To the editor: I am a Republican running against Don Young in the 2022 election, and I support his vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that passed the U.S. House on Nov. 5, 2021. As a recent manager of the Bristol Bay Borough and the city of Dillingham (interim), I know firsthand the immeasurable value the billions of dollars this legislation will bring to rural Alaska for roads, ferries, water and sewer systems, bridges, broadband, and ports.
It is stating the obvious to say that we Alaskans urgently need to strengthen our infrastructure — as do all states. Yet, astonishingly, Young was one of only 13 House Republicans to vote for this critical bill — commendably, Alaska’s two Republican senators did as well. This means about 200 Republican House members made narrow party-driven votes against the profound interests of their own citizens. Inexplicably, Republican leaders nationally are now considering punishing these 13 representatives for voting for the urgent infrastructure needs of their home states by stripping them of committee assignments.
While I am running for the U.S. House because I disagree with Young on many major issues, I agree with his putting Alaska’s essential infrastructure needs above Republican party politics in this instance.