Don Young on Homeland Security
Republican Representative (AK-At-Large)
Voted NO on Veto override: Congressional oversight of CIA interrogations.
PRESIDENT'S VETO MESSAGE:This bill would impede efforts to protect [against] terrorist attacks because it imposes several unnecessary and unacceptable burdens on our Intelligence Community. [I reject] subjecting two additional vital positions to a more protracted process of Senate confirmation [and I reject] a new office of Inspector General for the Intelligence Community as duplicative. [Most sigficantly,] it is vitally important that the CIA be allowed to maintain a separate and classified interrogation program, [and not] use only the interrogation methods authorized in the Army Field Manual on Interrogations. My disagreement over section 327 is not over any particular interrogation technique such as waterboarding. Rather, my concern is the need to maintain a separate CIA program that will shield from disclosure to terrorists the interrogation techniques they may face upon capture.
SUPPORTER'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING YES:Rep. REYES: This legislation goes
a long way towards strengthening oversight of the intelligence community, which the President seems to consistently want to fight. That's why the President vetoed it. He wants the authority to do whatever he wants, in secret, with no oversight or authorization or without any checks and balances. Well, I don't agree. The Constitution gives us a role in this process. We do have a say in what the intelligence community does. That's why we need to override this veto.
OPPONENT'S ARGUMENT FOR VOTING NO:Rep. HOEKSTRA: This bill fails to give the intelligence community the tools that it needs to protect the American people from radical jihadists. The debate on this authorization bill is not about a single issue, [waterboarding], as some would have you believe. It is about the need to ensure that we give the right tools to our intelligence professionals in this time of enhanced threat.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Veto override failed, 225-188 (2/3rds required)
Bill Veto override on H.R. 2082
; vote number 08-HR2082
on Mar 11, 2008
Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts.
- Improving the Quality of Contracts--to restrict the contract period of noncompetitive contracts to the minimum period necessary to meet urgent requirements; and not more than one year unless the the government would be seriously injured.
- Increasing Contract Oversight--to make publicly available (on websites) justification documents for using noncompetitive contract procedures.
- Promoting Integrity in Contracting--to prohibit former federal officials from accepting compensation from contractors as lawyers or lobbyists.
Proponents support voting YES because:
In Iraq, we were told we needed Halliburton to get a contract without any competition because they were the only ones who know how to put out oil well fires. So they got a contract on a cost-plus basis even though they had a history of overcharging the taxpayers. And then later we found out that they didn't do anything about putting out oil well fires in the first Gulf war; it was Bechtel, not
Halliburton. Contractors were given special treatment by not having healthy competition.
In dealing with Hurricane Katrina, and we have seen the same mistakes again: No-competition contracts; cost-plus contracts. We have seen what the result has been: Wasted taxpayer dollars. This bill requires that if there is an emergency to give a contract, give it. But then have bidding within a year.
Opponents support voting NO because:
We support transparency and accountability in decision-making, but this bill asks for audit reports that are only advisory. To provide those to Congress not only gives you too much information, a lot of it can be misleading and can increase the number of contract disputes.
When you are fighting a war, you need to move quickly. You don't give a 6-month appeal to the folks that lose the competition. You don't give small business set-asides because there is one thing you don't have, you don't have time.
Reference: Accountability in Contracting Act;
Bill H R 1362
; vote number 2007-156
on Mar 15, 2007
Voted NO on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.
Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) to allow the President & Attorney General to authorize electronic surveillance without a court order to acquire foreign intelligence information, after certifying that the surveillance is directed at the acquisition of communications of foreign agents.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Intelligence is the first line of defense in the war on terrorism. That means we have to have intelligence agencies and capabilities that are agile, that are responsive to changes in technology, and that also protect the civil liberties of Americans. Let me make an analogy. With modernization, we replaced Route 66 with Interstate 40. We no longer have the stoplights and the intersections. We created on ramps and off ramps and concrete barriers to protect the citizens where traffic was moving very quickly. That is like what we are trying to do here--FISA needs modernization.
Opponents support voting NO because:
We are legislating in the dark. We do not even know what the President is doing now because he will not tell us. The New York Times exposed that the administration had authorized secret surveillance of domestic conversations. When exposed, the President claimed he was operating under inherent powers, but court decisions have found that the President cannot simply declare administration actions constitutional and lawful, whether or not they are.
Yet rather than finding out what is going on, this legislation retroactively legalizes whatever has been going on. The President already has broad latitude to conduct domestic surveillance, including surveillance of American citizens, so long as it is overseen by the FISA court.
This bill does not enhance security, but it does allow surveillance without the traditional checks and balances that have served our Nation well.
Reference: Update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978;
; vote number 2006-502
on Sep 28, 2006
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.
A resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 5020) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2007 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities. Voting YES indicates support of the current methods for intelligence-gathering used by the CIA and other agencies. The resolution's opponents say:
- This bill could have and should have required a dedicated funding line for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The 9/11 Commission recommended this board to serve as a civil liberties watchdog on the potential erosion of the basic constitutional rights. Now, 15 months later, we find our concerns about basic civil rights to have been well founded, but the oversight board is barely up and running [and is not funded].
- Many of us believe that when the President authorized the NSA surveillance of Americans, he broke the law, plain and simple.
- We are talking about the most basic fundamental civil liberties that protect the American people, and the Republican leadership will
not even let us debate it. What are they afraid of?
- If you believe that this President should have the ability to spy on Americans without a warrant and without going to the FISA court, then they should write that bill and bring it to the floor, then have a debate and a vote.
The resolution's proponents say:
Reference: Intelligence Authorization Act;
Bill HR 5020 resolution H RES 774
; vote number 2006-108
on Apr 26, 2006
- We have had the good fortune in this country for the last 4 1/2 years to have not had another terrorist attack on our soil, and it is not because they haven't tried. The reason for that success boils down to two things: the courage of our soldiers and the quality of our intelligence. Exceptional intelligence is the first line of defense for America in the long war on terrorism.
- I think as a responsible body we have to start out by getting the facts. That means hard work that is done largely in secret. Oversight is under way, and, for the most part, the National Security Agency has been very forthcoming.
Voted NO on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists.
REAL ID Act of 2005: To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner [R, WI-5];
; vote number 2005-031
on Feb 10, 2005
- Title I: Amendments to Federal Laws to Protect Against Terrorist Entry - defining more factors relevant to credibility determinations in asylum cases.
- Title II: Improved Security for Driver's Licenses and Personal Identification Cards - setting minimum security requirements, including the incorporation of specified data, a common machine-readable technology, and certain anti-fraud security features. Title III: Border Infrastructure and Technology Integration - studying ground surveillance technologies.
Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses.
Expresses the continued support of Congress for, and encourages the executive branch to continue challenging any judicial decision against, specified provisions of Federal law prohibiting making certain Federal contracts with or grants to institutions of higher education that prevent military recruiters from having access to their campuses and to certain information about their students.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Rep Mike Rogers [R, AL-3];
; vote number 2005-016
on Feb 2, 2005
Voted NO on adopting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act:
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Denny Hastert [R, IL-14];
; vote number 2004-523
on Oct 8, 2004
- Title I: Reform of the Intelligence Community
- Subtitle A: Establishment of National Intelligence Director
- Subtitle B: National Counterterrorism Center and Civil Liberties Protections
- Subtitle C: Joint Intelligence Community Council
- Subtitle D: Improvement of Human Intelligence (HUMINT)
- Subtitle E: Improvement of Education for the Intelligence Community
- Title II: Terrorism Prevention and Prosecution
- Subtitle A: Individual Terrorists as Agents of Foreign Powers
- Subtitle B: Stop Terrorist and Military Hoaxes Act of 2004
- Subtitle C: Material Support to Terrorism Prohibition Enhancement Act of 2004
- Subtitle D: Weapons of Mass Destruction Prohibition Improvement Act of 2004
- Subtitle E: Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
- Subtitle F: Criminal History Background Checks
- Subtitle G: Protection of United States Aviation System From Terrorist Attacks
Voted YES on permitting commercial airline pilots to carry guns.
Armed Airline Pilots Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would create a program where commercial pilots would be deputized as federal law enforcement officers and would then be permitted to carry guns aboard airlines. To participate in the program, commercial pilots would have to undergo specialized training. At least 250 commercial pilots would undergo the training. Within two months of the bill's enactment, the Transportation Security Agency or TSA, would then be required to begin weapons training for pilots who had volunteered for the program. Airlines and pilots will not be held legally accountable when defending planes from terrorist acts except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence The TSA could temporarily put the program on hold if a pilot's gun unintentionally discharges and causes injury to a crew member or passanger. The bill also would entail flight attendants to undergo self-defense training. Also study training all federal law enforcement officers on aviation anti-terrorism.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Young, R-FL;
Bill HR 4635
; vote number 2002-292
on Jul 10, 2002
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.
Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA;
Bill HR 2561
; vote number 1999-334
on Jul 22, 1999
Voted YES on deploying SDI.
Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA;
Bill HR 4
; vote number 1999-4
on Mar 18, 1999
Allow assassination of terrorist leaders.
Young co-sponsored allowing assassination of terrorist leaders
OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US Army and the CIA are currently prohibited by law from assassinating enemies, including terrorist leaders. These prohibitions were put into place after the Kennedy assassination, and after the CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, so that enemy countries would have no incentive to assassinate American leaders. This bill undoes those prohibitions. Pres. Bill Clinton claimed during his presidency, he interpreted this law to NOT apply to terrorist leaders, since "assassination" only applies to government officials. Hence Pres. Clinton DID attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden, by cruise missile attack. Under that interpretation (which is not universally accepted) this bill would clarify that Pres. Clinton's actions were and are legal, and hence Pres. Bush may take the same action.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL and from ORIGINAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS:
Congress finds that--
- past Presidents have issued Executive orders which severely limit the use
of the military when dealing with potential threats
- these Executive orders limit the swift, sure, and precise action needed to protect our national security;
- present strategy allows the military forces to bomb large targets hoping to eliminate a terrorist leader, but prevents our country from designing a limited action which would specifically accomplish that purpose.
The following provisions of Executive orders shall have no further force or effect:
- Section 5(g) of Executive Order 11905: "5(g) No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination."
- Section 2-305 of Executive Order 12036: "2-305. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.
- Section 2.11 of Executive Order 12333: "2.11: No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination."
Source: Terrorist Elimination Act (H.R.19) 01-HR0019 on Jan 3, 2001
Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.
Young scores 0% by SANE on peace issues
Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...
As the Pentagonís budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.
- That every person has the right to live without the threat of nuclear weapons.
- That war is not a suitable response to conflict.
- That America has the resources to both protect and provide for its citizens.
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003
Sponsored opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.
Young co-sponsored Resolution on UN
Congressional Summary:Expressing the conditions for the US becoming a signatory to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
- WHEREAS the ATT poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the US as well as to the constitutional rights of US citizens and US sovereignty;
- WHEREAS the ATT fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms;
- WHEREAS the ATT places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality, recognizing their equal right to transfer arms, and is thereby dangerous to the security of the US;
- WHEREAS the ATT will create opportunities to engage in 'lawfare' against the US via the misuse of the treaty's tribunals;
- WHEREAS the ATT could hinder the US from fulfilling its strategic and moral commitments to provide arms to allies such as Taiwan & Israel;
- Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that--
- the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty,
and that the Senate should not ratify the ATT; and
- that no Federal funds should be authorized to implement the ATT.
Opponent's argument against bill:(United Nations press release, June 3, 2013):
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon str
Source: S.CON.RES.7 & H.CON.RES.23 : 13-HCR23 on Mar 13, 2013
Restrict domestic monitoring of phone calls.
Young signed restricting domestic monitoring of phone calls
The Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2014 or the USA FREEDOM Act: Congressional Summary:
- Requires the FBI, when seeking phone call records, to show both relevance and a reasonable suspicion that the specific selection term is associated with a foreign power engaged in international terrorism.
- Requires a judge approving the release, on a daily basis, of call detail records; and to limit production of records to a period of 180 days.
- Requires a declassification review of each decision issued by the FISA court; and make such decisions publicly available, subject to permissible redactions.
Opposing argument: (ACLU, "Surveillance Reform After the USA Freedom Act", June 3, 2015): The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013.
We supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform, including rejecting surveillance through cybersecurity information-sharing legislation. Notwithstanding this, however, it is very clear that the USA Freedom Act is a historic step forward.
Opposing argument: (Cato Institute , "Cato scholars differ on USA Freedom Act", Oct., 2015): The privacy community remained divided over the USA Freedom Act. The final version of the bill reauthorized several expiring Patriot Act provisions, but limited bulk collection. Some legislators argued that to pass new legislation would only provide the government convenient new legal justification for its spying--which it would interpret broadly. On the opposite side of the argument stood some pro-privacy groups who held that modest reforms were better than no reforms at all.
Source: H.R.2048&S.2685 14-H2048 on Apr 28, 2015
End bulk data collection under USA PATRIOT Act.
Young co-sponsored USA FREEDOM Act
Congressional summary:: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring Act or the USA FREEDOM Act:
- Amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to require that the records sought pertain to an individual in contact with a foreign power.
- Amends the USA PATRIOT Act to minimize the acquisition and retention of information and to prohibit its unauthorized dissemination.
- Imposes additional requirements on the authorized use of pen registers and trap and trace devices (devices for recording incoming and outgoing telephone numbers).
- Prohibits the searching of collections of communications of US persons.
Opponent's argument against (Electronic Frontier Foundation): The bill only addresses a small portion of the problems created by NSA spying. It does not touch problems like NSA programs to sabotage encryption standards; it does not effectively tackle
the issue of collecting information on people outside of the US; and it doesn't address the authority that the government is supposedly using to tap the data links between service provider data centers, such as those owned by Google and Yahoo. The bill also does not address excessive secrecy; it won't deal with the major over-classification issues or the state secrets privilege.
Opponent's argument against (J. Kirk Wiebe, former NSA Senior Intelligence Analyst interview with TheRealNews.com): It's window dressing. Stopping bulk collection is a good step, but the only thing that's going to fix this is direct access into NSA's databases by an independent group of hackers, techie types, people like Snowden who know how to get into a network and look at things and verify that the data they're collecting and what they're doing with it complies with the Constitution. The NSA has essentially operated illegally--unconstitutionally--for 60% of its existence.
Source: HR3361 & S1599 14-H3361 on Oct 29, 2013
Military spouses don't lose voting residency while abroad.
Young signed Military Spouses Residency Relief Act
A bill to amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to guarantee the equity of spouses of military personnel with regard to matters of residency, and for other purposes.
Source: S.475&HR.1182 2009-S475 on Feb 25, 2009
- Prohibits, for purposes of voting for a federal, state, or local office, deeming a person to have lost a residence or domicile in a state, acquired a residence or domicile in any other state, or become a resident in or of any other state solely because the person is absent from a state because the person is accompanying the person's spouse who is absent from the state in compliance with military or naval orders.
Prohibits a servicemember's spouse from either losing or acquiring a residence or domicile for purposes of taxation because of being absent or present in any U.S. tax jurisdiction solely to be with the servicemember in compliance with the servicemember's military orders if the residence or domicile is the same for the servicemember and the spouse. Prohibits a spouse's income from being considered income earned in a tax jurisdiction if the spouse is not a resident or domiciliary of such jurisdiction when the spouse is in that jurisdiction solely to be with a servicemember serving under military orders.
- Suspends land rights residency requirements for spouses accompanying servicemembers serving under military orders.
Page last updated: May 21, 2020