Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young, Chairman Emeritus of the House Natural Resources Committee, today shared the following statement in response to the American Energy Independence Executive Order:
“For eight straight years, the Obama administration engaged in a full on assault against our nation’s energy sector – creating hurdles and obstacles at every turn,” said Congressman Young. “Today’s action by the President represents a major step in the right direction for streamlining the development and production of our nation’s abundant and reliable resources. As a nation and as a state, we must set our sights on an American made energy strategy that allows our economies to grow, our communities to prosper, and 21st century technologies to lead innovation. I look forward to working with this administration to ensure Alaska is an active partner in this endeavor.”
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, April 5, 2017 the House Natural Resource Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold a legislative hearing on Alaska Congressman Don Young’s legislation to facilitate a life-saving road for the isolated community of King Cove, Alaska.
H.R. 218, the King Cove Road Land Exchange Act (Rep. Don Young), to provide for the exchange of Federal land and non-Federal land in the State of Alaska for the construction of a road between King Cove and Cold Bay.
Mrs. Della Trumble
King Cove Native Corporation
WHAT: House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands legislative hearing on H.R. 218
WHEN: Wednesday, April 5 at 2:00 PM (EDT), 10:00 AM (AKDT)
WHERE: 1324 Longworth House Office Building or live streamed here.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today joined a group of lawmakers at the White House for the signing of four Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions, including legislation he co-sponsored to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Planning 2.0 rule.
Alaska Congressman Don Young on the enactment of H.J. Res 44, legislation to overturn BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule (click here to watch)
“Today is an important step to reversing a series of end-of-term rules and regulations by the Obama Administration – many of which were politically charged, overly prescriptive, and added unnecessary burdens and red tape for Alaskans,” said Congressman Don Young shared after the bill signing. “Importantly, today’s actions overturn the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule, a massive power grab from federal bureaucrats away from the American people.
“This rule upended years of successful planning at the state and local levels in favor of outsider interests. What used to be an inclusive process with our local communities and the State of Alaska – allowing for local input, consultation and decision making – has been entirely dismantled under the previous administration. Look no further than the 40 Mile Mining District – small mom and pop operations with a very limited foot prints. They were enemy number one for the last administration,” Young said. “The BLM and others must understand – you will consult, you must work with rural people, you will not unilaterally exert your authority over the Alaskan people. I’ve said it before; you can’t run this country from Washington, D.C. We must understand DC is not the answer to everything. By overturning Planning 2.0, it is my hope that we restore confidence in our system and send a clear message to the BLM – you’re not going to walk over Alaska anymore.”
Congressman Young attends White House Bill Signing (Official White House Photo by Benjamin Tuck)
In his first visit to the White House since the swearing-in of President Trump, Congressman Young said he was encouraged by the visit and shared a message with both the President and Vice President – work collectively with Congress.
“I’ve been here a long time,” said Congressman Young. “I’ve worked with nine different Administrations – I’ve seen the mistakes, I’ve seen the successes. I shared a little piece of advice; don’t get stuck in the inner-circle conversations without going outside the circle. When it comes to Alaska – jobs, the economy, streamlining resource development and rolling back overreach – let’s work together.”
Today, the President signed three addition CRA resolutions into law:
On December 12, 2016 the Obama Administration published a new rule commonly referred to as BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule.
Many, including Alaska stakeholders, believe this rule introduced significant uncertainty to the BLM’s management planning process by creating ambiguous standards and expanding agency discretion. This new rule further complicated effective resource planning while reducing opportunities for meaningful state and local governmental input, and allowed radical special-interest groups from outside to have effectively the same influence as state and local officials in the planning process. Planning 2.0 takes planning decisions away from local communities and centralizes those decisions with bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
H.J. Res 44, a joint resolution introduced by Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-At Large), utilizes the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to disapprove and nullify BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule. The House passed H.J. Res. 44 by a bipartisan vote of 234-186 on February 7, 2017 and the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 51-48 on March 7, 2017. Senator Lisa Murkowski is the sponsor of companion legislation in the Senate.
Washington, D.C. – Following today’s postponement of the American Health Care Act (ACHA) on the House floor, Alaska Congressman Don Young sat down to discuss his views on the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Young, who had previously expressed concerns with the legislation and its direct impact to Alaska, says the ACHA is not the replacement Alaskans have demanded.
Video Message Recap:
"Hello, I’m Congressman Don Young. We had a good day today. And I say we, they pulled the healthcare bill off the House floor because they didn’t have the votes. I was going to vote no – think I made that perfectly clear – because this was not a good bill. It didn’t do well for Alaska."
"I’m still all for Obamacare repeal; I think it has to be done. I have a proposal that I’m putting forward to the Leadership – they may accept it, they may not. We’ll have a simple paragraph that will allow us to repeal Obamacare, but the time certain will be 2020. That way we have three and half years to write a good bill with the other side of the aisle. The way it is now, they didn’t participate. We were very frankly guilty of that; they were guilty before."
"I look at today as a victory for Alaska and for Alaskans that have healthcare and have questions about healthcare. For those that are being punished by Obamacare, which is far too many, we still have a chance to go back and do it right. That’s what we’re going to do."
"I think the next steps, as I mentioned, we’re going to take a breather – probably work on tax reform, which is good. Then, if they follow my suggestion, they will have two Committees work on this bill, and probably an ad-hoc Committee that will work with all the participants in healthcare. I’m talking about all the doctors and nurses, and the patients, and the insurance companies .They will have a chance to put in what they think is the right thing to do and write legislation and make it work. None of these bills, Obamacare or the ACHA, never addressed the high costs. It’s always about insurance, being insured, etc., but it’s never about the high cost of medicine."
"Let’s listen to the difference in opinion and let’s come back and write this bill. Which is the correct way to go and we’ll do it."
"When I first saw this so-called legislation, pass and repeal, I said we’re not really repealing Obamacare. The premiums would be just as high, which is killing my Alaska workers. We have a lot of Medicaid people that would be damaged through this legislation. And those who are signed up for the exchanges, they of course would be in limbo. I told them, let’s fix this up – especially for a place like Alaska that is large, isolated, and costs are the highest in the nation. They were writing a bill that was very frankly one-sized-fits-all. Again, what I’m promoting is that we repeal Obamacare and then we have three and a half years to write a good bill. If we do that, we’ll serve the people of Alaska."
"I’ve been working with the Speaker... I’ve been working with him, trying to help him, telling him what we should be doing. He wasn’t able to deliver on what I thought was necessary for the State of Alaska – the size of Alaska, the high cost of Alaska, the FMAP part of it. He was unable to get that done through the Committee process. That’s why I want this ad-hoc Committee, working with the two major Committees, to write a good piece of legislation. I believe it can be done and it should be done for this nation. Obamacare itself as written, because there was no thought put into it, is really breaking this nation."
"I did not support the legislation. I told the Leadership that. I’m very clear about that. As much as I hate Obamacare, I will not support legislation that doesn’t improve things for the constituents that I serve. That’s my main goal."
In an interview with DC-based Alaska reporters – Liz Ruskin of Alaska Public Radio Network and Erica Martinson of Alaska Dispatch News – Congressman Young further outlined his position on the American Health Care Act and efforts to repeal Obamacare.
“There will be a pause. We will get to a vote on repealing Obamacare. It’s actually a victory for Alaska and a victory for me. I’ve told them all along this is not the way to do it. We’re doing it very much like the Democrats wrote Obamacare. It didn’t accomplish the goals that I wanted to accomplish and it would have probably hurt lot of my Alaskan people.”
“Like I said, I look upon it as a victory. We'll come back and maybe we pass my first proposal. It was a one paragraph – section and chapter – Obamacare is repealed effective 2020. That gives us three and a half years to write a bill and the pressure would be on the Democrats and the Republicans, because they will never get enough votes again to pass an Obamacare bill.”
"If we work with the Ways and Means Committee, if we work with the Energy and Commerce Committee – I would have a special ad-hoc group of people who know what they’re talking about on healthcare, including the provider, the consumer, the insurer, the whole gamut. They would be a Commission with those two Committees so they could do the research and make sure that we can solve these problems."
"The reason why Obamacare failed was because it wasn’t a bipartisan bill. I’ll never forgive Nancy Pelosi for that – 'read it and find out what’s in it.' 2,400 pages and there was never any consultation with anybody, including those directly involved in healthcare."
"When we write this bill, why don’t we address the issue of high cost drugs? Why don’t we address the issues of accessibility? Why don’t we address the issue of over federalization? We have to look at these things and make sure: accessibility, good doctors, and reasonable costs. I think it can be done."
"Pooling to me is one of the most crucial things to do. Broadcasters, you all out there would be able to get together – all 5,000 of you or whatever you want to do – and set up a pooling insurance program. You could go to a big insurance company and say this is how many members we’ve got, what kind of deal can you give us? I think you would get a good deal; same thing with drugs."
"The reason I want to repeal Obamacare, it’s what’s killing small businesses and hurting families."
"Obamacare is not working and what we have to do is take the parts that might work – preexisting conditions, pooling, across state lines – and put them together and look at the high costs of healthcare. We’ll have to write another bill – part of that has to be the responsibility of individuals. There ought to be a reward, if you’re not a drinker, where you get cheaper health insurance… You don’t smoke, you get another break. You keep your weight down, you have another break. It’s like having a good driving record. State Farm gives you a reimbursement for having a good driving record, why not do that with healthcare?"
"I let Leadership know, don’t do this and they didn’t listen – so they lost a vote. I can tell you I wasn’t going to vote for it, but that’s after the fact."
***"I’m pretty much my own self when it comes to these issues. My job is to represent the people of Alaska. I think we did that this week. I worked with the Speaker, don’t get me wrong. The Speaker talked to me quite a bit. But it didn’t come to a point where I could support this bill. And he needed my vote."
WASHINGTON, DC – The Alaska Congressional Delegation today applauded the Senate’s passage of H.J. Res. 69, a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn an August 2016 final rule issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that significantly undermines public participation and restricts the state’s ability to manage fish and wildlife on federal refuge lands in Alaska. H.J. Res. 69 was introduced by Alaska Congressman Don Young and passed the House February 16, 2017.
“Since its inception, I’ve worked to overturn this shortsighted and illegal rulemaking by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife,” said sponsor of H.J. Res. 69 Congressman Don Young. “Not only was it a massive jurisdictional power grab, it clearly undermined the laws passed by Congress to protect Alaska’s authority to manage fish and wildlife upon all our lands. Today’s actions represent an enormous victory not only for Alaska and our cooperative game management system, but also for those across the country concerned with future government encroachment. Overturning this rule could not be possible without the support of Senator Dan Sullivan and Senator Lisa Murkowski, the State of Alaska – who is fighting this battle in court – and the numerous stakeholders that joined our cause. Alaskans take the management of our lands and wildlife extremely serious, and this resolution is an important step to protecting that authority. I encourage President Trump to sign this resolution and put the final nail in the coffin for this egregious rule.”
Congressman Young Applauds Senate Passage of H.J. Res. 69 (click here to watch)
“Working closely with Senator Lisa Murkowski and Congressman Don Young, we were able to convince our colleagues that today’s vote was about undoing a serious and unlawful regulation promulgated by the Fish and Wildlife Service in August 2016. In Alaska, many hunt for survival, both personal and cultural,” said Senator Sullivan. “Alaskans have been able to maintain these strong and life-sustaining traditions through a rigorous scientific process that allows for public participation and ensures we manage our fish and game for sustainability, as required by the Alaska Constitution.
CLICK HERE to watch Sen. Sullivan’s floor speech in support of H.J Res. 69
“This regulation usurped the state’s authority in Alaska – and could have been used as a precedent in other states. I appreciate all the work that Congressman Young did in shepherding this resolution through the House, and am thankful that my colleagues recognized that this resolution was backed by the force of law, the principle of federalism, and respect for all Alaskans, including the Alaska Native people who have been hunting, fishing and subsisting off the land for generations,” Senator Sullivan concluded.
“Congress explicitly provided Alaska with the authority to manage its fish and wildlife in not one, not two, but three separate laws - the Alaska Statehood Act, ANILCA, and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act,” Senator Murkowski said. “It is clear that these laws firmly placed that right and responsibility in the hands of Alaskans, and I thank my Senate colleagues for recognizing this today. The sustainability of Alaska’s ecosystems depends on professional management of fish and game populations, and no one understands these well-established, best practices better than our wildlife management professionals in Alaska. By overturning this rule, we can now rely on them to protect our fishing and hunting traditions for generations to come.”
On August, 5, 2016, FWS issued its final rule, which seizes authority away from the State of Alaska to manage fish and wildlife for both recreational and subsistence uses on federal lands in Alaska.
Congressman Young has work tirelessly in the U.S. House of Representatives to overturn the FWS a rule, efforts he’s called “an important step to enforcing the law and restoring Alaska’s federally protected ability to manage fish and game.”
The Congressional Review Act is a powerful tool being deployed by Congress to overturn politically motivated rules finalized in the waning days and months of the Obama administration. With the passage H.J. Res 69 in the House and Senate and the signature of the president, Young’s resolution would ensure that the final FWS rule would have no force or effect, and that no substantially similar rule can be issued in the future without a subsequent authorization from Congress.
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Washington, D.C. – On Monday, March 20, 2017, Alaska Congressman Don Young held a call with Alaska media to discuss Congressional efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Congressman Young shares views on healthcare proceedings currently before the U.S. House of Representatives (click here to listen)
Remarks by Congressman Don Young on the American Health Care Act:
My staff and I have spent countless hours reviewing, including right now, the American Health Care Act’s size, scope and direct impact to Alaska to see if it supports the goals of reforming our failing healthcare system in a manner demanded by the Alaskan people. Importantly, this has included in-depth discussions and conversations with numerous stakeholders, including the State of Alaska, Alaskan families, patients and healthcare professionals.
My goal remains the same, repeal Obamacare. The ultimate goal remains the same – to find a path forward to transition away from Obamacare and provide individuals with patient-centered reforms, added choice and flexibility, and relief from a one-size-fits-all federal mandate.
Healthcare is broken as it is today. We’ve seen the numbers – skyrocketing premiums, soaring deductibles, and the loss of all but one insurer. Ultimately, I support efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but I also recognize that it’s very difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube – as I’ve said for years.
By the way, this is a three-tiered process. These efforts can’t be viewed in a vacuum. It’s a multi-tiered process, one that begins under the budget reconciliation process – the only way we can bypass a Senate filibuster. Next, administrative relief from HHS Secretary. There’s some 1400 instances in the ACA that gives the HHS Secretary wide scope of authority to make decisions that impact healthcare. Lastly, this process is aided with the passage of additional legislation, including the ability to purchase insurance across state lines, enact certain types of tort reform – for example, frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits that drive up costs, associated health plans – which for example could allow fishermen to ban together to get cheaper insurance.
I support transitioning away from Obamacare. This bill contains a number of policy provisions I wanted to see preserved, including protections for preexisting conditions and allowing dependents under 26 to remain on their parents plans, no limits on lifetime caps, and more. The bill is a major step toward lifting an invasive government mandate upon individuals – one that has forced Americans to buy a product that is unsustainable or unaffordable for their families. Importantly, it eliminates burdensome taxes, which have cost families and businesses, and provides government cost savings. It also strengthens health savings accounts by nearly doubling the amount you can contribute – giving you more control over your health care dollars.
This process remains extremely fluid and changes will be made. Speaker Ryan has said as much and I am committed to working with him to improve this legislation under the confines of the budget process and beyond. The House Rules Committee is set to release some changes, including some relief for older patients.
I working to address concerns and for equitable treatment. As I said before, I remain committed to improving this legislation in areas that it falls short. One area, which many Alaskans have commented on, is the very serious disparities we see for our state. For seven years, I’ve said healthcare cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Yet, this is what we’re seeing out of Washington, D.C. today. If this is the legislation and process we’re going to pursue, it must not disproportionately impact Alaska. No state in the nation is impacted more than Alaska, which is why I’m working to make this legislation better with the Leadership.
I’m also working hard with both Senator Murkowski and Senator Sullivan to ensure as a delegation we can address a number of Alaska specific concerns – the high cost of care, skyrocketing premiums, lack of competition, our remoteness, and the many challenges we face due to our lack of infrastructure and roads. We must recognize that Alaska faces challenges seen nowhere else in the nation. We remain the highest cost state for healthcare and therefore – at times – we require a different approach than the lower 48.
Right now, I’m not convinced this is the best approach. I remain committed to repealing Obamacare, but right now we have to see if this bill is the right approach to solving the Obamacare problems. As written, I’m not convinced it does. At some point we have to ask ourselves if full repeal is our only option, which forces everyone back to the table while Obamacare unwinds over the next three years.
Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers urging House appropriators to reject the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) financial outline for the U.S. Coast Guard – a reported $1.3 billion in spending cuts.
“Our recommendation is that OMB’s financial outline, specific to the Coast Guard, be rejected on the ground that, if implemented, it would serve to the detriment of U.S. national security and create exposures that will most certainly be exploited by transnational criminal networks and other dangerous actors,” the group of 60 lawmakers wrote in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee.
The letter, spearheaded by Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-CA), was co-authored by 60 lawmakers in the U.S. House.
“The concern with OMB’s financial outline is that it severely discounts the value and effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard in drug interdiction and maritime security, and its standing as an Armed Service,” House lawmakers said. “The U.S. Coast Guard is an Armed Force at all times, operating both overseas and domestically to ensure America’s national security. They are facing similar readiness challenges as their Department of Defense counterparts, and must be included in the Administration’s efforts to rebuild the Armed Forces.”
Young, former Chairman of the House Transportation Committee and senior member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, has consistently worked to support and strengthen the Coast Guard’s mission, including measures to improve readiness, develop infrastructure and update and acquire new maritime assets. He believes reductions to the U.S. Coast Guard’s budget would significantly undermine its mission of protecting our waterways and securing our coastlines, while further eroding America’s national security interests across the globe.
“It’s nonsensical to pursue a policy of rebuilding the Armed Forces while proposing large reductions to the U.S. Coast Guard budget” they wrote. “Without question, the OMB’s proposed cut targeting the Coast Guard directly contradicts the President’s stated goals and should be dismissed. The U.S. Coast Guard has, for years, operated under the realities of severe budget limitations. Preserving and strengthening America’s security interests and protecting American jobs demand a fully funded U.S. Coast Guard.”
Click here for the full letter.
Congressman Young recently spoke broadly on the issues of government funding and the budget process, click here for more information.
Washington, D.C. – Earlier this week, Alaska Congressman Don Young co-hosted a Congressional roundtable at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s 2017 Public Policy Forum – “Feeding the Future: An Ocean of Opportunity” – an annual gathering in Washington, D.C. focused on facilitating robust discussions across academia, government, commercial and non-profit sectors for the good of our oceans and the human population.
The hour-long roundtable featured Representative Don Young, co-chair of the Congressional Oceans Caucus, and Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), co-chair of the Congressional Hunger Caucus, to discuss a wide range of issues and ideas relating to oceans, fisheries, food safety, national security and congressional funding levels.
Consortium for Ocean Leadership 2017 Public Policy Forum: Rep. Young & Rep. McGovern (click here to watch)
Here are a few notable quotes and discussions from Congressman Don Young:
“My interest has long been the oceans, wildlife and the management of. I think we have to understand the management. Unfortunately, even in this room you have differences of opinion. I would suggest respectively there’s enough strength and intelligence in this room, if we all got together and quit arguing, nitpicking, and wanting your way 100%, think what we could do with the oceans… Let’s not just say no. I’m speaking primarily to fishing. In my state, it’s one of the largest economic forces to the state, and it feeds an awful lot of people. How do we keep that? We certainly don’t do it by growing salmon in nets.”
“We’ve talked about that for a long time. Where do we address it? On shore. We can identify it now. We know where most of the large deposits of, I call it, refuges located in the seas. Why hasn’t someone, maybe we take all of our ocean or related transportation companies and set up a consortium just not to pay for the docks and harbors, but pay and help create a ship or ships that can go to the spot where the refuge is lying and solve it right there by collecting it… Why don’t we clean the ocean up? We have not done that as long as man has been on earth. But it’s there and it’s growing every day. Sometimes areas are as large as 30 miles long and 20 miles wide – floating trash. But I can’t find anyone interested because they don’t see it. What many doesn’t see, they don’t really do anything about.”
“I’m asking this Consortium to really sort of think outside the box, all hold hands, because that’s what we have to do in Congress – that’s pretty hard to do in Congress today I’ll tell you that right now. Everyone looks at me and says I’m a Republican, yet I’m talking like a liberal. I’m talking about preserving, protecting and providing for an asset to this nation – it’s our oceans. For food – which is crucial as our population grows. For transportation – which is crucial as we do trade. Or, frankly for security.”
“Let’s take care of the one thing that provides to all of us, and that’s the ocean. Water, the food, the security, and the future – all lies in the oceans. My role as the Congressman is to make sure I connect with people, listen to people, and try to solve some of these problems together. That’s my role as the only Congressman for Alaska…I do believe Alaska can solve, with your help, some of the issues we just mentioned – food security, science and keeping our oceans clean.”
“I would echo the fact ignorance of people about the ocean is very prevalent. Some of that is your fault. You talk among yourselves; you don’t go outside – little education on the oceans. And then you have the adversarial position within those participating in the oceans. We have groups in this room that don’t like fishing. That’s bad because the fishermen are going to go and oppose you. We have groups that don’t like the chemical industry. And I’m saying that’s where we miss the boat. If we really believe in the ocean and the providing it will do for the population of the world, then we ought to join hands and say, ok, I don’t get my way all the time – 110% – but let’s work together to clean it up and stop man’s – and I think that may be minor to some extent – and decide how the oceans will be managed, not preserved. When I see an administration set aside thousands and thousands – millions – of acres without consultation, that’s not good because it creates an adversarial role among those that work on the oceans.”
“The President doesn’t write the budget guys, we write the budget. The United States Congress writes the budget. But boy, you talk about blip hitting the fan when the President comes down with a budget, whether you’re right, left or in between – ‘oh the President’ and the media falls into it and creates this hysteria. What I’m suggesting for you is to work with the appropriators and the Congress, and say ‘this is important…’
I keep saying, we as a nation have forgotten the three branches of government and only the Congress can raise and spend money, not the President. Yet, I listen to the media every night – when I get done throwing up – you know the ‘President… is going to do everything.’ Now he knows – my good seatmate here – and I know, we’re the ones that write the budget. Now we may have a different opinion where we spend the money, but it’s up to us to spend the money. If I can go and spend money that can help the future, and take and provide the science, I’m going to support that.”
“I’ll bring up one point that bothers me with proposed spending of dollars and military defense. One of the areas that the administration is proposing – remember we write the budget – cutting the Coast Guard, cutting NOAA, cutting NMFS (which is a part of NOAA), and a few other things without any consultation; to pay for the wall by the way, the wall. Honestly, I voted against the wall – not because I’m a humanitarian – but because it won’t work. It’s that simple. I’m not going to spend 18, 20, 100 billion dollars to build something that not’s going to work.”
“Now, can I make a suggestion and you’re all an intellectual group – you can help me sell this. I want to sell ‘Wall Bonds.’ Think about this a minute. It’s a play off of War Bonds. We’ll put them out, give them 2.5% interest – that’s what we did in WWII to finance the war. But the decision will be up to you whether we want to build the wall or not. It won’t work… I’m a big Coast Guard guy, always have been… but we got to look at these things as we go through this and say, ok this makes no sense. You want to build a wall, then sell ‘Wall Bonds.’”
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Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on Armstrong Energy and Repsol’s discovery on Alaska’s North Slope:
“Armstrong Energy – a small scale developer that entered the Alaska market under a very different economic climate in 2008 – has once again proven that there’s no shortage of energy and optimism in Alaska. Today’s news – what many are calling the largest onshore oil discovery in the United States in more than three decades – is a very positive note for Alaska’s North Slope, our energy sector, our economy and the future of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. This announcement underscores the importance of working with our energy partners – at the state and federal level – to support new development and streamline a growing web of regulatory roadblocks. We must now work to ensure this discovery can be brought to market so we can begin refilling the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. If we fall short in that endeavor, we’re in store for a very different conversation in Juneau.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017, legislation that closely reflects the previous year’s efforts to fund domestic and overseas military defense operations. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation – which passed today 371 to 48 – provides a total of $516.1 billion in Department of Defense discretionary funding and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and Global War on Terror funding.
“Of all my responsibilities in Congress, one that I take great pride in is supporting our men and women in uniform and providing for the common defense of our nation,” said Congressman Don Young. “Today’s actions – the overwhelming passage of FY17 DOD Appropriations – is an important step to fulfilling our responsibilities and ensuring our military has the resources to address our national security concerns, fund military operations and readiness programs, and support well-deserved pay raises for our troops.
“Importantly, this bill contains numerous Alaska focused provisions secured by our united congressional delegation. It boosts force structure across all our services – helping restore troop levels and preventing cuts facing JBER’s 4-25 BCT,” Young said. “It provides funding for F-35 procurement, the next generation of fighters to be stationed at Eielson AFB. It includes $150 million for the procurement of a heavy icebreaker, a critical asset that we need to protect our interests in the Arctic. It includes funds for the continued development of Missile Defense Agency’s Long Range Discrimination Radar, to be based at Clear AFS. And it includes $10 million for State Sponsored Spaceports, which includes Pacific Spaceport Alaska and its Kodiak Launch Complex. This was a good bill—both for Alaska and our nation—and I was proud to support it.”
On September 28, 2016, Congress approved a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriations package, which funded nearly all federal agencies through December 9, 2016. Importantly, the legislation included full Fiscal Year 2017 funding for Department of Defense military construction – more than a half billion dollars for Alaska-based projects – and the Department of Veterans Affairs. On December 9, 2016, Congress approved a temporary spending bill (H.R. 2028) to prevent a government shutdown and extend funding for remaining federal agencies, programs and services until April 28, 2017.
Today’s legislation, which is expected to pass the Senate in the coming weeks, funds Department of Defense operations and programs until September 30, 2017 – the end of the FY17 fiscal year. H.R. 1301 is a critical component to ensure key readiness and operational programs are in place to protect the safety and security of the United States. Importantly, this action alleviates pressures of operating under a Continuing Resolution, which restrict the Department of Defense’s ability to enter into new contracts, increase force structure, and sufficiently respond to global threats.
As the April 28, 2017 deadline approaches – set forth in H.R. 2029 – Congress will continue to consider additional mechanisms to fund government agencies and services into the future.
For a list of DOD Appropriations requested and supported by Congressman Young, click here.
For more information about the Department of Defense appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017, click here.
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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.