Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young announced that Kelton Jensen, a 10th grade student at Palmer High School, has been named the winner of the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for the entire State of Alaska. His winning piece, The Wacky Taste of Imagination, was chosen by judges from the Alaska School Activities Association as part of their statewide art contest. Kelton's artwork will be showcased in the United States Capitol complex for an entire year.
“Each year, I look forward to witnessing the artistic talents and creativity of young artists from across our great state,” said Congressman Don Young. “I offer my sincerest congratulations to Kelton and his family on this great achievement. Kelton’s artwork will be on display for visitors and dignitaries from around the world to see, and that is a great honor for Kelton and Palmer High School, but also for me as his Representative in Congress. I am confident that Kelton’s hard work and artistic vision will inspire future young Alaskans to enter their artwork in this prestigious competition.”
Above: Kelton Jensen's winning piece, "The Wacky Taste of Imagination."
Washington, D.C. – Representative Don Young of Alaska’s At-Large Congressional District and Representative Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District introduced bipartisan legislation to help ensure that the State Department makes disability rights an international priority.
The Office of International Disability Rights Act, H.R. 3373, would establish in law the Office of International Disability Rights at the U.S. State Department, to be supervised by a Special Advisor of International Disability Rights. The Special Advisor position has not been filled since the start of the Trump Administration.
Under the bipartisan bill, the Office of International Disability Rights would lead efforts to promote the rights of people with disabilities around the world. The legislation also requires State Department personnel to undergo disability inclusion training.
“The United States helps lead the world in promoting the rights of the disabled, and the Office of International Disability Rights at the State Department is one of the most important tools we have in this global fight,” said Congressman Young (AK). “It is critical we work together to defend the inherent worth and dignity of all people, particularly those with disabilities, and I am proud to join Congresswoman Dina Titus on this legislation to codify the office into law. It is my hope that the work done by the State Department will continue to promote inclusion for people with disabilities in communities across the world.”
“The full inclusion of people with disabilities is a fundamental aspect of democracy, and it must be a priority for U.S. foreign policy,” said Congresswoman Titus (NV-1). “This legislation will help ensure that the State Department uses its diplomatic tools to promote the empowerment of persons with disabilities worldwide. We must regain our footing on the world stage as the leading defender of human rights for all people.”
"Congresswoman Titus' bill to establish the office is a breath of fresh air,” said U.S. International Council on Disabilities Executive Director Isabel Hodge. “Having a permanent office and special advisor has been something the disability community has wanted for a long time. The U.S. is currently absent from the global disability movement. As a result, foreign countries are going to other countries with less expertise and not receiving optimal results.”
“If this bill became law, the State Department would be in an even stronger position to partner with disabled persons’ organizations, civil society and governments to empower the one billion persons with disabilities worldwide,” said International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) President and CEO Tony Banbury. “When the rights of persons with disabilities are fully realized, all of society benefits. Full inclusion of persons with disabilities is a central tenet of IFES’ work, as it promotes peaceful, prosperous democracies. I thank Congresswoman Titus for her continued leadership on international disability rights.”
“As the world gradually moves forward to end marginalization for the more than one billion disabled people around the world, the United States – once seen as the leader in disability rights – lags behind,” said former Special Advisor on Disability Rights for the U.S. State Department Judith E. Heumann. “Passage of this legislation would enable State to more comprehensively address the inclusion of disabled people and reclaim the leadership role America must play and help the U.S. regain its status in the world.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives approved a measure by Representatives Don Young (R-AK), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Michael Turner (R-OH), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), David Trone (D-MD), Katie Porter (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT) to increase federal funding for the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit that provides free temporary lodging near hospitals so military and veteran families can be close to their loved ones while they seek medical treatment.
The bipartisan amendment doubles federal support for Fisher House, increasing funding from $5 to $10 million.
“Our injured service members and veterans sacrificed on behalf of our nation, and it is a debt we will never fully be able to repay,” said Young. “Our recovering heroes deserve to have their loved ones by their side, but not every family can afford the immense expenses of the lodging arrangements required to be near their injured family member. The Fisher House Foundation has been instrumental in funding temporary lodging near medical facilities so that the families of injured service members can be with those they are helping to care for. I am proud to support Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s amendment to double Federal funding for the Fisher House Foundation so that they may continue supporting those who put their lives on the line to protect us.”
“No veteran who has served their country should have to face medical care or a hospital stay without the support of their loved ones by their side,” Dingell said. “Caring for the families of our service members and veterans must always be a top priority. Our bipartisan amendment doubles the funding for Fisher House so this important organization can continue their important work.”
“The Fisher House at the Dayton VA is invaluable to our community’s veterans and their families,” Turner said. “The Fisher House at the Dayton VA Campus has served nearly 200 families in a welcoming home environment since it opened last November, saving guests approximately $57,000 in lodging and transportation expenses. I am proud to support doubling the funding for the Fisher House program to deliver our veterans with high quality and compassionate care.”
“Fisher House fulfills a tremendous need to our selfless servicemembers and veterans who have protected and defended our nation,” said Neguse. “In times of medical need, these families deserve the ability to dedicate all of their energy to the healing process, and Fisher House provides the support they need to do so. This additional funding for the program will allow for more servicemembers, veterans and their families to benefit from the incredible work of Fisher House.”
“The brave men and women who serve in our military and their families deserve the best treatment and care in the world. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether their loved ones can be with them when they are in the hospital,” said Trone. “I am honored to have helped secure this federal funding to continue the partnership with Fisher House. It’s the least we can do to support those who have sacrificed so much for us.”
“For Orange County veterans and military members seeking treatment, Fisher House is an invaluable resource that enables families to stay together while loved ones receive the treatment and care they need,” Porter said. “I’m proud to support this great organization and the families that depend upon it.”
“The cost of war includes the cost of supporting and caring for our veterans and their families,” said Welch. “When veterans need medical care it’s important for them to have their loved ones by their side. I am proud to support this bipartisan amendment that keeps veterans and their families together in tough times."
Founded in 1990, Fisher House has served over 335,000 families, provided over eight million days of lodging and saved military families more than $407 million in out-of-pocket expenses. Fisher House has a four star (out of four) rating from Charity Navigator and an A+ rating from Charity Watch and has been awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence. There are currently 76 Fisher Houses located on 24 military installations and 32 VA medical centers. The Fisher House Foundation builds new houses and assists in the coordination of support for the homes and donates these homes to the United States government.
Washington, D.C. – In a June 11, 2019 court decision, the State of Alaska won a major victory against the U.S. Forest Service, allowing the State to implement the 2004 Southeast Transportation Plan. The Southeast Transportation Plan will include the construction of roads on the twenty easements granted to Alaska under SAFETEA-LU – Congressman Don Young’s legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush. In response to the June 11, 2019 ruling, Alaska Congressman Don Young issued the following statement:
“While this court ruling is a good and encouraging step forward, there is still much work ahead. Alaska still needs a complete exemption from the Roadless Rule to ensure that the economy in Southeast grows and remains strong. SAFETEA-LU had several far-reaching and important provisions – among them was a provision to ensure communities in Southeast Alaska were able to develop roads and utilities through easements. Through this ruling, the courts have sent a strong message to the federal government: the intent of Congress must be respected.
Being the largest state in the Union, Alaskans are acutely aware of how necessary roads are to pursuing commerce, seeking medical care, and accessing various other quality-of-life services. I will continue working with the Trump Administration to ensure that Alaskans are not impacted by overreaching, one-size-fits-all regulations written for the Lower 48.”
"The Alaska Forest Association (AFA) would like to thank our Alaska Congressional Delegation, in particular Congressman Don Young who ushered SAFTEA-LU into law, paving the way for this important win for the State of Alaska. This key court decision will help AFA members and other users of the Forest by allowing road easements for construction projects,” said Owen Graham of the Alaska Forest Association. “We will continue to work with the State of Alaska on Tongass issues, including the next key decision which is the outcome for the Roadless Exemption Environmental Impact Statement.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young announced that the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Maritime Administration (MARAD) Small Shipyard Grants to Northern Enterprises Boat Yard in Homer, and JAG Alaska, Inc. in Seward. The DOT’s Small Shipyard Grant Program was reauthorized as part of the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act with the purpose of fostering efficiency, competitive operations, and quality ship construction and repair in small shipyards across the country.
“As former Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I know firsthand the importance of robust infrastructure to Alaska’s economy and way of life,” said Congressman Don Young. “In many ways, our shipyards are Alaska’s gateway to global commerce and opportunity, and it is critical that they are properly maintained, high-functioning, and safe. I am proud to have advocated for these two projects in our great state, and look forward to seeing the positive impact of this funding in both Homer and Seward. I was pleased to have supported the reauthorization of the Small Shipyard Grant Program during passage of last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. In Congress, I will continue working to ensure Alaskans and our infrastructure priorities are heard in Congress.”
Grant information can be found below:
Grant Amount: $976,298.00
Grant Recipient: JAG Alaska, Inc.
Locality: Seward, AK
Description: The Seward Shipyard is undergoing a capital improvement program after having its lease acquired by JAG Alaska. The Small Shipyard Grant Program funding will be used by JAG to help provide hard surfaced, hydronically heated ship repair berths and new ship transfer carts in order to improve the safety and efficiency of the Seward Shipyard, thereby boosting utilization by the maritime industry.
Grant Amount: $604,053.00
Grant Recipient: Northern Enterprises Boat Yard, Inc.
Locality: Homer, AK
Description: With funding made available through the Small Shipyard Grant Program, Northern Enterprises will be able to procure a boat lift capable of hauling bigger and wider vessels -- helping to expand the number of maritime customers they are able to accommodate.
WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Co-Chairs of the House Oceans Caucus, celebrated World Oceans Day by introducing a resolution committing to increasing investments in scientific research and monitoring to better understand our changing oceans.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 8th as World Oceans Day. The bipartisan resolution recognizing World Oceans Day acknowledges that the oceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth, and that changes in ocean chemistry and marine debris threaten communities, industries, jobs, and the marine ecosystem.
“The health of our oceans reflects the health of our planet, and we must recommit to protecting our oceans and the life they sustain for generations to come,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “This World Oceans Day, we recognize that our oceans are threatened more than ever before from climate change, ocean acidification, marine debris, and pollution. But our oceans are resilient and there is hope. I’m grateful to work with my fellow Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, Congressman Young, to draw attention to the critical issues that face the health of our oceans and take meaningful steps to address the challenges facing our oceans.”
You can read a copy of the resolution here. The resolution was cosponsored by: Representatives Blumenauer, Carbajal, Casten, Cohen, Demings, Dingell, Fitzpatrick, Gabbard, Gonzalez-Colon, Huffman, Johnson (TX), Kilmer, Larsen, McGovern, Panetta, Pappas, Rooney, Sablan, Smith (NJ).
Young and Bonamici co-chair the House Oceans Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. This Congress, the Caucus is focused on environmental stressors (including ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia); marine debris; ocean data and monitoring; coastal resiliency; and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Earlier this week, the House unanimously passed Bonamici’s COAST Research Act to expand scientific research and monitoring of ocean and coastal acidification. Young co-led the bill with Bonamici and it is a priority for the House Oceans Caucus.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young and Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA), Co-Chairs of the Wild Salmon Caucus, introduced a House Resolution to recognize and honor the International Year of the Salmon (IYS). IYS is a collaboration between multiple Northern Hemisphere countries, including the United States and Canada. 2019 is the focal year for IYS, with projects and activities designed to raise awareness and understanding of the issues facing wild salmon planned to continue through 2022.
“Alaskans know how precious our wild salmon is not only to our economy, but to our way of life,” said Congressman Don Young. “International Year of the Salmon is an excellent chance for our global community to come together and recommit ourselves to pursuing policies that allow our salmon populations to thrive. For the good of Alaska’s fishermen, our tourism economy, and the families who depend on salmon as a food source, I am proud to join my Wild Salmon Caucus Co-Chair, Congressman Jared Huffman, in recognizing the International Year of the Salmon.”
“The North Coast is home to many of California’s iconic salmon runs, which support the economic and cultural vitality of coastal communities, tribes, and aquatic ecosystems,” said Congressman Jared Huffman, co-chair of the Wild Salmon Caucus and Chair of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee. “Unfortunately, climate change, droughts, and habitat loss have threatened vulnerable salmon populations. I’m glad to reach across the aisle and work with Congressman Don Young to recognize 2019 as the International Year of the Salmon and shine a light on the importance of wild salmon conservation.”
“Salmon is an economic powerhouse for Alaska and throughout much of the northern hemisphere,” said Jill Weitz, Juneau resident and Campaign Director of Salmon Beyond Borders. “Working together to better understand salmon populations is investing in the future; International Year of the Salmon is a celebration to defend this iconic species for generations to come.”
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), co-chairs of the House TB Elimination Caucus, today introduced the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, bipartisan legislation that would help combat and eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in the United States.
TB outbreaks still occur across the country and though the number of TB cases has decreased in recent years, the rate of decrease has plateaued, indicating that the limits of what can be accomplished towards TB elimination with current strategies and tools has been reached. The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act reauthorizes the National Strategy for Combating and Eliminating Tuberculosis and provides increased funding for TB research and prevention.
“We have made tremendous strides in combating TB during my time in Congress, but more work remains to be done,” said Congressman Don Young. “Already this year, nearly 100 people attending an event in my home state of Alaska may have been exposed to this devastating disease. I’m proud to join my friend Representative Eliot Engel in introducing this important legislation, and I look forward to working together to get it across the finish line.”
“While we have made progress towards TB elimination, we cannot reach the end of TB without new tools, including new diagnostics, drug regimens, and a vaccine,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “We need to invest across agencies in research for these new tools and this bill will do just that, while putting us on the path toward eradicating this deadly disease once and for all.”
“The American Thoracic Society (ATS) commends Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Don Young (R-AK) for their sponsorship of the bipartisan Comprehensive TB Elimination Act (CTEA). The ATS was founded as the American Sanitorium Association in 1905 to prevent and control tuberculosis (TB), which remains a public health issue in the U.S. If enacted and funded, the CTEA will provide the resources needed to put the U.S. on the path to TB elimination,” said James Beck, M.D, President, American Thoracic Society.
“TB Alliance commends Representatives Engel and Young for their continued efforts to eliminate tuberculosis, both in the U.S. and abroad. The introduction of the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act of 2019 is an exciting development and we are encouraged to see its support for TB prevention, control and elimination, as well as for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that can bring an end to this global pandemic. Significant and sustained investments in research and product development are urgently needed,” said Mel Spigelman, President and CEO, TB Alliance.
“Treatment Action Group (TAG) welcomes the introduction of the Comprehensive TB Elimination Act, especially its support for a robust approach to TB prevention, and for critical research at the NIH and CDC. As activists working toward the end of TB, we encourage the United States to show leadership by taking these bold and necessary steps to end TB in our lifetimes,” said Mark Harrington, Executive Director, Treatment Action Group (TAG).
“The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act will give local health authorities the tools they need to combat drug resistant forms of tuberculosis, which contributes to rising antimicrobial resistance and poor patient outcomes. As medical professionals on the frontlines of tuberculosis responses and research, the Infectious Diseases Society of America supports this bill and believes its swift passage is needed to achieve epidemic control,” said Dr. Cynthia Sears, President, Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The Comprehensive TB Elimination Act has also been endorsed by 17 other public health advocacy groups, including the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young, a member of the Congressional Cut Flowers Caucus, introduced the American Grown Act – legislation requiring the U.S. Federal Government to purchase cut flowers and greens grown in the United States. According to Certified American Grown, approximately 80 percent of cut flower and greens purchased in the United States are imported from other countries, putting American flower and greens farmers at a disadvantage. By requiring the Federal Government to use American Grown Flowers and Greens to decorate its facilities, we will be supporting our farmers and raising awareness of their beautiful products. This bipartisan legislation is supported by Certified American Grown and the California Cut Flower Commission.
“It seems like a no-brainer that the United States should be putting American farmers first by choosing not to import cut flowers,” said Congressman Don Young. “Unfortunately for the Federal government, this is not the case. American farmers are hugely disadvantaged by the foreign growers that are subject to fewer environmental regulations and labor standards, and it is time Congress does something to help our country’s farmers compete. Putting our farmers first starts at the top, and I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation. I encourage my friends on both sides of the aisle to do right by the flower and greens farmers in their districts and sign on to this important effort.”
“Once again, Congressman Young’s support and leadership to raise awareness and advocate for our Alaskan flower farmers is greatly appreciated,” said Alaskan peony farmer Rita Jo Shoultz of Homer, Alaska and member of the Certified American Grown Council. “The American Grown Act is something that makes sense and is a wonderful way to acknowledge and support our hard-working, flower-farming families across America.”
“Most American taxpayers probably assume that the flowers they see displayed at our national cemeteries, federal buildings and government events were grown here in the United States,” said Certified American Grown Administrator Kasey Cronquist. “The fact is that imports, primarily from South America, now make up approximately 80 percent of the flowers sold in the U.S. The American Grown Act will help ensure that flowers purchased by our federal government for events, occasions and the day-to-day are grown here by hard-working Americans.”
“I love this,” says June VanWingerden, chair of the California Cut Flower Commission and flower farmer in Carpinteria, California. “I’m sure I speak for flower farmers from all 50 states who are very excited to see this kind of support for America’s flower farmers coming from Washington, D.C. and I hope this bill helps to raise the awareness of the trade issues our farms continue to face.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, today applauded the Air Force for its plan to permanently station six additional F-22s, previously based at Tyndall AFB, Florida, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The plan is expected to become final following completion of environmental review.
“We have long advocated for our military in Alaska, including the importance of our strategic geographic location for protecting our nation and responding to global threats. This decision is further proof of Alaska’s strategic location for the projection of airpower in the Pacific,” said the Delegation. “These additional F-22s, along with the training opportunities at Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, and the future arrival of F-35’s at Eielson, gives our military incredible capabilities to face emerging threats. It is imperative that we have the most capable assets available in the region and we applaud the Air Force in its decision to bolster airpower in Alaska.”
Background: In December of 2018 Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson received six additional F-22s from Tyndall Air Force Base’s 95th Fighter Squadron, as part of the immediate post-Hurricane Michael temporary plan. The Air Force’s proposes to make that decision permanent. Tyndall AFB will be an F-35 operational location when repairs are completed.
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.
Retweeted by repdonyoung
Please join me in congratulating Kelton Jenson of Palmer High School on winning the 2019 Congressional Art Competit… https://t.co/jrZqh7S8UT
Today, I spoke from the House Floor against a Democrat-led effort to turn back the progress we’ve made, both for Al… https://t.co/2yoLw80fBz