Young Shares Thoughts on President’s Full FY18 Budget Proposal
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:
“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.”
“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.”