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Don Young Forced Out From Natural Resources Post, Bachus Stays

Embattled Rep. Don Young (Alaska), ranking member on the Natural Resources Committee, was forced out of that post today by GOP leaders, according to Republican insiders.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), however, will keep his job as ranking member on the Financial Services Committee, the sources say.

Update - Young issued this statement, saying he will "temporarily step down from my post" as ranking on Natural Resources. but looks "forward to regaining my post."

“As the second most senior Republican in the U. S. House of Representatives, I am looking forward to the next two years as a Member of the 111th Congress. I ran for and won my 19th term as Alaska’s lone Representative this year, confident that the cloud that hangs over me will eventually clear as I know I have done nothing wrong. However for the good of the Republican Party, the right thing for me to do is temporarily step down from my post as Ranking Member on the House Committee on Natural Resources while my name is cleared. At that time, I look forward to regaining my post.

“I have chosen to serve on the Committee on Natural Resources (in all of its forms) since the beginning of my almost 36 years in Congress. After spending six years as the Chairman of the Resources Committee, and the last two years as its Ranking Member, it is time to allow another Member to take the reins. I will remain fully engaged in the Committee’s work on both national and Alaska issues.

“No matter my position in Congress, my priorities have always remained the same: a sustainable energy production plan for our country, including the safe development of ANWR; continuing to build our infrastructure; my strong belief in putting Americans to work in good American jobs; taking care of our veterans and military; providing for our seniors; and bottom line, doing the best I can for the State of Alaska.

“As the new Congress begins, the first two things I plan to do are introduce legislation that reauthorizes the Denali Commission, which is essential to rural Alaska, and reintroduce my energy bill, the American Energy Independence Act, which will open ANWR and use the revenues to fund alternative and renewable energy projects. It is the only bill of its kind, and last Congress had 181 bipartisan cosponsors including former ANWR opponents.

“I wish all the best to the incoming Ranking Member. I look forward to continuing my work as a Member of the Committee on Natural Resources this upcoming Congress with my good friend, Chairman Rahall, and to resuming my post in the future.”

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