Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared the following message with Alaskans in remembrance of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks:
“Thirteen years ago, the America we knew changed forever. Today, I recognize the anniversary of the greatest tragedy in this nation – other than Pearl Harbor – the 9/11 attacks on America. I urge all Alaskans and Americans to take a moment to honor the more than 3,000 American lives lost on that day, unite as a grateful nation, and be thankful for the countless men and women who continue to defend our freedoms.
“Today, on the 13th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I stand here in front of the United States Capitol. On the morning of 9/11, I was on my way to the Capitol when I received a call from my staff, saying ‘don’t come in, they have just crashed an airplane into the Pentagon.’
“As I returned, I was able to see the images of two airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center towers. At that time, I didn’t know what was happening. I certainly didn’t know that we had just begun a war.
“Thirteen years later, we continue to fight the longest war we’ve ever become involved – and it’s certainly not over. As the foremost bastion of freedom, terrorist across the globe will continue to attack America.
“As Americans, we work every day to preserve the freedoms of our nation and prevent government from getting in the way. It is the job of Congress to make sure we accept this responsibility.
“I ask Alaskans to remember the people we have lost and remember the many freedoms we have in this nation. Some of us in America, not me, believe we should give up some of our freedoms for the sake of increased security. I say, if this is allowed to happen, the bad guys have won. I want to preserve our freedoms and continue to fight every day to protect them. I encourage all Alaskans to keep that in mind and ask you to respond to acts against freedom.
“God bless you all as we remember the attacks of September 11th, the day that changed America forever.”
Washington, DC – In order to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from implementing substantial changes to federal policy as they pertain to U.S. waters - including ponds, ditches, culverts, and other wet areas – the House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation to prevent the Agency from broadening its regulatory authority and redefining the “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014, cosponsored by Alaskan Congressman Don Young, passed by a vote of 262 to 152.
“When Congress established the Clean Water Act in 1972, the law was specifically designed to limit the reach and scope the federal government and the EPA had over areas of the United States,” said Congressman Don Young. “Congress and the CWA were clear; the EPA was given authority to regulate ‘navigable waters’ and states were responsible to regulate the rest.”
The Supreme Court has affirmed twice that both the U.S. Constitution and the CWA place limits on federal authority over intrastate waters, and Congress has declined to alter that careful balance between federal and state regulation. On March 25, 2014, the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempted to bypass Congress and expand the scope of federal jurisdiction to unprecedented levels under the CWA.
“The federal government already has too much regulatory authority over intrastate waters and this rule will only expand its authority over states and significantly expands the federal government’s regulatory reach on private property,” said Congressman Young. “With the current challenges to economic development, expanding the scope of the Clean Water Act will do more damage and cause more confusion. Oil and gas operations, road transportation projects, farming, homebuilding, and mining, undertaken where permafrost persists or where there are seasonal wet areas, would likely become subject to federal jurisdiction even if these waters never reach ‘navigable waters.’
H.R. 5078 would uphold the federal-state partnership to regulate the Nation’s waters and require the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to consult states when formulating regulatory proposals that would identify waters under the Clean Water Act. For more information on H.R. 5078, please click here.
“This Administration must recognize their role in regulating the waters of the United States and understand that state and local governments retain a significant responsibility in the process,” Congressman Young said. “These types of jurisdictional expansions are entirely unfounded and have no place in our federal government.”
With more than three million lakes, twelve thousand rivers, thousands of streams, creeks, and ponds, and more coastline than the other 49 states combined, the Clean Water Act continues to have a significant impact on the economy, transportation infrastructure, and development of Alaska. Already, without this federal redefinition, over 40 percent of Alaska is classified as wetlands and Alaska contains 63 percent of the total wetland acreage in the United States (excluding Hawaii).
For full bill text, click here.
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Natives Affairs will hold a hearing on H.R. 4668, legislation introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-52) to facilitate infrastructure development and potential uses of Point Spencer, AK.
The legislation, introduced on May 15, 2014, would establish a public and private partnership among the federal government, the United States Coast Guard, the State of Alaska, the Bering Straits Native Corporations (BSNC) and private industry. The bill would assist in the timely development of the region by calling for the conveyance of more than 2,500 acres of existing federal land to interested stakeholders.
What: Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4668
When: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 2:00pm
Where: 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Congressman Young shared the following statement upon introduction of H.R. 4668:
“I believe this legislation is the best path forward to ensure the interests of all stakeholders are fully met when productively developing Point Spencer for uses in the Arctic. Not only is this approach equitable, it sensibly addresses public and private sectors interests for the betterment of our nation, the state of Alaska, the indigenous people of the Bering Strait region, as well as the private sector. The federal government has failed to optimize this critically important piece of land for far too long, and I believe the plan we have set in place works to achieve that goal.”
Recently, the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) expressed its support for H.R. 4668 in a letter to the Alaska Congressional delegation:
"The lands encompassed by BSNC's section 14(h)(8) selection have been used for centuries by the indigenous Inupiat and Yup'ik people of the Bering Strait, as a key location for hunting sea mammals and fishing. There are archaeological artifacts from ancient Inupiat villages located on the site.
“In recent years, many items of antiquity relevant to the lives and lifestyles of the ancient Bering Strait Inupiat people have been removed from the site while the land has been under government management and control.
“This is a painful and tragic loss of cultural and historical information of importance to the Inupiat people of the Bering Strait. The bill . . . will assist in stopping and preventing the looting of these items."
The AFN letter went on to say:
"To the degree that there may be national security interests for the use of land at Point Spencer, those can be fully accommodated through the provisions of H.R. 4668 . . . Alaska Natives . . . have for decades been involved in providing goods and services directly related to national security to the United States through work contracted with federal agencies such as the Department of Defense . . .
“We believe that this legislation will result in important jobs creation in rural Alaska, and can thereby improve the quality of life of both Alaska Natives and non-Natives in the region."
Additionally, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), the Alaska Native Regional Corporation with lands located in proximity to those of the BSNC wrote in a letter to the Alaska Congressional delegation:
"The Arctic is home to us, and we are well familiar with its environment and all of the challenges and opportunities it offers . . . as more and more of the Arctic waters open up to shipping, use of the Northern Route and the Northwest Passage will become more frequent and routine. There will be an increased need for ports in places like Point Spencer. We believe that BSNC is best suited to help advance development at Point Spencer through the melding of public and private sector interests and capabilities.
Kawerak, Inc., the nonprofit arm of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, also recently shared their support for H.R. 4668 in a letter to the Alaska Congressional delegation.
Congressman Don Young serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50) is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Washington, D.C. – On the first day back from the August District Work Period, today was business as usual for Alaskan Congressman Don Young as he once again passed commonsense legislation in the House for the benefit of the Alaskan people. H.R. 3109, which passed unanimously by voice vote, addresses the sale of Alaska Native artwork containing non-edible migratory bird parts and prevents future incidents involving the sale of Alaska Native handicrafts.
Congressman Young discussing his legislation, H.R. 3109, prior to passage on the House floor (click here to watch).
“…what we have today is a bizarre policy that allows Alaska Natives to hunt, kill, consume and to also use non-edible parts in handicraft items, but prohibits them from selling those handicrafts,” Congressman Don Young said prior to passing H.R. 3109. “Until recently this policy has not been enforced. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service has now decided to cite Alaska Native artists who use migratory bird feathers in a variety of items including hats, fans and hunting arrows.”
“The Fish and Wildlife Service could have revised their regulations, they could have worked with the Alaska Migratory Bird Co-Management Council and they could have continued to utilize their law enforcement discretion” said Congressman Young. “In each case, they choose not to. Instead, they decided to penalize a Native Alaskan artist who used raven and flicker feathers gathered from road-killed animals. This is a misguided and wrong policy. This is why I introduced this important legislation on behalf of my native Alaskan constituents.”
Congressman Young’s legislation comes at the request of multiple Alaskan Native organizations, including the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Sealaska Heritage Institute, following an October 2012 incident involving a celebrated Alaska Native artist and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The artist was cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act after he offered for sale traditional native artwork that included certain bird feathers. Unknowingly violating the law, the artist agreed to pay a fine to avoid possible jail time. As a result, in the same year, the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) passed a resolution supporting a legislative fix to a problem that many Native artists were previously unaware even existed.
On July, 23, 2014, in a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing,Congressman Don Young questioned Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Steven Guertin on H.R. 3109 and demanded a quick a timely resolution to the issue.
Washington, D.C. - Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement in response to a recent study by the Alaska Division of Insurance (ADI) that predicts massive health insurance increases for thousands of Alaskans in 2015 due to Obamacare:
“The Alaska Division of Insurance has predicted what many of us already knew was coming - massive health insurance increases in 2015, as high as 37%, for thousands of Alaskans due to Obamacare and its never-ending regulations.
“A review completed by ADI ultimately concluded that federal mandates under the President’s healthcare law have created sizable expenses too large to spread across participants without dramatically raising rates.
“Some will dismiss these alarming numbers as a partisan attack on the President’s healthcare law, but I assure you, for the 16,000 Alaskans paying higher rates in 2015 for the same or worse care, it’s not political, it’s painful. For the 6,000 Alaskans purchasing their own health insurance without government subsidies through the exchanges, it’s not partisan, it’s a real problem.
“The House has passed several bills to repeal Obamacare as a whole or make much needed reforms to the law. I urge the Senate to consider these proposals, negotiate with us and the American people, before more people lose their doctors and healthcare to rising costs and a rising tide of Obamacare regulations.”
Congressman Young Shares Message with Alaskans
This month, I have been very fortunate to spend time with Alaskans from across the state to discuss the many issues and concerns currently facing this great nation. Our conversations have transcended party line and affiliation and have dug deep into the vision we see for this country and the path it’s currently on. Over and over again, I have heard the same message; Alaskans are tired of overbearing and out of touch federal policies that continue to eat away at our local economies, jeopardize our many industries, and threaten our Alaskan way of life.
It is through these interactions and conversations that I bring great knowledge and understanding back to Washington, D.C. to stand up and forcefully defend our state from attacks. My commitment to you, as your sole representative in the House, remains strong as I focus on getting people back to work, spurring economic growth, and getting government out of the way.
I look forward to working with you as we address our nation’s many problems. Please take a look at my e-newsletter for August 26, 2014 by clicking here.
Anchorage, AK - Nearly two years after the Department of Commerce declared fisheries disasters for the Yukon River, Kuskokwim River and the Upper Cook Inlet Chinook fisheries, $7.8 million in relief funding will soon be distributed to local fishermen. Today, the Alaska Congressional Delegation received notice that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide grant funding for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to distribute direct payments "to commercial fishermen in the Yukon River and Cook Inlet Regions of Alaska to compensate them for losses incurred from the Chinook Salmon Disaster during 2012."
"Alaskans, especially those living on the Yukon River, Kuskokwim River and Cook Inlet, rely heavily on our fish for basic survival needs,” said Congressman Don Young. “Disaster strikes in many different forms, including our fisheries, and we owe it to our people to provide similar relief to those located in other parts of the country. I am proud that Congress recognized the importance of this funding and am pleased to see the process of distribution begin. Thank you to the many groups involved in this undertaking and for the work you did to find an equitable solution to our needs."
"When disaster funding was announced earlier this year, I made a commitment to get this funding to Alaska as quickly as possible," said Senator Lisa Murkowski. "Today, I am proud to see that commitment pay off in order to begin the process of making our fishing communities whole once again. I fought from the beginning to make sure Alaska received its fair share of fisheries disaster funding and believe countless Alaskans affected by the 2012 disasters will now begin to get what they deserve.
Today's grant announcement represents a portion of fishery disaster funding directed to the state of Alaska earlier this year. A total of $20.8 million will be split among subsistence, sport and commercial users in affected area, and will include funding for future fisheries research. The Alaska Congressional delegation worked with the Governor, federal officials, and numerous user groups to equitably distribute the disaster funding.
Click here to view the NOAA Investment Award notice.
Anchorage, AK – After months of waiting and speculation, the United States Air Force has officially selected Eielson Air Force Base as the preferred location for two squadrons of F-35A fighters. In a call to the Alaska Congressional Delegation this morning, the Secretary of the Air Force announced that following an environmental impact study (EIS) and official record of decision, Eielson AFB should receive its first of 48 F-35 fighters in the summer of 2019.
“Today is a great day for Eielson AFB, North Pole, Fairbanks, and the state of Alaska; it’s been announced that Eielson AFB is the Air Force’s preferred location to house the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,” said Congressman Young. “In Alaska, it's always been about the mission. From the interceptors at Greely to the combat-coded F-22s at JBER, the U.S. military truly understands Alaska strategic position. I am pleased to say today that the Air Force continues this understanding by placing the world's most premiere fighter aircraft at Eielson.
“This has certainly been a labor of love for me and the many individuals who fought to bring the F-35 to Alaska. In this year's defense authorization I was able to secure important language to let the Air Force know that Congress was behind the decision to station the F-35 at Eielson. I am pleased that they listened, but more importantly that they understood how critically important Eielson is to this nation and the safety and security of the American people. Today's world is littered with threats, especially in the Pacific region. I believe that the presence of the F-35 in Alaska, in addition to the existing F-22s, will send a powerful message to our adversaries that the U.S. intends to make the Pacific and Arctic a priority."
Congressman Young shares his thought on the F-35’s coming to Eielson AFB (click here to watch).
Following an EIS, the Air Force will make its final record of decision in the fall of 2015. Today, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said that the F-35 would bring approximately $37M in military construction in FY 2016 and nearly $150 million in FY 2017 to Eielson AFB.
Congressman Young has long been a proponent of the F-35 coming to Eielson AFB. In recent months, he included an amendment to the H.R. 4435, the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to express the Sense of Congress for basing criteria of the two OCONUS F-35A squadrons, which included emphasis on conditions only found at Eielson AFB:
For his work on the crucial F-35 amendment, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly and Mayor Luke Hopkins honored Congressman Young with a resolution thanking him for his work. To view the FNSB resolution, please click here.
Washington, D.C. — To help the United States better prioritize its interests in the Arctic, Representatives Don Young and Rick Larsen, WA-02, announced the creation of the Congressional Arctic Working Group in an op-ed printed in the Washington Post on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
The bipartisan working group, which will focus on bringing together stakeholders from across Native, environmental, oil and gas, mining, national security, and navigation communities to advise Congress about the opportunities and challenges facing the United States as an Arctic nation, will also work to ensure the nation begins securing its strategic and economic interests in the region.
Congressman Don Young shared this statement following the announcement of the Arctic Working Group:
“Our nation must quickly step up to the plate to address the growing needs of the Arctic, including in areas of resource development, shipping, tourism, and Alaska Native priorities. I am proud to lead that charge with my friend Congressman Rick Larsen by expanding the conversation on this vital American issue. As an Alaskan, I am quick to remind my colleagues in Congress that we are an Arctic nation and inaction will only hurt our many social and economic interests.
“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 priorities in the region. While the announcement of our nations’ first Arctic Representative is a positive step forward for Alaska and the rest of the country, we must show the rest of the world that the United States is ready to take over the Arctic Council Chairmanship in 2015 by appointing an Ambassador level position to the post.”
Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) shared the following statement after introducing the Arctic Working Group:
“The icy waters of the Arctic may seem remote, but other countries are rapidly and successfully traversing those waters to conduct research, develop energy resources and carry goods to market. The U.S. can sit by and let other countries run the Arctic show, or we can suit up and act to protect our economic, strategic and environmental interests.
“Ports in the Pacific Northwest will become more frequent stops for ships journeying through the Arctic, increasing economic activity along our waterfronts. Maritime activity in the Arctic requires specialized equipment like icebreakers. Shipbuilders and mechanics in Northwest ports are well positioned to take on the added work, creating more jobs. Just because the Arctic is at a high latitude doesn’t mean the U.S. should ignore it. The Arctic Working Group, which I’m pleased to start with Mr. Young, will bring needed attention to a part of the world we can’t afford to neglect.”
The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on Arctic policy issues and analysis, welcomed the formation of the working group. Arctic Institute Executive Director, Malte Humpert, offered the following support:
“With the United States set to take over the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in Spring 2015, this is great time to get a dialogue started to increase attention on Arctic issues in Congress and raise awareness as to why the Arctic region should rank higher on the agenda. The Arctic Ocean is being transformed from a year-round frozen desert into a seasonally navigable ocean. This transformation brings with it great challenges and opportunities and effective stewardship will be key to ensuring that Alaskan and U.S. interests can be met.”
Young and Larsen have both advocated for improved U.S. infrastructure in the Arctic, including a stronger icebreaking fleet and an ambassador for Arctic Affairs, a position other Arctic nations already have in place. Read their op-ed in the Washington Post.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today offered the following statement after the passage of H.R. 5230, the House Border Crisis Supplemental Package, legislation he supported to address the underlying problems of the growing crisis at our nation’s Southern border and curtail the influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) seeking entrance into the United States:
“As most Americans can clearly see a perfect storm of failed policy decisions and executive overreach has led to a growing crisis on our nation’s Southern border,” said Congressman Don Young. “A well intentioned anti-trafficking law enacted in 2008 now handcuffs our border security personnel. An ill-conceived executive order issued by President Obama in 2012 has drawn undocumented children to our borders. And a severely backlogged immigration court has prevented swift asylum hearings and deportations when appropriate.
“In response to an estimated 57,000 UACs at our border to date, the Administration has asked Congress and the American people for an additional $3.7 billion without addressing the 2008 law which prohibits our border enforcement personnel from expediting deportations. Spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money without addressing the problem is bad governance, and thankfully the House has chosen to take a different approach. We are a nation of laws and today’s legislation works to enforce them.”
The House passed package would provide $694 million in funding – fully offset by cuts to federal spending – through September 31, 2014. The bill passed the House by a margin of 223 to 189 and awaits consideration in the Senate.
For more information on the UAC border surge, please visit Congressman Young’s official website.
H.R. 5230 would provide $694 million:
H.R. 5230 makes a number of important reforms to address the many underlying problems of the unaccompanied minor border surge. The legislation would:
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.
House Votes to Limit EPA’s Jurisdictional Power Grab Over Waters of the United States http://t.co/S8xYPkZqVy
Petty Officer 1st Class Rachid Arnick, an Air Station Kodiak rescue swimmer, was recently awarded the Vice Admiral Thomas R. Sargent Gold Medal
I was incredibly honored to attend the Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) award ceremony for Petty Officer 1st Class Rachid Arnick, an Air
Thirteen years ago, the America we knew changed forever. Today, I recognize the anniversary of the greatest tragedy in this nation – the 9/11
#Neverforget the tragic events of 9/11
Following the President's address to the nation, I shared these thoughts with Alaskans: The reality of this situation cannot be understated.