Congressman Don Young, U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, all R-Alaska, today released the following statement after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a 60-day public scoping period as it prepares to draft an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Department of the Interior’s oil and gas leasing program on the Coastal Plain.
“We welcome this scoping announcement and the Department’s continued work to implement our legislation opening the Coastal Plain to responsible energy development,” the delegation said. “We appreciate the Department following the law, planning multiple public meetings with Alaskans, and moving forward on this important program to help ensure the energy and economic security of our nation.”
BLM Alaska announced it will seek public comment and schedule public scoping meetings around the state in the weeks ahead. A Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS will appear in the Federal Register this week.
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5444 the “Taxpayer First Act” and H.R. 5445 the “21st Century IRS Act” with bipartisan support. These bills seek to reform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to modernize the agency and refocus its priorities on the taxpayer. Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement after passage:
“For the federal agency that is entrusted with Americans' tax dollars, it is crucial that it is held accountable and operates transparently,” said Congressman Young. “This is why, with strong bipartisan support, the House approved two important IRS overhaul bills today. These measures provide a comprehensive reform to the IRS and prompt the agency to refocus their systems to work in the best interest of taxpayers. Next year, Americans have a new tax code to look forward to, which is why the IRS needs to be redesigned to support the improvements.”
H.R. 5444, the Taxpayer First Act, makes numerous changes to reorganize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an attempt to focus the agency's efforts more on taxpayer service. Specifically, the bill does the following:
HR 5445, the 21st Century IRS Act, improves cybersecurity and taxpayer identity protection and modernizes the information technology at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Specifically, the legislation does the following:
Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved Alaska Congressman Don Young’s bill H.R. 4069. This measure will amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect traditional Alaska Native handicrafts that use non-edible parts of migratory birds.
“This bill protects the heritage of Alaska Natives and provides a commonsense solution,” said Congressman Young. “For thousands of years, the inclusion of bones and feathers in traditional handicrafts has been commonplace in Alaska Native cultures. For decades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service largely did not take enforcement actions against Alaska Native craftsmen. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. In 2012, Archie Cavanaugh – an Alaska Native artist – was fined $2,000 by the Fish and Wildlife Service for using raven and flicker feathers in a headdress."
Archie Cavanaugh, Alaska Native artist, and Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl.
"This was an unexpected infringement on the celebrated Alaska Native cultural practices. My bill will ensure Natives are protected when they use non-edible bird parts in handicrafts, whether they are taken through subsistence harvests or taken from birds that are found dead. Updating this policy protects Alaska Native artists who sell hand-made art that includes non-edible bird parts, regardless of how the parts are found or what species they are from.”
H.R. 4069 would amend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to exempt certain Alaskan Native articles from the prohibitions on the sale of items containing non-edible migratory bird parts. It stipulates that authentic Alaska Native articles of handicrafts include beading, carving, drawing, lacing, painting, sewing, stitching and weaving or any combination. Finally, the exemption will not apply to any handicraft containing any part of a migratory bird that was taken in a wasteful manner.
You can watch Congressman Young's remarks from today's hearing, here.
Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young released the following statement after U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he is not seeking re-election:
“Paul Ryan has been a great Speaker of the House, which is a difficult task. His experience and passion for conservative principles have allowed him to bring the House together at a crucial time in our nation’s history. Serving in Congress while raising a family is very challenging and I understand how difficult it is to do both, but Speaker Ryan has served this body and the people of Wisconsin honorably. I’m grateful for his leadership here and for our friendship through the years. There is still work to be done in the House this Congress and I know he will continue to lead the body well.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The Alaska Congressional Delegation recently introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to preserve the bowhead whale subsistence harvest and Alaska Native food security under U.S. law if the International Whaling Commission (IWC) fails to act on bowhead whale quota during their September 2018 meeting in Florianopolis, Brazil. The legislation – the Whaling Convention Amendments Act of 2018 – is led by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chairman of the Oceans, Atmosphere, Science and Coast Guard Subcommittee, and cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Alaska Congressman Don Young has sponsored companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Subsistence whaling is critical to the food security and cultural fabric of Alaska’s North Slope and Bering Strait communities,” said Senator Sullivan. “Captains of the various whaling crews in our villages are revered community leaders, apprenticing for decades before earning the honor of leading a crew. Marrying the modern and traditional worlds in hunts, these whaling crews go to great lengths to put traditional food on the table and to keep their culture alive. The Whaling Convention Amendments Act of 2018 will allow the Secretary of Commerce to act on behalf of Alaska Native communities only if the IWC fails to act on U.S. bowhead quota, ensuring this way of life continues.”
“The whale has sustained a people, and a culture in Alaska for centuries. Whaling crews share their bounty, providing food security for entire communities. Preserving the right for bowhead whale subsistence harvests is not just about physical sustenance or food security. This is an integral part of who many indigenous Alaskans are as people,” said Senator Murkowski. “Through my role as an appropriator, I have worked to support, with directed funding, the study of bowhead whale health for efficient and humane subsistence harvest ahead of upcoming International Whaling Commission meetings. It’s imperative that we ensure this way of life for Alaska Native communities continues.”
“This bill is a safeguard for Alaska Natives, many of whom rely on subsistence whaling, and it protects their way of life,” said Congressman Young. “The IWC has 87 countries divided almost evenly between whaling and non-whaling countries. This often leads to votes and decisions that are based on the politics of appeasing groups that do not understand subsistence rather than on science. The right of Alaska Natives to hunt marine mammals has been recognized by the IWC, but subsistence whaling has been caught up in such a political fight. For those Alaska Native communities that practice subsistence whaling, this is an integral part of their culture, heritage, and well-being and it must be defended.”
Worldwide whale stocks are managed through the International Whaling Commission, a group of 88 countries that have ratified the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. The Whaling Convention Act of 1949 is the relevant U.S. implementing legislation.
The Convention allows for the harvest of certain whale species for nations that certify either a cultural or subsistence need for their aboriginal population. Russia, Denmark (for Greenland), the United States, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are those nations who currently practice Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW).
From time-to-time, the Commission renews ASW quota. However, due to increased polarization at the IWC due to unrelated disputes regarding commercial and scientific whaling, in recent years, ASW communities have seen their quota used as a bargaining chip or outright rejected—all despite no objection by the IWC’s Scientific Committee
The aboriginal subsistence harvest in Alaska is sustainable, and non-commercial. The number of bowheads is consistently increasing and may now be at levels not seen since the dawn of the 20th Century. The International Whaling Commission has consistently certified that the biological status of our bowheads is sustainable.
Last week, members and advocates from Alaska’s disability community met with Alaska Congressman Don Young to discuss their legislative priorities and share their stories. The Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education presented Congressman Young the “Friend of the Developmental Disabilities Act Program” Award.
“It is an honor to receive this award from such a dedicated group of individuals,” said Congressman Young. “The work that the Developmental Disability Act Programs does on a daily basis is truly life-changing and inspiring. Advocating for the rights of the disability community here in Alaska is noble work. The time I spent hearing their stories and visiting with people that benefit from their effort is really quite special. As the only Congressman for Alaska, I will continue to fight for the needs of the disability community to ensure they have access to fair education, health care and skills training.”
“We were honored to present this award to Congressman Young," said Patrick Reinhart. "He has shown time and time again that when it comes to our issues---disability issues—he gets it. He understands the struggles that individuals with disabilities and families have here in Alaska to access home and community based services.”
During the 115th Congress, Congressman Young has voted to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and has sent appropriations letters in support of Development Disabilities funding. Participants during the meeting include:
Today, the House of Representatives voted on H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act which provides federal funding for Fiscal Year 2018. Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the follow statement after the passage:
“Funding the government is one the main responsibilities of Congress,” Congressman Young said. “Today, the House voted to rebuild our infrastructure, support our military members and veterans, protect our national security, combat and treat the opioid epidemic and keep our schools safe. Throughout this appropriations process, I fought to defend Alaska specific provisions that range from funding for transportation projects that will connect our rural communities to educational and health care services that will impact families throughout the state. Critical investments like these will allow the country, and specifically Alaska, to expand our growing economy and empower our local communities.”
H.R. 1625 passed out of the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 256-167. The legislation will be considered by the Senate.
Additional Funding Provisions and Alaskan Interests:
Interior and Environment:
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4909 the “Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act.” Alaska Congressman Don Young issued a statement following the passage of the legislation:
“As a former teacher, I know how important it is for students to both be safe and feel safe at school,” said Congressman Young. “Far too often, mental health services in our school systems don’t have the proper, necessary resources to identify and assist struggling students. The STOP School Violence Act is a step in the right direction to help our local communities. This bill focuses on educating students, teachers, school officials and law enforcement how to respond to school violence and how to recognize the warning signs. It also supports crisis intervention teams which will help schools work with students in need. I’m pleased to see this legislation pass so we can equip our local officials, teachers, and students with the training and funds to keep schools safe.”
H.R. 4909 reauthorizes and amends the Secure Our Schools grant program through the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, providing local law enforcement and school personnel with the tools they need to proactively prevent threats. In particular, the bill creates a coordinated reporting system and implements school threat assessment protocols to prevent school shootings and acts of violence before they happen.
The STOP School Violence Act includes the following provisions:
Student violence prevention training
Technology to enhance school security
School threat assessment and crisis intervention teams
Increased coordination with law enforcement
### Read More
The STOP School Violence Act passed out of the House 407 - 10 with strong bipartisan support and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Alaska Congressman Don Young announced his official list of Alaskan students nominated for appointment to a United States Service Academy for the class of 2022.
“I’m always proud of the young students who are interested in serving our country,” said Congressman Young. “This year, I’m delighted to nominate an exceptional group of Alaskans to our nation’s service academies. These nominees reflect the values of our state and are a strong example of what the next generation can achieve. I wish them all the best in the academy appointment process and I look forward to seeing their many successes.”
Earning a Service Academy nomination is a tremendous honor and accomplishment but does not guarantee an academy appointment. Final nominations will be made by the respective service academies in the coming months.
A list of Congressman Don Young’s 49 nominees and their hometowns are below:
U.S. Military Academy – West Point, New York:
Nathan B. Alfano, Anchorage
Michael Y. Altenburg, JBER
Kirsten Alvarado, Anchorage
Garrett O. Anderson, Palmer
Kenneth D. Campbell-Parson, Ft. Wainwright
Hanna M. Fitzgerald, Eagle River
Caleb J. Hopkins, Palmer
David J. Hwang, Ft. Wainwright
Nolan P. Johnson, Eagle River
Michael A. Lucero, Fairbanks
Kyle L. McKamey, Eielson AFB
Christopher D. Orta, Anchorage
Cody S. Quelland, Soldotna
Holden S. Quinn, Palmer
Emily G. Rivera, Kodiak
Jacob C. Schlenker, North Pole
Garrett E. Smoot, Eagle River
Calvin E. Strong, Kenai
Shafer S. Suzuki, Juneau
Rebecca M. Syrup, Anchorage
U.S. Air Force Academy – Colorado Springs, Colorado:
Mallori T. Allen, Wasilla
Grant A. Barkhurst, Elmendorf AFB
Mikaela C. Becker, JBER
Isaac E. Bennett, Eagle River
Trevor G. Houghton, Anchorage
Carter M. Kreischer, Kodiak
Madison L. Maroney, Anchorage
Wade Quigley, Girdwood
Cameron R. Shideler,
Matthew C. Simmons, Anchorage
U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland:
Hunter P. Bleakney, Palmer
Tamara B. Brabson, Eagle River
Daniel L. Clum Jr., Wasilla
Kyle P. Collins, Anchorage
Gavin K. Kim, JBER
Kade J. Leonard, Eielson AFB
Mikaela A. Maroney, Anchorage
Nolan C. Meyer, Ketchikan
Joseph R. Ryan, Wasilla
Vince R. Tenebro, Ketchikan
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – Kings Point, New York:
Philip M. Andress, Anchorage
Alex B. Binder, Anchorage
Ryan B. Chastain, Palmer
Quentin H. Cox, Valdez
Kenneth C. Donnolly, JBER
Oriana A. Faruqi, Anchorage
Anders B. Marius, Sitka
Sean K. O’Meara, Juneau
Colton W. Ramsey, Fairbanks### Read More
Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young voted in support of the two-year, bipartisan budget agreement and issued the following statement:
“After weeks of negotiations, Congress has passed a budget agreement that meets many of the needs of the country and it is particularly good news for Alaskans. This bill secures funding for our military to ensure that they have the necessary resources to continue keeping our country safe and carrying out their missions. I worked closely with Members of the House Leadership, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and Senators Murkowski and Sullivan to ensure that funds for military construction projects were included so that the Eielson Air Force Base could stay on schedule to prepare for the beddown of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. Due to the short construction season, this was an incredibly time sensitive priority and will ensure our nation’s full operational capability in the Pacific.
This bipartisan agreement also makes significant investments that will improve the quality of care our veterans receive, address our crumbling infrastructure, provide 2 years of funding for community health centers – which are crucial to Alaskans – as well as combat opioid abuse and drug addiction. There is an additional 4-year extension for the Children’s Health Care Program (CHIP), Denali KidCare as we know it in Alaska, which gives the program 10 years of certainty and is the longest authorization in its history. These are major victories for both our state and the country.
While there is still work to do, I believe that the legislation Congress passed today will deliver relief to local communities and make sure that our military can effectively rebuild and address the security of our nation. We will continue to work on developing more long-term funding solutions.”
Health Care Funding
2314 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Don Young was re-elected to the 113th Congress in 2012 to serve his 21st term as Alaska’s only Representative to the United States House of Representatives. First sworn in as a freshman to the 93rd Congress after winning a special election on March 6, 1973, Congressman Young is today the 1st ranking Republican member and the the 4th ranking overall member of the House of Representatives.
Congressman Young served as Chairman of the House Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. In the 110th Congress, Representative Young returned to the helm of the Resources Committee to lead his fellow Republicans as the Ranking Member. In the 112th Congress, he was chosen to serve as the Chairman for the Subcommittee on Alaska Native and Indian Affairs. Rep. Young currently serves as a senior Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Natural Resources Committee.
Congressman Young calls Fort Yukon, Alaska home; a remote village of approximately 700 people located 7 miles above the Arctic Circle in Alaska’s central interior region. Born on June 9, 1933 in Meridian, California, he earned his associate degree at Yuba Junior College in 1952, and his bachelor’s degree in teaching at Chico State College in 1958. Between earning these degrees, he served in the US Army’s 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957.
When he first moved to Alaska, Congressman Young made a living in construction and tried his hand at commercial fishing, trapping, and in the search for gold. In Fort Yukon he taught in a 25-student, 5th grade elementary class in the Bureau of Indian Affairs school. Constructed of logs, the school had a wood stove that kept his Alaska Native students warm in the sub-freezing, arctic winter. With the annual spring break-up of the river ice, he captained his own tug and barge operation to deliver products and supplies to villages along the Yukon River. Even today, he remains the only licensed mariner in Congress.
It was in Fort Yukon that Rep. Young met and married a young bookkeeper named Lu. Lu was always at the Congressman’s side and supported him throughout his public service career. Lu and Don were married for 46 years, they were blessed with and raised two daughters, Joni and Dawn, and 14 grandchildren. Mrs. Young passed away on August 2, 2009.
Congressman Young first entered public service in 1964 when he was elected Mayor of Fort Yukon. Two years later, Alaskan voters elected him to the State Legislature in Juneau where he served in the State House from 1966 to 1970, and later in the State Senate from 1970 to 1973. Just hours after being sworn in to United States House of Representatives in 1973, he found himself leading the historic battle for approval of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline. Often citing this as the single most important achievement in his career, Congressman Young stated, “Next to statehood itself, the most historical legislation passed that affected every Alaskan then, now, and in the future, was the passage of the pipeline legislation.”
That same year, his colleagues honored him as the “Freshman Congressman of the Year.” He went on to gain a key appointment on the then Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he pushed through the 200-mile fishing limit critical to Alaska’s fishing industry. He fought against federal control of lands and resources to which Alaskans are rightfully entitled – a battle he continues today with the same vigor. In 1997, he passed by a 419-1 vote, the National Wildlife Improvement Act, which sets guidelines for the nation’s 500-plus wildlife refuges.
Congressman Young proudly serves as the “Congressman for All Alaska” and loves his role as the only Alaskan Representative in Congress. Renewed by the challenges and goals of the 111th Congress and his committee positions, Congressman Young will continue to champion legislation and funding for programs benefiting Alaska and the nation. His vision remains the same – to provide citizens with the opportunity for a better life not just for today, but also for tomorrow and the future.
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For the federal agency that is entrusted with Americans' tax dollars, it is crucial that it is held accountable & o… https://t.co/GlVldttjZ4
When Native artists like Archie Cavanaugh are told that their handicraft violates federal law, something must be do… https://t.co/B476dkN2k7