Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Murkowski, Young Assure VAWA Amendment Repeal

2014/12/12

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young today teamed up to make sure that Section 910 of the Violence Against Women Act was repealed. Through numerous conversations with their House and Senate colleagues, the two Alaska lawmakers succeeded in having the provision removed from the law.

In the final days of the 113th Congress, Representative Young worked directly with House leadership – including several interactions with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other senior House members – to secure expedited passage of the bill in one of the House’s final actions prior to adjourning.  Meanwhile, Senator Murkowski worked with her Senate colleagues to build support for the action, including a call across Capitol Hill before the vote to Majority Leader McCarthy, encouraging his consent for the move that officially took place after tonight’s final budget vote.

“Alaska tribes asked me to repeal Section 910 of VAWA, and I thank the Alaska Delegation for working with me on their behalf,” said Murkowski.  “But it doesn’t stop today; in the new Congress beginning next month, it will be imperative to ensure that our tribal courts in Alaska receive the funding they need to deliver the justice and protection the need and deserve – not only for training and capacity development, but also for operations.”

“Today I am pleased that the House of Representatives passed S. 1474, a bill which repeals Section 910 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).  In the many conversations I have had with Alaska Native leaders and families since the reauthorization of VAWA last year, I heard a consistent, clear, and powerful message: that Section 910 was an error and must be repealed,” said Congressman Young.  “I was proud to work with Lisa in these final moments to ensure that one of the final acts of the House of Representatives in the 113th Congress was to empower Alaska’s tribes and uplift Alaska Native women.”




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Congressman Young Commends Senate Passage of NDAA

2014/12/12

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement after Senate passage of S. 1847, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA), which authorizes $521.3 billion in national defense spending, provides a number of key reforms for military operations across the nation, and approves a number of critical Alaska lands provisions.

 “While I would’ve preferred to see passage of this important legislation months ago, I’m pleased to see the House and Senate come together in our final days to find common ground,” said Congressman Don Young. “In these divided times, it’s often difficult to achieve perfect legislation, but this bipartisan, bicameral agreement works to put our military men and women first and provide them with the resources and reforms they need to train, fight, and protect our country.”

“In addition to making important reforms to stem the tide of sexual assault and suicide, this legislation also takes significant steps to support military operations in Alaska,” Young said. “I was proud to see the inclusion of language that reaffirms the F-35 basing at Eielson Air Force Base, begins the process of getting our 168th Air Refueling Wing the manpower they need to execute their missions, and makes a number of Alaskan land conveyances reality.”

S. 1847, a bipartisan compromise hatched between the House and Senate, also includes three Alaska public land provisions previously passed in the House under the leadership of Congressman Young.  The bill includes:

  • The conveyance of 1,518 acres of federal land at the former Distant Early Warning Site near Wainwright, Alaska to the Olgoonik Corporation. The House bill, H.R. 5167, passed by voice vote on November 13, 2014.
  • The Sealaska land entitlement finalization, which conveys 70,075 of acres of land to Sealaska. On September 10, 2013, the House Natural Resources Committee reported a version of this bill, which also passed in the House during the 112th Congress.
  • The removal of federal reversionary interest to three parcels of land conveyed to the Municipality of Anchorage. Under the existing title, a reversionary clause requires the land ownership revert back to the federal government should the land no longer be used for “municipal purposes.” This bill passed the House on February 6, 2014. 

 

Provisions included in the 2015 NDAA of Alaskan benefit and interest: 

  • Ground-Based Missile Defense:  Authorizes a $40 million increase to the Ballistic Missile Defense System at Ft. Greely for upgrades to the current system of ground-based missile interceptors.  This bill also blocks funding to explore an East Coast missile site and instead directs funding to improving Alaska’s capacity.
  • Ballistic Missile Defense Sensors:  Authorizes $392.9 million for Ballistic Missile Defense Sensors, one of which is located at Clear Air Force Station.
  • Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR):  This bill authorizes funding to begin building the LRDR, a vital missile defense radar which will be constructed in Alaska within ten years.
  • Clear Air Force Station Military Construction: Authorizes $11.5 million for an Emergency Power Plant fuel storage.
  • F-35:  $6.7 billion for the procurement for 34 aircraft and continued research and development.  Currently, Alaska is home to Eielson AFB the preferred location for the Air Force’s OCONUS F-35 basing of two squadrons for F-35As.
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Includes a provision explicitly stating nothing with the NDAA should be construed as authorizing an additional round of BRAC.
  • National Guard Force Structure Adjustments: Includes a provision to have the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) study the appropriate balance between the Active force and the Guard. The re-distribution of important Guard aviation assets are also blocked in FY2015.
  • Nome Land Transfer: Transfers seven acres of federal land – the West Nome Fuel Tank Farm – from the Air Force to the City of Nome for future economic purposes.

 

 

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Congress Sends Coast Guard Reauthorization to President’s Desk

2014/12/11

Washington, DC – Former Chairmen and senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Congressman Don Young today issued the following statement on the passage of the Howard Coble Coast Guard Transportation Act of 2014, legislation that authorizes Coast Guard spending for one year and advances a number of important Alaskan causes, including a 3-year moratorium on overbearing EPA regulations facing fisherman and vessel owners, and improvements to the USCG lands and housing infrastructure.

“As Alaskans, we understand the critical role the Coast Guard plays in protecting our waterways and securing our coastlines,” said Congressman Don Young. “This legislation represents a firm commitment from Congress to strengthen and support the Coast Guard’s mission, which includes more than 2,500 active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel in Alaska. While it’s unfortunate the Senate could not agree to a permanent fix for our fisherman and small vessel owners ­– much like the one negotiated in the House – I was pleased with the inclusion of a 3-year moratorium on the EPA’s incidental discharge permit. I remain committed to seeing this issue through and providing the permanent relief and certainty these small business owners deserve."

The Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 also includes language from Congressman Young that supports the economic development of unused USCG property in Women’s Bay, AK on Kodiak Island, which currently faces long-term lease restrictions.

“The short term lease limitations imposed on Coast Guard lands in locations like Womens Bay greatly hinder future development projects in communities that support our Coast Guard,” Congressman Don Young said.At a time when federal funds are scarce for infrastructure, we are letting regulations stand in the way of private development wanted by all parties. This legislation would add a small tool in the arsenal for the USCG by enabling the Commandant complete discretion on whether or not to lease submerged and tidal lands for a longer period of time."

Congressman Young supported the following provisions of Alaskan interest, which:

  • Support servicemember pay raises and provides more resources for Coast Guard housing.
  • Ensure servicemembers in certain fields have opportunity for career advancement by addressing long-standing barriers and regulatory impediments for Sea Service veterans seeking employment within the U.S.-flag merchant marine.
  • Require a determination on the feasibility of refurbishing the USCGC Polar Sea, and provides authorization for a service life extension for the vessel that currently sits in port out of service. 
  • Require the Coast Guard to provide Congress with a strategy to maintain icebreaking capabilities in the Polar Regions that includes an analysis of the cost effectiveness of acquiring or leasing new icebreaker assets.
  • Require regular reporting on the status of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code negotiations, including safety for ships operating in polar waters, and the impacts on coastal communities in regards to the costs of delivering freight and fuel, as well on the safety of maritime transportation.
  • At request of the Senate Majority, the bill reiterates currently existing authority for the construction of forward operating facilities in the Arctic.
  • Reauthorizes fishing vessel safety grants.
  • Provides an inflationary adjustment to the funding provided for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.

Click here for more information about the legislation.

 

 

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Congressman Young Shares Thoughts on House Passage of FY15 Appropriations Omnibus Bill

2014/12/11

Washington, D.C. – Following the House passage of H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act – which provides federal funding for 11 Appropriations bills through Fiscal Year 2015 and funding for the Department of Homeland Security through February 27, 2015 – Alaskan Congressman Don Young shared the following thoughts:

“Unfortunately, due to months of inaction and dysfunction on the part of the Senate Majority, we were once again faced with the threat of a government shutdown and yet another 11th hour funding package that leaves much to be desired. These types of manufactured emergencies are no way to operate and the American people deserve better.”

“In recent days, weeks and months, I have heard from countless Alaskans to express their heartfelt concerns for the fiscal security of this great nation. While this piece of legislation is no way for the Congress to operate, I do believe it takes a number of serious steps to stand up for fiscal responsibility, reduce the size of the federal government, defend the homeland and protect our men and women in uniform, and target much needed reforms for growing federal agencies like the EPA and IRS. However, until Congress returns to working order and passes individual appropriations bills, our nation’s growing debt and fiscal certainty may never be restored."

“There is no question that the American people sent a resounding message this past November; that the failed policies of this President – including his efforts to operate around the will of the people and Congress – must end.  Alaskans sent me to Congress to stand up for fiscal responsibility, fight back against onerous federal regulations, and stand up to executive overreach, and that is exactly what I will continue to do. I look forward to restoring the checks and balances of our federal government and once again address the concerns of the Alaskan people when our Republican majority arrives in Congress in January.”

Following the passage of the H.R. 83, Congressman Young expressed his disappointment with the exclusion of Secure Rural Schools funding from the package, a shortfall that could have been prevented had the Senate moved on federal forest policy legislation passed by the House in September 2013.

“The absence of Secure Rural Schools funding is a huge blow to forested communities in the West, particularly those in Alaska, which depend heavily on the program to lessen the impact of declines of revenue due to reductions in federal timber harvests. This delay in funding, which House leaders have committed to addressing in the first quarter of next year, will hamper our Alaskan school districts’ ability to plan and budget effectively.”

Alaskan Interests included in the H.R. 83:

  • Alaska Education Equity - $31.5M
  • High Cost Energy Grants - $10M
  • Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund - $65M
  • Promotion of Alaska Native High Education Programs ­- $12.8M
  • Brooks Camp bridge in Katmai National Park - $4.374M
  • Alaska Conveyance Program - $22M
  • State and Tribal Assistance Grants for water and wastewater infrastructure in Alaska Native Villages - $10M
  • Emergency Power Plant Fuel Storage (Clear AFS) - $11.5M
  • Kodiak Launch Complex and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), split equally - $6M
  • Village Safe Water Program - $30M
  • Denali Commission - $10M
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
    • Studies/Investigations:
      • Small, Remote, Subsistence Harbors $2.2M
      • AK Regional (Arctic) Ports - $50k
      • Craig Harbor - $300k
      • Port Lions Harbor - $300
    • Operations and Maintenance:
      • Port of Anchorage - $11M
      • Chena River Lakes - $3.6M
      • Cook Inlet Shoals - $816K
      • Dillingham Harbor- $540K
      • Homer Harbor – $410k
      • Lowell Creek Tunnel - $300k
      • Ninilchik Harbor - $269k
      • Nome Harbor - $1.451M


Provisions and Funding of Alaskan Interest Included in the H.R. 83:

POSTAL:

  • Requires the Postal Service to continue Saturday deliveries and keep all post offices open through the fiscal year.

EPA:

  • Blocks the EPA from banning bullets and fishing tackle made from lead, in addition to regulating lead content.
  • Cuts the EPA by $60 million, which represents the fifth consecutive year of cuts – a 21% reduction since FY10 and lowest level of EPA staffing since 1989.


DEFENSE:

  • Fully funds troop pay raises authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • Provides $64 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for our troops, to combat threats from ISIS, train and equip foreign allies, and support for Ukraine
  • Prohibits the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.
  • Provides funding for 38 F-35 joint Strike Fighters.
  •  Fully funds the cost‐of‐living allowance shortfall for military retirees.


INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE:

  • $4.6B for Indian Health Service Funding – a $208M increase from FY14
  • $2.6 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Education – a $70M increase from FY14
  • $662.97M for Contract Support Costs
  • $650M for NAHASDA block grants
  • $75M for veterans rental assistance vouchers for Native American vets under a new Native Veterans Housing Demo Program.
  •  811 Language:  Retains language to require a GAO Report on the impact on Section 811 on Native Contracting.


INTERIOR:

  • Fully funds Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) at $442 million
  • Prevents new fees on onshore oil and gas producers.


INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS):

  • Cuts IRS funding by nearly $350 million
  • Prohibits IRS targeting of organizations based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights.
  • Prohibits the White House from ordering review of tax-exempt status.


VETERANS ADMINISTRATION:

  • Provides $2.5 billion for processing VA disability claims to end the backlog
  • Rescinds $41 million in performance based bonuses at the VA


MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Provides flexibility for the Administration’s school lunch regulations 
  • Prohibits the Obama Administration from implementing the UN Arms Trade Treaty
  • Allows for a one percent pay increase for federal employees to take effect January 1, 2015.
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House Passes Legislation to Rein in Executive Overreach on Immigration

2014/12/04

Washington, D.C. ­– Following passage of H.R. 5759, the Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014, Alaskan Congressman Don Young detailed his support for the House’s first legislative response to the President’s controversial executive order on immigration:

“Two weeks ago, through executive order, President Obama circumvented Congress by directing his federal agencies to stop the deportation of more than 5 million unlawful immigrants. At that time, he also expanded his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, otherwise known as Dreamers, allowing even more unlawful immigrants to stay in this country. He justified his actions by claiming his Administration is merely exercising its power of prosecutorial discretion, similar to past presidents.  As I have said before, that comparison and his use of executive action in this case are plain wrong.”

“Past presidents have used executive action to clarify bipartisan immigration laws that were passed by Congress.  President Obama’s executive order, in stark contrast, was not issued to clarify Congressional action, but because Congress wasn’t giving him the answers he wanted in the timeline he promised.  This is not how elected officials restore the public’s faith in our government.  This is how you erode the public’s faith.”

“When the President first announced his executive order, I pledged to work with my colleagues in the House to pass legislation to rein in this overreach.  Today, I backed up those words by supporting legislation that clearly established, in law, that the President does not have the authority to exempt or defer deportation for whole categories of persons unlawfully present in the country.  Any executive action that violates this statutory limit will be considered null and void.  This legislation would apply to the President recent executive order and any future ones that work to circumvent our immigration laws.”

For more information on the law in detail, click here.

 

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Congress Moves Closer to National Defense Reauthorization

2014/12/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives and Alaskan Congressman Don Young today passed bicameral legislation to authorize $521.3 billion in national defense spending and $63.7 billion for overseas operations, in addition to providing key reforms to protect Alaskan military operations and service members, prevent military sexual assault and suicide, reaffirm the F-35 basing at Eielson Air Force Base, and convey federal lands to local entities.

“This important piece of legislation funds our fighting men and women and gives them the resources they need to train, fight, and keep America safe,” said Congressman Young. “While the bill isn’t perfect, it does include many important items for Alaska and the rest of the nation.  I’m proud to see the inclusion of my language to begin the process of getting Eielson’s tankers the manpower they need to execute all of their missions, and pleased to confirm what Alaskans already know, that Eielson is the best place for the Air Force’s F-35s. I must also commend Senator Murkowski for her leadership, as Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,  in ensuring many of these provisions, particularly the public lands measures, were included in the final bill.”

Included within S. 1847, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 (NDAA), are key Alaska provisions supported and included by Congressman Young that highlight Alaska’s unique landscape and strategic location. Additionally, the legislation mitigates drastic cuts to TRICARE, housing allowances, and commissary benefits. S. 1847 passed with overwhelming support today by a vote of 300 to 119, and will now be taken up by the Senate. 

Congressman Young successfully included the following provisions in the 2015 NDAA:

Eielson and F-35s:  Language included in the NDAA’s explanatory report clearly states that Eielson Air Force Base is the preferred location for two squadrons of F-35s.

Arctic Capabilities Study:  A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study to analyze and identify existing capability gaps that hinder the DOD’s ability to carry out the Administration’s new Arctic Strategy, released late last year. The study will examine the need for increased ice breaking capacity, a suitable replacement plan for the aging Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV), and the need for Arctic based programs and training similar to the U.S. Army Alaska’s (USARAK) Northern Warfare Training Center.

Business Case Analysis for the 168th ARW:  A Business Case Analysis (BCA) by the Air Force for forming an Active Association with the Alaska National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing (AWR) at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska. At this time, the 168th ARW does not possess the manpower to fulfill all air refueling requirements of the Northern Pacific and Arctic region, which results in nearly forty percent of refueling missions requiring costly augmentation from temporarily assigned Air Mobility Command (AMC) tanker assets.  This is the Alaska National Guard’s top legislative priority for FY2015. 

The legislation also includes three Alaska public land provisions previously passed in the House under the leadership of Congressman Young.  The bill includes:

  • The conveyance of 1,518 acres of federal land at the former Distant Early Warning Site near Wainwright, Alaska to the Olgoonik Corporation. The House bill, H.R. 5167, passed by voice vote on November 13, 2014.
  • The Sealaska land entitlement finalization, which conveys 70,075 of acres of land to Sealaska. On September 10, 2013, the House Natural Resources Committee reported a version of this bill, which also passed in the House during the 112th Congress.
  • The removal of federal reversionary interest to three parcels of land conveyed to the Municipality of Anchorage. Under the existing title, a reversionary clause requires the land ownership revert back to the federal government should the land no longer be used for “municipal purposes.” This bill passed the House on February 6, 2014. 

Provisions included in the 2015 NDAA of Alaskan benefit and interest: 

  • Ground-Based Missile Defense:  Authorizes a $40 million increase to the Ballistic Missile Defense System at Ft. Greely for upgrades to the current system of ground-based missile interceptors.  This bill also blocks funding to explore an East Coast missile site and instead directs funding to improving Alaska’s capacity.
  • Ballistic Missile Defense Sensors:  Authorizes $392.9 million for Ballistic Missile Defense Sensors, one of which is located at Clear Air Force Station.
  • Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR):  This bill authorizes funding to begin building the LRDR, a vital missile defense radar which will be constructed in Alaska within ten years.
  • Clear Air Force Station Military Construction: Authorizes $11.5 million for an Emergency Power Plant fuel storage.
  • F-35:  $6.7 billion for the procurement for 34 aircraft and continued research and development.  Currently, Alaska is home to Eielson AFB the preferred location for the Air Force’s OCONUS F-35 basing of two squadrons for F-35As.
  • Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Includes a provision explicitly stating nothing with the NDAA should be construed as authorizing an additional round of BRAC.
  • National Guard Force Structure Adjustments: Includes a provision to have the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) study the appropriate balance between the Active force and the Guard. The re-distribution of important Guard aviation assets are also blocked in FY2015.
  • Nome Land Transfer: Transfers seven acres of federal land – the West Nome Fuel Tank Farm – from the Air Force to the City of Nome for future economic purposes.

 

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House Passes Commonsense Tax Relief for American Households

2014/12/03

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today supported the passage of two tax bills aimed at providing relief for countless American households and individuals living with disabilities. Both bills, H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and H.R. 647, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE), passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

H.R. 647, the ABLE Act, works to provide families with severely disabled children the commonsense tools they need to save for long-term disability expenses. Under the current tax code, many disabled individuals and their families lack the same type of saving instruments and tax incentives that many American families enjoy for expenses like college, retirement, and other life events.

“I am a proud cosponsor of the ABLE Act, which establishes optional, tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities,” said Congressman Young.  “Under this bill, individuals and families caring for a severely disabled child can use these tax-free savings accounts to pay for expenses such as housing, career development, and medical expenses not covered by SSI or Medicaid. This commonsense approach lets families struggling to pay for their disabled loved ones keep more of their money so they can provide the care they need most, which varies in every home and every state.  This is a theme you will see again and again with House Republicans; incentivizing positive fiscal behavior by offering tax cuts or tax deferred accounts for worthwhile causes.”

H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, would provide a one year extension on a variety of tax deductions that expired at the end of 2013 or during the current year. This short-term extension comes following a White House veto threat on a 10-year tax extension negotiated by House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

“It was imperative that my colleagues in the House and I move quickly to pass this tax extenders package before the 2014 tax filing season begins,” said Congressman Young, “This one year extension will have a significant impact on American and Alaskan households. Once this bill is enacted, I look forward to working with my colleagues in the 114th Congress to build and pass a larger tax reform package that makes certain expiring tax provisions permanent. Americans deserve tax relief and certainty so they can make their budgets accordingly.  As a fiscal conservative and Alaskan who values independence, I will continue to work to help households keep more of their hard earned paychecks because I trust they can spend it better than the federal government.”

Click here for a section by section summary of H.R. 647.

Click here for a section by section summary of H.R. 5771.

 

 

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House Makes Final Push on Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, Sends Bipartisan Agreement to Senate

2014/12/03

Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today approved a bipartisan, bicameral Coast Guard agreement that works to protect the nation’s oceans and waterways, improve the USCG’s mission readiness, and support our men and women in uniform. The legislation, H.R. 5769, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, also works to advance a number of Alaskan priorities supported by Congressman Don Young, including a 1-year moratorium on regulatory burdens facing fisherman and vessel owners, and improvements to USCG lands and housing infrastructure.

“We always knew a Coast Guard reauthorization bill would come down to the wire, not because the legislation lacked the necessary improvements and reforms, but because of the sluggish environment currently plaguing Washington, D.C.” said Congressman Don Young. “This legislation, which reduces regulatory burdens and improves Coast Guard operations across Alaska and the nation, has always remained a top priority of mine and I look forward to seeing it enacted into law. It’s unfortunate the Senate could not agree to a permanent fix to provide surety for our fishermen from regulatory burdens, but I expect we will be able to finally solve this problem in the new Congress.”

Of particular note, H.R. 5769 extends a one year moratorium for owners of fishing vessels and small commercial vessels from having to obtain EPA permits for incidental discharges, such as deck water runoff.

Congressman Young also included language within H.R. 5769 that supports the economic development of unused USCG property in Womens Bay, AK on Kodiak Island. Under current law, the USCG is prohibited from leasing submerged or tidal lands beyond a 5-year maximum, which has proven to restrict long-term planning and asset management of USCG lands.

“The short term lease limitations imposed on Coast Guard lands in locations like Womens Bay greatly hinder future development projects in communities that support our Coast Guard,” said Congressman Don Young. “At a time when federal funds are scarce for infrastructure, we are letting regulations stand in the way of private development wanted by all parties. This legislation would add a small tool in the arsenal for the USCG by enabling the Commandant complete discretion on whether or not to lease submerged and tidal lands for a longer period of time.

Congressman Young supported the following provisions of Alaskan interest, which:

  • Support servicemember pay raises and provides more resources for Coast Guard housing.
  • Ensure servicemembers in certain fields have opportunity for career advancement by addressing long-standing barriers and regulatory impediments for Sea Service veterans seeking employment within the U.S.-flag merchant marine.
  • Require a determination on the feasibility of refurbishing the USCGC Polar Sea, and provides authorization for a service life extension for the vessel that currently sits in port out of service. 
  • Require the Coast Guard to provide Congress with a strategy to maintain icebreaking capabilities in the Polar Regions that includes an analysis of the cost effectiveness of acquiring or leasing new icebreaker assets.
  • Require regular reporting on the status of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code negotiations, including safety for ships operating in polar waters, and the impacts on coastal communities in regards to the costs of delivering freight and fuel, as well on the safety of maritime transportation.
  • At request of the Senate Majority, the bill reiterates currently existing authority for the construction of forward operating facilities in the Arctic.
  • Reauthorizes fishing vessel safety grants.
  • Provides an inflationary adjustment to the funding provided for the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council.

 

 

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House Reauthorizes Native American Housing Assistance Program

2014/12/02

Washington, D.C. – Under the leadership of Alaskan Congressman Don Young and a bipartisan group of his colleagues, the House of Representatives today passed legislation to reauthorize the primary federal housing program for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians – the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) – which empowers Native communities to develop and implement their own innovative housing assistance initiatives.

“Prior to the passage of NAHASDA in 1996, many federal housing programs failed to take into account the unique challenges and obstacles facing the Alaska Native people,” said Congressman Don Young. “NAHASDA exemplifies the spirit of self-determination by allowing tribes and villages to build housing that makes sense for their particular communities and unique climates. This reauthorization works to uphold the successes of NAHASDA, while making much needed improvements to the program that empower Native communities to better confront their housing challenges.”

Congressman Young Discussing the Reauthorization of NAHASDA on the House Floor (click here to watch).

H.R.4329, the Native American Housing Assistance and SelfDetermination Reauthorization of 2014, reflects the House’s effort to address some of the worst housing and economic conditions in the country.  The legislation would extend NAHASDA for five years and work to streamline the federal approval process, reduce red tape, and make much need reforms to the program. Click here for a section by section description of H.R. 4329.

Reauthorization of NAHASDA is supported by tribes, tribal organizations, and designated Indian housing authorities across the country, including the National American Indian Housing Council, which developed a foundation for the legislation, and the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, a tireless NAHASDA advocate in Alaska.

  

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Federal Duck Stamp Legislation Passes Senate with Exemption for Alaskan Subsistence Hunters

2014/12/02

Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today applauded the Senate’s passage of H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, which included an amendment he added to the bill in Committee to exempt subsistence hunters in rural Alaska from being required to purchase the annual permit.

“The passage of the Federal Duck Stamp Act and the subsistence exemption is a major victory for rural Alaska, our many residents who rely on the resource as a critical food supply, and those in remote villages who have faced hardships in obtaining the federal duck stamp,” said Congressman Don Young. “I must thank the numerous Alaska organizations who came forward and asked me to include this important language in the base bill and for supporting me through the process. I look forward to seeing this legislation signed into law and continuing my work on behalf of all our interest.”

  Following the passage of H.R. 5069 in the House, Congressman Young shared the following comment (click here to listen):

“For many years, subsistence users in Alaska were not required to purchase a stamp, but this changed due to a recent solicitor’s opinion,” said Congressman Young. “Subsistence hunters are not sport hunters. Instead, they are hunting waterfowl to feed their families. While I support raising the price of the duck stamp for sportsmen, myself included, we should not be adding a burden to individuals who rely on subsistence hunting as a means to feed their families. Alaska Natives, and frankly all Alaskans, have done their part to preserve waterfowl habitat and other lands. Tens of millions of acres in Alaska are already tied up in some sort of conservation designation. As a result, none of the funds generated by the duck stamp are spent in Alaska.”

H.R. 5069, the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014, now heads to the President's desk for his signature.

 
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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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