Don Young’s History Fairbanks vs. Don Young

Don Young fought to perpetuate human rights abuses in the Mariana Islands

Garment workers in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US Commonwealth, were producing $1 billion/year of goods with Made in the USA labels. The workers toiled in sweat shop conditions in factories that relied on human trafficking to acquire an indentured servant workforce.

Between 1995 and 2001, Young served as chair of the House Resources Committee. During this period his committee terminated seven bills that would have halted this pseudo-slavery by applying US labor and/or immigration laws to the Mariana Islands. Two of these bills were submitted to the US House by Senator Frank Murkowski with overwhelming Senate approval, and a third was submitted by Rep. Bob Franks with a solid majority of US House members signing on as co-sponsors.

What motivates such morally corrupt behavior? The revolving door between convicted aides to Don Young and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff are revealing. Abramoff was lobbyist for the Northern Mariana Islands, arranged for Young’s visit in February 1999, and he wrote a revealing letter to the governor of the Northern Mariana Islands, bragging about Don Young's power, and Abramoff's influence.

Epilogue: After the US granted China permanent normal trade relation status in 2001, some garment factories moved out of the Mariana Islands to factories in China, with even lower wages. Once Young was relegated to the House minority, bills began moving through Congress that applied US laws to the Mariana Islands, ending the pseudo-slavery that Young and others were fighting to preserve. Young finally relented on April 29, 2008 when the House was poised to overwhelmingly impose U.S. labor and immigration laws on the Mariana Islands.

 

 

Bill

Don Young’s Action:

Effect

Date

Status

S. 2739

Voted Yes, Roll Call 226

Impose U.S. labor and immigration laws on the Mariana Islands

4/29/08

Passed into Law

H.R. 3079

Voice Vote

Apply US immigration law to the Mariana Islands, provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House, and allow the US Secretary of Labor to consider wages paid to immigrants

12/11/07

Passed House

H.R. 1591

Voted No, Roll Calls 186, 265, and 276

Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, with a provision that would apply US immigration law to the Marianas Islands

3/23/07, 4/25/07, & 5/2/07

Veto by President

H.R. 2206

Voted No, Roll Call 333

Supplemental Appropriation, with a provision that would apply the US minimum wage to the Mariana Islands

5/10/07

Passed into Law

H.R. 2

Voted to kill H.R. 2 on Roll Call 17. Later voted Yes on Roll Call 18

Minimum wage increase, including a provision specifically applies this bill to the Mariana Islands

1/10/07

Passed House and Senate, not submitted to President

H.R. 5550

Measure died in House Resources Committee (after Young was Chair)

Require that employees be paid the US minimum wage for products produced in the Marianas Islands with a "Made in the USA" label affixed

6/7/06

 

H.R. 873

Co-Sponsor

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

6/8/05

Placed on calendar for House vote

H.R. 5135

Co-Sponsor

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

10/7/04

Placed on calendar for House vote

H.R. 2661

Measure died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Require that employees be paid the US minimum wage for products produced in the Marianas Islands with a "Made in the USA" label affixed

8/6/01

Bill died in House Resources

S. 1052

Measure died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Apply US immigration law to the Marianas Islands. Bill passed Senate unanimously

2/15/00

Passed Senate unanimously, died in House Resources

H.R. 3554

Original Co-Sponsor

Enact convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s proposal to rename a missile test site in the Marianas Islands for President Reagan

2/4/00

Renaming occurred under H.R. 4205

H.R.730

Measure died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Require that employees be paid the US minimum wage for products produced in the Marianas Islands with a "Made in the USA" label affixed

2/11/99

Bill died in House Resources

H.R. 1621

Bill died in House Resources, despite being co-sponsored by a majority of  House members

Prohibit "Made in USA" labels on products manufactured in the Marianas Islands, and prohibit duty free imports of products from Marianas.

5/11/99

Bill died in House Resources

H.R.4510

Bill died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

8/6/98

Bill died in House Resources

H.CON. RES. 164

Bill died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Congressional support for an election in the Marianas Islands on whether to apply US wage and immigration laws

10/1/97

Bill died in House Resources

H.R. 1450

Bill died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Require that employees be paid the US minimum wage for products produced in the Marianas Islands with a "Made in the USA" label affixed

5/1/97

Bill died in House Resources

H.R. 4067

Passed out of  Young’s House Resources Committee

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

9/27/96

Scheduled for House vote

H.R. 3879

Measure failed  in Young’s House Resources

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

8/1/96

Measure failed  in Young’s House Resources

H.R. 2876

Bill died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

1/29/96

Bill died in Young’s House Resources

S. 638

Measure died in Young’s House Resources Committee

Apply US minimum wage to Marianas Islands, halting “slave labor” to manufacture goods labeled “Made in US”.

7/24/95

Bill died in Young’s Committee after passing by voice vote in the Senate

H.R. 4927

Bill died in House Resources (Before Young was chair)

Provide Marianas Islands with a non-voting delegate in the US House

11/21/94

Bill died in House Resources

H.R. 1623

Bill died in House Resources (Before Young was chair)

Apply US immigration law to the Marianas Islands

4/27/93

Bill died in House Resources

H.J. RES. 187

Voted *, Roll Call

Compact of Free Association, establishes duty free trade for many products (excluding textiles) between the US and the Marianas Islands

7/25/85

Passed into Law

H.J. RES. 549

Voice Vote

Establish Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the US

7/21/75

Passed into Law

 

* Data incomplete; this is a work in progress. Visit often to review Don Young voting patterns as our research is further developed.

 

Listing of Don Young’s Mariana Island donations

Date

Amount

Donor

Donor Address

Donor’s Employer

6/23/1997

$500

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

12/8/1997

$500

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

6/19/1998

$500

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

11/2/1998

$500

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

6/9/2000

$500

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

5/31/2001

$250

Babauta, Juan

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

2/17/2004

$500

Tenoria, Pedro

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

5/26/2004

$500

Tenoria, Pedro

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

3/4/2005

$500

Tenoria, Pedro

Washington, DC

Northern Marianas Govt./Resident Rep

 

 

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