost-prohibitive factors in the National Guard and Reserves by reforming an arbitrary $300 reimbursement cap for members traveling to training exercises and activities.
Congressman Young discussing the Rural Guard and Reserve Act of 2016 (click here to watch).
“When I first moved to Fort Yukon, the National Guard played a huge role in the community. Unfortunately, since then rural participation has dramatically decreased,”said Congressman Don Young. “While the current reimbursement system may seem equitable, it fails to recognize the unique geography and distances people in my state and across the country face. As a strong advocate of the National Guard, I hope to increase participation by leveling the playing field for rural Americans looking to serve their nation in the Guard or Reserves.”
“As a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard, who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Kuwait, I know firsthand how important the Guard is to our country’s ability to safeguard our freedoms,” Representative Takai said. “Over the years, the scope of mission of the National Guard has grown from primarily domestic to one similar to those of other Armed Forces. Many guardsmen and women often deploy these days to combat overseas, risking their lives to protect ours. We must do everything we can to incentivize willing and able-bodied Americans to serve in our National Guard. That’s why I am proud to introduce, along with Congressman Don Young, Rural Guard and Reserve Act of 2016 so that citizens from all corners of our nation are not penalized unfairly for giving back to their country.”
Specifically, the Rural Guard Act of 2016 modifies existing law by removing a $300 reimbursement cap, on a case by case basis, if the National Guard or Reserve member 1) lives in the state in which the training occurs, 2) lives in a rural area, and 3) travels to Guard or Reserve training using a boat or aircraft due to limited or nonexistent vehicular routes, or from a permanent residence located more than 75 miles from the training location.
For example, an E-4 in the Alaska National Guard will earn approximately $300 for one drill training weekend, and is eligible to receive up to $300 in travel reimbursement. However, if that soldier lives in Point Hope, Alaska, and drills in Anchorage, their flight alone costs more than $973. For that member of the Guard to serve our nation and Alaska, they would lose more than $300 per training period, or more than $3,600 annually.
The Rural Guard Act of 2016 is cosponsored by House National Guard and Reserve Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), as well as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE), Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL), and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT).
Numerous groups and organizations have already shared their support for the Rural Guard Act:
"Being able to reimburse rural Alaskans for their travel expenses would be a huge step forward in encouraging greater participation in the Guard,” said BG Laurie Hummel, Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard. “We appreciate Representative Young introducing this measure and wish him speedy success in convincing his Congressional colleagues to approve it.”
“National Guardsmen shouldn’t have to dig deep into their pockets to serve their state and nation,” said retired Maj. Gen. Gus Hargett, the president of the National Guard Association of the United States. “Congressman Young’s legislation recognizes this. It will not only save our soldiers and airmen a few dollars, it will likely eliminate a barrier that has long prevented others from serving.”
“The Rural Guard and Reserve Act of 2016 would reduce the shameful requirement faced by many Reservists who must pay for travel to serve the nation,” said Jeff Phillips, Executive Director of the Reserve Officers Association. “It would also enhance recruiting and retention, especially in critical specialties and among young leaders who are also raising families and starting careers.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today applauded the passage of H.R. 4188, the Coast Guard Authorization of 2015, calling it a victory for Alaska’s mariners, fishermen and Coast Guard family. The bicameral, bipartisan legislation represents months of negotiations between the House and Senate, and includes long sought reforms to protect the Coast Guard’s vital mission of defending our oceans and waterways. Young, a senior member of the House Coast Guard Subcommittee, proudly worked to secure numerous Alaskan focused provisions in the bill, including three separate land transfers to state and local interests.
Congressman Young on the Passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (click here to watch).
“After months of negotiations, I’m pleased to send a bipartisan bill to the President that strengthens our Coast Guard’s mission and secures the safety of our oceans and coastlines,” said Congressman Don Young. “The many provisions advanced today will better serve the Coast Guard’s unique mission, bring us closer to updating our aging fleet of icebreakers, reduce the governments growing footprint of federal lands, and eliminate a series of overbearing rules and regulations placed upon our fishermen and mariners. This is an important step forward for our Coast Guard and the nation, and I commend the work of all those on involved.”
Three stand alone bills introduced by Congressman Young will become law under H.R. 4188:
Along with Senator Dan Sullivan, who serves on the Senate’s Coast Guard Subcommittee, Congressman Young worked to secure the following language:
Fishing Vessel Classification:
Language secured by Congressman Young to create an alternative vessel classification compliance program for the construction of new fishing vessels and fishing tenders from 50 to 79 feet in length.
Language supported by Congressman Don Young to advance the nation’s icebreaking fleet was included in H.R 4188.
Specifically, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 would:
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Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today commented on the Alaska Division of Insurance announcement to limit Moda Health Plan’s business practices in Alaska:
“Today’s announcement is meant to protect Alaskans from the failings of an individual insurance provider, but it also begs the question of the overall instability of our current healthcare system,” said Congressman Don Young. “With the departure of Aetna, Assurant Health and State Farm last year, Alaskans are now left with only one viable option to obtain individual health insurance – which is concerning from a competition and marketplace standpoint. The Alaska Division of Insurance has made assurances that Moda policy holders will continue to be able to access healthcare services, their claims will be paid and consumers will be protected. Alaskans should know that the State and the congressional delegation will be working with them as this process moves forward.”
The Division of Insurance advises consumers still shopping for plans to choose an insurer other than Moda. Alaskans already enrolled with Moda will need to switch plans; there will be a special enrollment period to allow for the transition. The Division of Insurance is working closely with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight during this time.
Consumers with questions should contact the Division of Insurance consumer services specialists at (907) 269- 7900. FAQs will be posted to the division webpage by close of business, and updated as more information becomes available.
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Congressman Young Announces 2016 Service Academy Nominations
WASHINGTON, DC – Alaska Congressman Don Young today announced his official list of Alaskan students nominated for appointment to a United States Service Academy for the class of 2020.
“As an Army veteran, I take great pride in nominating some of Alaska’s best and brightest students to our nation’s service academies,” said Congressman Don Young. “Graduates of these distinguished institutions have defended our nation throughout history – from the Spanish American War to the Battle of Fallujah, the Civil War to the Korengal Valley. They have produced three US Presidents, numerous Cabinet secretaries, astronauts, and leaders of our nation in both times of war and peace. These 54 Alaskans have all demonstrated exceptional leadership, strength of characters and a commitment to serving others. I have no doubt they will serve this nation proudly as the next generation of American leaders forged at our service academies.”
Earning a Service Academy nomination is a tremendous honor and accomplishment, but does not guarantee an academy appointment. Final nominations will be made by the respective service academy in the coming months.
A list of Congressman Don Young’s nominees and their hometowns can be found below:
U.S. Military Academy – West Point, New York:
Ian R. Ashley, Kenai
Savannah N. Bassett, Eagle River
Sylvan G. Blankenship, Ketchikan
Samuel H. Carlson, Anchorage
Adam R. Cusack, Anchorage
Henry F. Downey, Anchorage*
Wilton J. Farmwald, Anchorage*
Cole O. George, Anchorage
Patrick K. Hall, Eagle River
Wyatt J. Hoyes, Fairbanks
Olivia M. Jeans, North Pole
Esther S. Min, JBER
Justine A. Mojica, Anchorage
Taylor, B. Mulkins, Palmer
Jada N. Nguyen, Anchorage
Cole R. Phelps, Anchorage
Maxwell T. Suzuki, Juneau
Brandon T. Thomas, Anchorage*
Eric J. Tucker, JBER
Jacob T. Warner, Fort Wainwright
U.S. Air Force Academy – Colorado Springs, Colorado:
Athaliah J. Abriel, Anchorage
Billy F. Alcaide, Kodiak
Joseph S. Anderson, Palmer
Tara M. DeGeorge, Anchorage
Sierra R. M. Ernst, Eagle River
Brendan A. Jester, Anchorage
Nicholas J.D. Kolesky, Anchorage
Zachary J. Kornblatt, JBER
Brody C. Lambert, Anchorage
Dillon T. Scarboro, North Pole
U.S. Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland:
Nathaniel K. Adams, Anchorage*
Marcus J. Amico, Eagle River
Gabriel L. Atchley, Anchorage
Asia K. Brooks, Anchorage
Alexandra T. Butler, Wasilla
Justin C. Calimlim, Anchorage
Gary A. Eakin, Kotzebue
Wilton J. Farmwald, Anchorage*
Brandon J. Fast, Eagle River
Christopher C. Friedrichs, Anchorage
Nathan D. Guillermo, Eagle River
Logan, T. Hanscom, Anchorage
Mitchell, R. Hay, Anchorage
Ryan H. Kavalok, Palmer
Mary E. Lewis, Soldotna
Sean P. Moore, Anchorage
John W. Norton, Kodiak
Holden Quinn, Palmer
Joshua R. Roetman, Kotzebue
Patrick R. Timmons, Sitka
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point, New York:
Nathaniel K. Adams, Anchorage*
Henry F. Downey, Anchorage*
Spencer J. Evans, Anchorage
Hannah J. Getter, Chugiak
Corbin M. McCord, Ketchikan
Alysha L. Owens, Kotzebue
Brandon T. Thomas, Anchorage*
Joevahnta Z. Usugan-Weddington, Seward
(* Nominee received more than one service academy nomination)### Read More
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement after House passage of S.J. Res. 22, Congressional Disapproval of the “Waters of the United States” rule:
“Today, I once again voted to nullify the Obama Administration’s Water of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a sweeping expansion of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. By now the President should understand a majority of Americans, businesses, and states oppose this misguided rulemaking because it will lead to damaging effects across the country, erode states rights, and cause significant confusion among industry and businesses. In Alaska, even the most basic economic activity performed where permafrost or seasonal wet areas exist would likely become subject to this new federal jurisdiction, even if these waters never reach “navigable waters.” The end result is more litigation, higher costs for development and construction projects, and prolonged delays – an impact that reaches every corner of our state. I call upon the president to put his partisanship aside and sign this resolution to stop the EPA’s and Army Corp of Engineers’ flawed rule.”
The passage of S.J. Res 22 builds upon the passage of H.R. 1644, the Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Act (STREAM Act), which blocks final action on the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement proposed update to the stream-buffer zone. Young has previously expressed concern that federal agencies failed to fully analyze Alaskan impacts when developing the new stream buffer rule.
S.J. Res. 22, Congressional Disapproval of the “Waters of the United States” Rule passed the House today 253to 166. The joint resolution passed the Senate on November 4th. The WOTUS disapproval now moves to the president’s desk.
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Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared his thoughts following President Obama’s 8th and final State of the Union address:
Congressman Young sharing his thoughts following the 2016 State of the Union (click here to watch).
“Hello, I’m Congressman Don Young. I just spent an hour and five minutes listening to one of the – I think – most discouraging speeches I’ve listened to in the State of the Union addresses. In the prior announcements, the President said he was going to have an upbeat speech about the future. I think it was a lecture of his vision. And because we haven’t acted on it, he believes we’re wrong. I think we’re right. And that’s the Congressional position to have because we’re elected by the people and we represent the people – not the king.
“So I’m suggesting, respectfully, his speech was about what he had not done, not what he was able to achieve – which is not much. He sort of said because we don’t follow his climate change, we’re wrong. We don’t follow Obamacare, we’re wrong. Truthfully, I think we’re right. What he tried to do tonight was convince the American people that he was right – don’t question him, he is after all the monarch. I think that’s inappropriate for a Republic and for a nation that’s been free. He has not made this nation any freer. He’s had 8,000 regulatory laws he’s trying to implement today. His speech emphasized the fact that the government can do more for you. I think the government can do worse for you.”
Washington, D.C. – In a longstanding effort to reduce federal regulations that unnecessarily harm American families and small businesses, today Alaska Congressman Don Young supported House passage of two regulatory reforms bills: H.R. 1155, the Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2015 (SCRUB Act) and H.R.712, the Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act.
“We’ve seen a massive expansion of federal regulations in this country – 79,000 pages of new regulations in the federal register in 2015 alone,” said Congressman Don Young. “This out of control system of unchecked growth, amounting to $1.86 trillion annually, has caused our economy to suffer and eliminated numerous opportunities to lower costs, raise wages, and create new jobs for hardworking Americans. The SCRUB Act and the SUNSHINE Act are prime examples of good governance; common sense ideas to restore certainty to our system and eliminate outdated, obsolete and needlessly harmful regulations. Our federal agencies are known for their inefficiencies and backdoor rule making, and there’s no doubt that these two bills will improve our unmanageable regulatory system and save hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars each year.”
The SCRUB Act authorizes the creation of a new, bipartisan commission to review regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations and identify those that should be repealed in order to reduce unnecessary burdens. The bill would:
H.R. 712, the Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, increases accountability and transparency in the federal regulatory process by providing increased scrutiny of sue-and settle rulemakings cases, an issue Congressman Young has highlighted for years (see Congressman Young’s op-ed on “sue and settle” tactics). The bill would also mandate increased reporting requirements for planned rulemaking and provide for simplified summaries of proposed rules. The bill would create:
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives and Alaska Congressman Don Young today approved H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, a bill to repeal the most egregious provisions and taxes at the heart of the President’s healthcare law, including penalties for the individual and employer mandate.
Congressman Young sharing his thoughts following the passage of H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 (click here to watch).
The passage of H.R. 3762 marks the first time Congress will send legislation to the President’s desk to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. Following its passage, Congressman Young shared the following thoughts:
“For years, the Alaskan and American people have endured the detrimental impacts of the President’s sweeping healthcare takeover. You can keep your doctor, you can keep your healthcare plans, they said. Your premiums will be lower and your deductibles will go down. Well, not a single one of these promises came true. Alaskans opposed the law long before the Obama Administration mischievously shoved it down our throats and they continue to ask Congress for relief from this overbearing and unworkable law.
“While those supporting this awful law are entitled to their own opinion, they aren’t entitled to their own facts. In Alaska, the damage is real. We have some of the highest premium increases in the nation – skyrocketing by 30% in 2015 and 40% in 2016. Alaskans face higher out of pocket costs, less access to care and even fewer choices.
“Fulfilling a longstanding commitment to the American people, today we send legislation to repeal this broken law to the president’s desk. No matter his decision, which will ultimately favor his legislative baby and ignore the American people, we will continue to work to make a full repeal a reality and set the stage for a new president in 2017.”
“Moving forward, I am focused on empowering people to make their own healthcare choices and restoring a level of financial feasibility for healthcare. By achieving common sense, patient centered reforms, I believe American families, patients, doctors and small businesses will have the relief and flexibility they deserve.
H.R. 3762 dismantles major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the elimination of the individual mandate and employer mandate penalties, stopping any taxpayer bailout of insurance companies, and repealing a myriad of burdensome taxes – the Cadillac tax, the medical device tax, the small business, and others.
Further, the legislation blocks federal funding for Planned Parenthood while redirecting funds to community health centers for women’s health. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 3762 will save the American tax payer $516 billion over the next 10 years.
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Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following video message is response to the Obama Administration’s executive actions on guns in the United States:
Congressman Young shares thoughts on executive actions to further restrict Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans (click here to watch).
“January 5th, 2016 will go down in history as one of the saddest days in America, in Alaska especially, because of Obama’s statement on executive actions on guns in America. If you see what he’s trying to do, he’s taking everything away from the Congress. His argument to the general public is, ‘well the Congress hasn’t acted.’ We are the voice of the people. If the people wanted us to do this as he’s doing then it would’ve been done. Remember, when the Democrats were in full majority they couldn’t do it because the people didn’t want it done. This is what America is about.
“Why I say this is a sad day is because I am now seeing the decline of the great United States of America led by one person, the president of the United States, who thinks he’s the king. It’s unfair, it’s unconstitutional and I doubt overall he’ll be able to do it. Just the attempt to do it takes away from the Second Amendment, which is the Second Amendment I’ve supported all my career, all my life, and I’ll continue to support it.
“I noticed that he’s proposed additional FBI agents, additional ATF agents – people to implement what he’s proposing. That’s one way we as a Congress can stop it. I have no objection checking for mental illness. I have no objection to that. But when it says if I’m a seller, or I’m a father, and I want to sell a gun to my brother, or my uncle, or my kids and I have to get a license to do so – this is an expansion of what he’s trying to do. And what he’s really trying to do is disarm the citizenry of America. This has been the progressives position all along so the government can tell you what to do, and how to do it, and when to do it, with no concept of freedom.
“Again, this is a sad day for me, but we’re going to fight it every inch of the way. The Second Amendment is sacred; it is the most major amendment to all the other amendments including the First Amendment. You can’t keep the First Amendment if you don’t have the Second Amendment.
“We’re going to work on this all the way, and we’re going to continue to work with the Congress to make sure this president doesn’t get his way. That’s not the real danger though. The real danger is who becomes the next president. If that president follows Obama’s footsteps it’s going to be no more America, no more United States of America. It’s going to be a monarchy, the king who sits in a chair – or queen, this we don’t know. So it’s very important in November to think about this as you go to the polls. It’s important to keep this country free. I don’t want to be Europe. I don’t want to be Australia. I don’t want to be Canada. I want to be the United States of America and that’s what I’m working for.”
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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.
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