Donald Young

Donald Young

ALASKA

Congressional Delegation Ready to Welcome Secretary Zinke To Alaska

2017/05/26

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, and U.S. Rep. Don Young, all R-Alaska, today announced that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will travel to Alaska during the Memorial Day state work period. The trip will be Zinke’s first to the state since his bipartisan confirmation by the Senate in early March.

“We’re excited to announce that Secretary Zinke will visit Alaska next week,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “We look forward to showing him the beauty and potential of our state, the impact that his Department’s decisions have on our daily lives, and the opportunity to forge an even closer working relationship that helps put Alaska on a strong footing for years to come.”

Zinke is a fifth-generation Montanan. He served as a Navy SEAL officer for more than 20 years, attaining the rank of Commander, and during that time traveled to Alaska for training missions. Zinke has also served as a member of the Montana Senate and as a U.S. Congressman for Montana. On March 1, 2017, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed him to be our nation’s 52nd Secretary of the Interior.

Zinke will arrive in Alaska with Murkowski and several other senators on Saturday, May 27. He plans to visit Anchorage, Fairbanks, Prudhoe Bay, and other destinations in the state, where he will meet with Department staff and local stakeholders. Sen. Sullivan and Congressman Young will also join Secretary Zinke on select portions of his travels in Alaska. Additional details about Zinke’s schedule are now available from the Department of the Interior. 

 

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Congressman Young Announces Relocation of Anchorage District Office

2017/05/26

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today announced that his Anchorage District Office will be moving to a new location beginning on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017. Young’s new Anchorage office location will be located at 471 W. 36th Ave Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503.

“I am always looking for new ways to improve constituent services, access and outreach and I believe this office relocation will help us further achieve those goals,” said Congressman Don Young. “I look forward to welcoming Alaskans to my new office location and building upon my longstanding commitment to serve my constituents. Alaskans should always feel welcome to visit my offices in person where members of my staff are available to assist in casework, respond to specific inquiries, and assist in work involving our federal agencies.”

New Anchorage office location:

Congressman Don Young
471 W. 36th Avenue, Suite 201
Anchorage, AK 99503
(907) 271-5978 – Main Line
(907) 271-5950 – Fax Line


To accommodate the relocation, Congressman Young’s current Anchorage office at 4241 B Street, Anchorage, AK will close to constituent visits on Thursday, June 1st. Full office operations will resume on Wednesday, June 7th at 471 W. 36th Ave, Suite 201, Anchorage, AK 99503.

 

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Young Joins Bipartisan Effort in Congress to Protect Veterans Credit Ratings

2017/05/25

Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young joined a bipartisan group in Congress to introduce the Protecting Veterans Credit Act, which works to ensure veterans’ credit scores and credit reports are not adversely affected by delayed medical payments associated with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Veterans Choice Program and other VA Community Care programs. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) and has a total of 20 cosponsors.

“The implementation of the VA Choice Act had many failures, but one of the most egregious was that veterans were getting dinged on their credit score because the VA was behind or delayed in processing payments,” said Congressman Don Young. “I personally heard from numerous Alaska veterans who were put in this situation, which is beyond unacceptable. I’m proud to join Rep. Delaney as an original sponsor of the Protecting Veterans Credit Act to ensure veterans are not penalized for the bureaucratic failures of the VA and its Choice Contractors.”

The legislation creates a one year credit reporting grace period for the resolution of debt from medical services. The slow disbursement of Veterans Choice Program payments has meant that potentially thousands of veterans could be adversely affected, with large and inaccurate medical debts wrongly listed in their name while the VA and private providers work through billing. This error could make it more difficult and more expensive for veterans to buy a home or car, rent a place to live or receive a small business loan.

“No veteran should have their financial record wrongly ruined because of someone else’s delays,” said bill sponsor Congressman John Delaney. “This is a straightforward bill that shields veterans and their families from what could be a very damaging predicament and I am proud that this bill has been supported by so many veterans and consumer organizations. Republicans and Democrats are standing together on this bill and we’re going to keep working to build support. Credit reports are so impactful and I don’t think anyone believes that the current situation is right, so we’ve got to solve this problem.”

The Protecting Veterans Credit Act has been endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), the American Legion, Wounded Warrior Project, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients) and the Consumer Federation of America. Congressman Delaney first introduced the legislation in 2016. Companion legislation has also been filed in the Senate.

“Enough veterans have faced collateral damage from delays at the VA—their credit score shouldn’t be another casualty of this bureaucracy,” said Congressman Hultgren (R-IL). “Veterans and their families deserve accurate and timely billing and reimbursements from the VA. This legislation will ensure our veterans aren’t held responsible for bureaucratic ineptitude.”

“Veterans should not be held responsible for the VA’s missed payments and billing errors,” said Congresswoman Sinema (D-AZ). “A damaged credit score makes it more difficult for veterans and their families to rent an apartment, buy car, or apply for a loan. That’s just wrong. This bill is a bipartisan, commonsense solution that ensures bureaucracy does not stand in the way of the American Dream.”

“Veterans shouldn’t have to worry about damage to their credit scores and financial futures due to errors and delays on the part of the VA,” said Congresswoman Walorski (R-IN). “I’ve heard from too many veterans who need help because the VA or a VA contractor hasn’t paid their medical bills for authorized non-VA care. This commonsense bill will protect veterans while the VA, contractors, and providers work to resolve these billing issues.”

“The Protecting Veterans Credit Act is needed to ensure veterans’ credit ratings are not damaged through no fault of their own,” said Lt Gen Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret.), president of the Military Officers Association of America.  “While it is understandable VA needs time to resolve medical billing issues, veterans should not suffer unintended negative consequences in the meantime.  MOAA applauds Congressman Delaney for developing creative solutions to assist VA and veterans.”

“When VA authorizes a veteran to receive care in the community and commits to pay for it, the veteran’s credit score shouldn’t hang in the balance. The Protecting Veterans Credit Act would help veterans avoid credit damage because of billing issues beyond their control.  We thank Congressman Delaney for his leadership on this issue and urge Congress to pass this bill to help veterans access quality health care without risking undue harm to their financial well-being,” said Wounded Warrior Project Senior Vice President René Bardorf.

Veterans have paid for their VA health care through their unwavering commitment and sacrifice to our nation. The Protecting Veterans Credit Act of 2017 would ensure veterans are not financially impacted when they are erroneously billed for care they have earned and deserve.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States thanks Congressman Delaney for his leadership in correcting this issue,” said VFW National Legislative Director Carlos Fuentes.

The Protecting Veterans Credit Act

The Problem

  • Created in 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Choice Program provides veterans with the ability to receive medical care in a non-VA facility if the VA cannot schedule an appointment within a specified time period or if the veteran lives more than 40 miles from the closest VA medical facility.
  • The Choice Program is one of several VA programs for veterans to receive non-VA medical care. Unfortunately, all programs that offer non-VA care have had billing and payment issues. This includes the Choice Program which has had issues with delayed payments and inappropriately assigned bills to veterans.
  • Because of delays in payment processing and incorrectly assigned bills, veterans have received adverse actions on their credit reports.
  • Adverse credit action makes it more difficult and more expensive for a veteran to get a home mortgage, an auto loan or even to rent an apartment.
  • To address Choice Program billing issues, the VA set up a call center for veterans to contact the VA to resolve debt collection and adverse credit reporting. The call center received thousands of calls within just a few months, showing the extent of the billing issues with the Choice Program.
  • While the VA is reforming its non-VA care billing procedures, veterans need immediate and retroactive relief from erroneous credit reporting actions. No veteran should have their credit score hurt because of a delay in the VA paying the medical bills.

The Solution

  • The Protecting Veterans Credit Act delays medical debt from medical services received through non-VA medical care, including the Choice Program, from being reported to credit reporting agencies for one year. This delay provides adequate time for the VA and its contractors to resolve any billing issues, while retaining a route for resolution of any co-payments or other obligations.
  • The bill provides a mechanism for veterans to easily dispute adverse actions already on their credit reports. 

Benefits

  • By instituting a one year grace period, it will allow sufficient time for the multiple parties involved in the VA community care programs to process the payments, so that veterans receive the care they need, doctors are fairly compensated, and veterans don’t suffer a credit loss for something that isn’t their fault.

 

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Rep. Young, Western Caucus and EPA Administrator Pruitt Meet to Return Accountability to the People

2017/05/23


WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Today, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04) and Vice-Chairman for Indian Affairs and Oceans Don Young (AK-At Large) and Western Caucus members Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27) released the following statements after a roundtable discussion between Western Caucus members and Administrator Pruitt:

“I look forward to working together with the Western Caucus on issues unique to western states and their constituencies. Locally elected officials and the citizens they represent are the best stewards of their own natural resources. They want to protect their environment and grow their economies, and EPA is going to help them do that by improving our partnership with states,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

“The hallmark of the Obama Administration’s EPA was blatant misinformation, bold-faced lies and a hell-bent determination to drive our economy and jobs into the ground in order to curry favor with extremist special-interest groups,” said Chairman Gosar. “Prior to leading the EPA, Scott Pruitt led the charge to defeat some of the most onerous and particularly spiteful regulations promulgated by an out-of-control agency with a power trip verging on megalomania. Today’s meeting was a welcome breath of fresh air and I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt on fact-based and commonsense policies that promote an all-of-the-above energy strategy, provide sensible protections, return to the Rule of Law, and foster economic prosperity.”

“Alaskans demand an EPA that is a partner of the people, not a relentless adversary,” said Congressman Don Young. “After eight long years, we need an Administrator that will take seriously the rule of law, recognize the social and economic impacts of their decisions, and place value on local voices rather than extreme environmentalist. I’m pleased to continue our work with Administrator Pruitt and to begin addressing a number of critical issues facing the Alaskan people.”

Congressman LaMalfa stated, “I appreciate Administrator Pruitt taking the time to meet with us to discuss important issues that we must tackle in the upcoming months. I urged him to look into the Duarte case, in which a farmer in my district is being heavily penalized under the Clean Water Act because his furrows are characterized as ‘miniature mountain ranges.’ I look forward to working with Administrator Pruitt on policy reforms that will peel back unnecessary regulations and allow farmers to simply plow their fields.”

Congressman Farenthold said, “I am pleased to know that Administrator Pruitt recognizes the importance of a sound regulatory framework and the dangers that sue and settle agreements can pose to it. I look forward to working with him to end this practice and restore transparency to our government. The Subcommittee on Interior, Energy, and Environment, will lead a hearing tomorrow to further discuss sue and settle agreements.”

Background:

Today, the Congressional Western Caucus hosted EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for the Monthly Member Meeting and Speaker Series.

The Congressional Western Caucus currently has 71 bipartisan members. Click HERE to see the full membership list.

At today’s meeting Administrator Pruitt discussed the 22 regulatory actions taken by the agency since he took over that have positively impacted 1.4 million jobs. The Administrator also made clear that he adamant defends the Rule of Law, supports restructuring the agency to get employees closer to people on the ground, and favors a restoration of process at the EPA as “regulations should make things regular.”

The group also discussed President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence and the EPA’s review of the job-killing Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules put forth by the Obama Administration, amongst other pressing issues.  

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Young Shares Thoughts on President’s Full FY18 Budget Proposal

2017/05/23

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the Trump administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018:

“I’ve served with nine Presidents – that's 45 budget proposals – and none of them really went anywhere. It’s the President’s duty to submit a budget to Congress, but it’s our responsibility to implement one and to set spending. Largely, this budget is a vision document and people shouldn’t get overly excited. If I had to sum it up quickly, I’d say this proposal was dead in Congress before the ink was even dry.

“The President’s proposal clearly emphasizes a number of policy items and initiatives of national importance, including security, defense and balancing the budget. However, this blueprint falls extremely short in a number of keys areas, including the elimination or cut to programs and priorities that have real impacts on Alaska and the nation as a whole – particularly rural communities. For Alaska, this includes numerous programs I have and will continue to support in Congress, including the Denali Commission, Essential Air Service, LIHEAP, water resources and infrastructure and so many others.

“While I agree we must make serious steps to deal with our nation’s staggering debt, we cannot solve these problems by simply cutting and shuffling around what I often call ‘old money.’ My argument has always been that you can’t cut your way to prosperity. You have to focus on jobs, employment, economic growth; things like new manufacturing, regulatory relief, the development of our resources and so on.  My job is to do what’s right for Alaska and come together with my two Senators to lay out our priorities and fund the government. That’s exactly what we’re going to do as the appropriations process moves forward.”

In response to some specific items included in the President’ FY18 Budget outline, Congressman Young shared the following statements:

Denali Commission:

“Eliminating the Denali Commission is entirely shortsighted. This program – which operates in one of the most geographically diverse and challenging areas in the nation – has made critical improvements to energy, infrastructure and rural development across rural Alaska. This program has fallen under attack before, mainly by those with large urban interests, and I will continue to defend it on the merits and direct impact to our communities to ensure it’s protected in upcoming appropriations.”

Essential Air Service:

“With more than 80 percent of our communities off the road system, Essential Air Service is a critical link to so many of our rural communities. As I’ve said before, aviation in Alaskan is not a luxury – as it is in other parts of the country –  it’s a necessity. For some this is about a lack of understanding of the real world challenges facing rural Alaska – it’s a fight we have each and every year. We’re already making progress to keep this critical program in place and I believe we’ll have the support in Congress.”

ANWR 10-02:

“The Coastal Plain of ANWR is a key component of our nation’s energy policy and we should remain focused on efforts to safely explore, develop and produce oil and gas from the 10-02. In the House, we’ve done this on 12 separate occasions and I will continue working to unleash Alaska’s abundant energy potential for the betterment of our state and nation.”


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Reps. Torres and Young Introduce Bill to Renew Special Diabetes Programs for Indians (SDPI)

2017/05/17

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Ranking Member on the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee, and Alaska Congressman Don Young and introduced the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Reauthorization Act of 2017, a bill that would renew the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians (SDPI) before it expires on September 30, 2017.

“Currently over 50% of adults in the American Indian/Alaska Native communities have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and they are 177% more likely to die from the disease. It is critical that we renew SDPI, because this program has been helping to change these troubling statistics,” said Rep. Torres.  “SDPI works, because it provides locally managed, culturally relevant services that have proven to be a strong return on federal investment by decreasing the likelihood of complications from this preventable disease.  SDPI is transforming communities and saving lives, and we must continue to provide much-needed resources and support for this proven program.”

Congress established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act to address the growing epidemic of Type II diabetes in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. American Indian and Alaska Native population have the highest rates of diagnosed diabetes among U.S. racial and ethnic groups, a rate that is nearly twice the rate in the general population. Through SDPI grants, the Indian Health Service (IHS), Indian Tribes, Tribal Organizations, and Urban Indian Organizations have set up diabetes programs to create an extensive support network that provides diabetes surveillance, health promotion, research translation, and other activities. SDPI is funded at a level of $150 million per year and supports over 400 diabetes treatment and prevention programs in 40 states, and the results have been extraordinary.

“As a proud member of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, I have long supported initiatives to improve diabetes research, education, and treatment,” said Congressman Don Young. “The SDPI is an extremely valuable program that provides Indian Health programs and tribal communities the resources needed to both prevent and treat diabetes. Diabetes prevention is essential to improving the health and well-being of all Americans, including Alaska Native and American Indians who have the highest prevalence of diabetes among all U.S. ethnic groups. I’m proud to join Representative Torres on this important legislation and look forward to seeing the reauthorization of this essential program.”

This legislation ensures that SDPI funded programs can continue and that lessons learned from these programs can be shared and replicated to keep Indian Country on a path to a diabetes-free future. The National Indian Health Board, the National Congress of American Indians, the Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee, and the Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium have expressed support for this bill.  Companion legislation to the Special Diabetes Program for Indians Reauthorization Act has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) where it is currently before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. 

The Special Diabetes Program for Indians Reauthorization Act of 2017 is cosponsored by Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), and Betty McCollum (D-MN).  The text of the bill can be found HERE.

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Young Shares Statement on Firing of FBI Director James Comey

2017/05/10

Fairbanks, AKAlaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement on the firing of FBI Director James Comey:

“Both sides of the aisle have previously called into question Director Comey’s ability to lead the FBI; some have demanded his resignation, others have said they lost confidence in him to do the job. It’s odd to me that some of these same people are now calling 'foul play' when the President reached the very same conclusion. In my mind, the response to this action – which is well within the President’s authority – would have been the same had it happened in January, yesterday or 6 months from now. I believe the FBI and the House and Senate Intelligence Committees should proceed with their investigations into the Russian interference in the 2016 election. They should follow the facts, reach a conclusion and understanding as to what occurred, and report their findings. The American people deserve the facts, not a highly political witch hunt.”

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Congressman Young Named Most Effective Lawmaker in U.S. House of Representatives

2017/05/08

Washington, D.C. – Two Congressional rankings – for effectiveness and bipartisanship – have named Alaska Congressman Young atop their annual review of federal legislators. Young, who recently began his 45th year in Congress, was named the most effective lawmaker in the U.S House by Washington, DC-based data and analytics group FiscalNote and within the top 10% for bipartisanship by the Luger Center and Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.

“Fighting for the Alaskan people has been my passion and priority since the day I arrived to Congress,” said Congressman Don Young. “This honor and recognition confirms what Alaskans already know, I’m ready and able to do the job they’ve elected me to do. I’m strongly encouraged by what the next three and a half years may bring, particularly as a new administration gets underway and we begin taking serious steps to move Alaska focused priorities through Congress and onto the President’s desk. We’ve already seen great promise with the passage of H.J. Res. 69, a huge rebuke of the Obama Administration’s seizure of Alaska’s management authority, and I am confident that we’ll see many more successes in the years to come.”

FiscalNote Legislative Effectiveness Score Announcement (click here for more information).

According to FiscalNote’s Legislative Effectiveness Score, which measures a lawmaker’s success throughout the legislative process, Congressman Don Young is considered the most effective member of the U.S. House of Representatives. The recently published study evaluates Members of Congress based on 12 different factors, including bills sponsored, bills out of committee, bills to the floor and bills enacted.

“Legislative effectiveness is one of the key factors our government relationship management platform uses in assessing which officials matter most for a given issue or jurisdiction,” said Tim Hwang, FiscalNote CEO. “With hundreds of votes per session and meticulous record-keeping in both chambers, the data on Federal and state legislators is extensive. That kind of deep analysis also lets us predict the likelihood of a given bill passing in a given session, as well as whether an individual legislator will support or oppose it.”

  • Newsweek reporter Jason Le Miere recently spoke to Alaska Congressman Don Young on being named a top legislator in Congress, click here to view.

The Luger Center, in partnership with Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, recently unveiled their annual Bipartisan Index Rankings. Congressman Young was named thirty-ninth (39th) in the list of representatives for bipartisanship for the 114th Congress (2015-2016), putting him in the top ten percent of his House colleagues.

Luger Center-McCourt School of Public Policy Bipartisan Index Ranking (click here for an overview).

“Despite the highly charged political environment of the past several years, Congressional bipartisanship did improve in the 114th Congress as compared to the 113th Congress,” said Lugar Center President Richard G. Lugar, who served for 36 years as a Republican senator from Indiana. “The Index shows that many senators and representatives raised their scores in the 114th Congress, so we are encouraged to see that even many lawmakers with strong ideological positions have found more common ground with their colleagues across the aisle. Cooperative efforts to address real challenges is what the American people want to see from their leaders, and we are hopeful it will be a growing trend during the 115th Congress.”

Congressman Young has often been recognized for his success throughout the legislative process. In February, Roll Call named the Alaska Congressional delegation as the nation’s top performer – credited with longevity of service, ability to move legislation and senior positions upon Committees.

Alaska Congressman Don Young, the second longest serving House Republican in U.S. history, has previously been recognized as one of the “10 Most Effective Lawmakers” by the Washington Post” and has passed more legislation into law than any other sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

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Young Supports House-Passage of American Health Care Act

2017/05/04

Washington, D.C.Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement after voting in favor of the House-passed American Health Care Act, legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:

“The reality we face today is clear – the Affordable Care Act is built on a crumbling foundation and is in a dire state of disrepair.  Inaction is not an option; something must be done today to address the soaring rates of premiums, skyrocketing deductibles and the elimination of market competition across the nation. Alaskans and Americans have demanded choices, not mandates, and have resoundingly called for freedom from this one-size-fits-all nightmare that has ignored the needs of so many hardworking families and small businesses. For these many reasons, I am committed to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“As we all know, repeal and replace – under the budget reconciliation process – cannot include every legislative fix needed to address the downward spiral of the Affordable Care Act or address all of Alaska’s unique needs. This multi-step process requires future work and consideration by Congress and the Administration to further address the many inadequacies in our nation’s healthcare system. I have been committed to this process and have worked in good faith to consider, study and negotiate the terms of legislation that supports the goals of healthcare reform as Alaskans have demanded for the last eight years.

“When this bill was originally brought before the House, I shared support for a number of policy provisions within the legislation, including the elimination of overreaching mandates, protections for pre-existing conditions and added flexibility for states. I also detailed a number of concerns for the AHCA, particularly as it applied to Alaska. In March, as amendments and changes were being proposed, I worked to secure assurances from House Leadership that Alaska’s unique healthcare challenges and needs would be addressed equitably – within the provisions of the AHCA and through future legislation. Without these assurances, I called for a pause in consideration in order to slow down the process and ensure Alaska’s many needs were reflected. 

“As the House moved forward on healthcare reform, particularly as new language was proposed and further details were provided, I received a number of detailed commitments and assurances from House Leadership and the Administration that provisions in this legislation – including funding to address the high costs of care in rural and low density population states, further market stabilization through a nationwide reinsurance program, and specific funds for those with pre-existing conditions – would be used to specifically address Alaska’s needs. I worked throughout this process to develop these important changes and have further received commitments to address additional healthcare concerns specific to Alaska in future legislation.

“Although this bill is far from perfect, I have made the very serious decision to move this process forward and continue the much needed debate to tackle our nation’s many healthcare challenges. Given the choice of doing nothing or moving forward on efforts to roll back the many destructive policies of Obamacare, I chose the latter. Today’s vote represents the first of many steps in a long process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. I fully expect a number of changes to be made as this legislation moves to the Senate and believe this is not the final language that will ultimately reach the President’s desk.”

 

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Young Shares Statement on House Passage of FY17 Funding Package

2017/05/03

Washington, D.C. – Alaska Congressman Don Young today shared the following statement after House passage of H.R. 244, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2017, which funds the federal government through September 30, 2017:

“Funding the government is one of the most critical aspects of Congress, particularly the House.  This very clear responsibility to raise and spend money, outlined in the Constitution, should not be forgotten no matter who sits in the White House. While this legislation is far from perfect – a compromise between parties and the President – I believe it was necessary to eliminate the threat of a government shutdown and keep our economy moving. Inaction would have been very bad for both Alaska and the nation, and would have created an unnecessary level of uncertainty and confusion at a time when we should be governing for the betterment of the nation.

“This legislation contains a lot of good for Alaska, including large increases to support of military men and women – which protects troop levels at JBER, funds new training and readiness programs and addresses a vast number of national security priorities. The bill also funds a number of Alaska-based programs and projects that have for too long come under attack. On the regulatory side, this bill takes serious steps to reduce the growth and expansion of unnecessary hurdles across many sectors of the government, and in turn works to support economic growth and infrastructure development this nation so badly needs. Equally as important is what this bill does not contain; it does not make cuts to our Coast Guard, it did not ignore the many needs of the Alaskan people, and it didn’t eliminate crucial investments in our economy.

“I’ve personally experienced 18 shutdowns during my time in Congress, some at the hands of Republicans others at the hands of Democrats. However, one this is certain, shutdowns are costly and damaging. Although this legislation contained a number of shortcomings, I was pleased to see my colleagues come together to move this package. Overall, I believe it is a positive step in the right direction.”

Some Items of Alaskan Interests Included in the H.R. 244:

Interior and Environment:

  • Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT): $465 M
  • Alaska Village Built Clinic program:  $11M
  • Prohibits the Forest Service or BLM from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting and recreational shooting, except in the case of public safety
  • Prohibits  the Department of Interior from administratively creating new wilderness areas
  • Includes report language directing BLM to work cooperatively with local stakeholders on the ANCSA contaminated lands
  • Directs the Interior Department to work collaboratively work with interested parties, including Congress, States, local communities, Tribal governments, and others before making national monument designations.
  • The bill maintains the indefinite appropriation for both IHS and BIA Contract Support Costs.
  • Alaska Mental Health Land Exchange Act, sponsored by the Alaska congressional delegation.

Commerce/Justice/Science:

  • Rohrabacher Amendment, which bars the Department of Justice from using resources to prosecute individuals who are acting in compliance with their state’s medical marijuana laws.

Agriculture:

  • Rural Alaska Village Grant Program: $30M
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): $19M
  • Stops the Obama-era school meal regulation from being implemented by providing flexibility to schools.

Labor/Health and Human Services/Education

  • Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP): $32.453M
  • Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS): $279M
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: $445M

Energy and Water

  • Denali Commission: $15M
  • Alaska Village State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG): $20M

Transportation/Housing and Urban Development

  • NAHASDA Native housing block grant: $654M
  • Essential Air Service: $150 M

Defense:

  • Fully funds troop pay raises authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • Prohibits the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.
  • Provides funding for the procurement of 74 F-35 joint Strike Fighters.
  • $150 million from the Navy’s shipbuilding account for the procurement of a polar icebreaker.

Homeland Security:

  • U.S. Coast Guard: $10.5B, an increase of $344M

EPA:

  • Cuts the EPA by $81 million below FY16 enacted levels and holds EPA staffing at 15,000 positions
  • Blocks the EPA from banning bullets and fishing tackle made from lead, in addition to regulating lead content.
  • Requires a report on the backlog of mining permits currently awaiting approval.

Click here to view H.R. 244.

 

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2011/04/14

Meeting with Sebastian Donoso, Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs within the Government of Chile Read More

2011/04/14

Meeting with Benjamin Tucker of the Yakima Nation Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with 33 Close-Up students from Chugiak High School, East High School, Stellar High School, South Anchorage High School and Yukon Koyukuk Scools Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with Jackie Johnson, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians Read More

2011/04/13

Meeting with John Katz of the Alaska Governor's Office Read More

2011/04/13

House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing on "American Energy Initiative" with both Senators testifying Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Haines Borough Mayor Jan Hill Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Dalton Riser, Student Wasilla Read More

2011/04/12

Meeting with Mallory Givens, UAA Student Read More

2011/04/06

Meeting with Sheri Buretta, Ed Herndon and Trudi Komakhuk Read More

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Congressman Young Shares Tribute to Former Arkansas Representative Jay Dickey

2017-04-26 23:24:11


Rep. Young on Signing of HJ Res. 69, resolution to overturn U.S. FWS Regulation in Alaska

2017-04-06 00:47:15


Rep. Young: H.R. 220, Streamlining Expansion of Terror Lake Hydroelectric Project in Kodiak

2017-04-05 01:00:38


Darren Scott, President and CEO of Kodiak Electric Association, Testifies in Favor of H.R. 220

2017-04-05 00:54:06


Choose Respect 2017

2017-03-24 00:05:13


Young Shares Thoughts on Healthcare Proceedings in U.S. House

2017-03-21 23:32:04


Consortium for Ocean Leadership 2017 Public Policy Forum: Rep. Young & Rep. McGovern

2017-03-10 15:48:45


Young Shares Statement Following Trump Address to Joint Chamber of Congress

2017-03-01 04:14:08


Rep. Young Speaking in Favor of H.R. 228, Tribal Workforce Development Legislation

2017-02-27 22:39:12


Cannabis Caucus Launch: Young (AK), Bluemenauer (OR), Polis (CO), Rohrabacher (CA)

2017-02-17 00:01:54


Congressman Young Defending H.J. Res. 69 on House Floor

2017-02-16 23:11:57


Rep. Don Young Speaking in Favor of H.J. Res. 69 in House Rules Committee

2017-02-15 18:01:53


Congressman Young on the Passage of H.R. 26, the REINS Act

2017-01-06 02:31:57


Rep. Don Young: 115th Congress Opening Day

2017-01-04 23:33:29


B-Roll: Don Young Ceremonial Swearing-In 115th Congress

2017-01-04 01:10:10


Rep. Young Shares Message with Alaskans on First Day of 115th Congress

2017-01-04 00:57:04


Rep. Don Young Speaking in Favor of Native Workforce Development Bill -- H.R. 329

2016-12-07 22:00:49


Congressman Don Young: AFN 50th Annual Convention Address

2016-10-24 06:52:27


Congressman Young: Maine Lobster Wholesale Tour

2016-10-07 23:30:51


B-Roll: Rep. Young Touring Portland, ME based lobster wholesale

2016-10-07 23:03:09


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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