Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Rep. Cook Cosponsors Legislation to Encourage Earthquake Ready Homes

2016/06/30

Washington, D.C. – This week, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced HR 5610, the Earthquake Mitigation Tax Incentive Act, bipartisan legislation to exclude earthquake mitigation incentives from being taxed at the federal level. California has already made these incentives tax-free at the state level.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services established the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) to help Californians strengthen their homes against damage from earthquakes. As the first program developed by CRMP, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) Program provides small grants to help homeowners pay for code-compliant retrofits. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquake activity by bolting the house to its foundation and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. In order to maximize the value of the incentive, H.R. 5610 would make the incentive tax-free at the federal level.

Rep. Cook said, “This bill will bring federal tax law into sync with California law to encourage residents in earthquake-prone regions to take preventative measures to safeguard their homes. Current federal law penalizes Californians with taxes, which leaves families and structures less safe. We have to change this, and these tax incentives are a step in the right direction.”

Rep. Thompson said, “After the South-Napa earthquake damaged more than 1,500 homes in 2014, we need to do everything possible to ensure that our homes are better prepared to withstand the next earthquake. By ensuring that homeowners can take advantage of seismic retrofits without being taxed, this bipartisan legislation will help encourage more homeowners to take preventive measures to strengthen their homes against earthquake damage.”

Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, said, “We’ve designed this incentive program to help Californians make their homes safer. That’s why this legislation is so important, because people who do the right thing by taking advantage of this program shouldn’t be penalized with a tax. California fixed the problem at the state level, and now it’s time for the federal government to do the same.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Introduces Legislation To Combat Chinese Counterfeiting

2016/06/24

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) today introduced HR 5579, the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA). This national security bill stops the flow of e-waste to China and other countries that regularly counterfeit electronics. The bill will ensure that such waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics in the United States.

SEERA addresses an issue first identified in a Senate Armed Services Committee study that found 1,800 cases of counterfeit parts in military technology. The Senate study concluded that “there is no way to predict how well they [counterfeit chips] will perform, how long they will last, and the full impact of failure.” Defense experts have also raised concerns that malware can be placed on counterfeits to help hackers and cyber-terrorists launch attacks.

SEERA would stop the flow of e-waste from the United States that is undermining our national security by requiring domestic recycling of all untested, nonworking electronics. By keeping these materials in the United States, we will keep them out the hands of counterfeiters and data thieves. Under SEERA, export of tested working equipment will continue and is expected to grow, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Americans. Customs and Border Protection would be authorized to inspect shipments of electronic products intended for export and would stop the shipment and hold the shipper accountable.

Cook said, “China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market. These electronic components threaten the reliability and safety of a wide range of technology. SEERA will ensure we’re not exporting electronic scrap materials that come back to us as counterfeit parts and undermine the reliability of technology essential to our national security.”

Green said, “E-waste is the fast growing segment of our domestic waste stream. This problem will continue to grow unless Congress acts to ensure that electronic waste is recycled responsibly in the United States and out of the hands of counterfeiters overseas. The Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) will help ensure our servicemen and women have reliable technology to protect our country and create thousands of jobs in Texas and recycling facilities around the country. I have worked on e-waste for nearly a decade and look forward to Congress holding hearings on this bipartisan legislation and seeing it come before the full House for a vote.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Votes for Legislation to Facilitate Ontario Airport Transfer

2016/06/21

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for HR 4369, which authorizes the financing of the transfer of ownership of the Ontario Airport from the city of Los Angeles to a new Airport Authority made up of the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County.  Rep. Cook joined with a bipartisan coalition of Inland Empire legislators in co-sponsoring this legislation. It passed the house with overwhelming support. 

The bill permits the Department of Transportation to authorize the use of a passenger facility charge (PFC) to finance the transfer of Ontario Airport back to local authorities. The fees will help pay off the cost for the two terminals. Under the transfer agreement, the Ontario International Airport Authority will pay Los Angeles World Airports $50 million from passenger facility charges in the first five years; and another $70 million from passenger facility charges in the final five years.

Ontario allowed Los Angeles to operate the airport beginning in 1967 but turned over ownership in 1985. In recent years, the number of annual passengers has dropped from 7.2 million in 2007 to 4.2 million in 2012.

Cook said, “This bill is critical to complete the transfer process of the Ontario Airport back to local control. Without this legislation, we can’t complete the transfer which is critical for the Inland region. I’m confident local control will mean revitalization of the airport which will be good for our economy and good for our residents.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Cook, Lovingood Applaud Lake Havasu Decision

2016/06/17

WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) and San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert A. Lovingood hailed the withdrawal of a federal proposal that would have severely curtailed boating and other recreational activities on Lake Havasu.

In May 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued new motorized boating restrictions that arbitrarily expanded a no-wake zone on Lake Havasu. The restrictions were created behind closed doors, with no notice and no opportunity for public comment. In April of this year, the USFWS announced additional draft regulations and the agency’s intent to pursue even more restrictions on Lake Havasu. The controversial regulations would have prevented water-skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding within the 4,000-acre manmade Topock marsh and on an additional 520 acres of the Havasu Reservoir.

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which included language condemning the actions taken by the Service when proposing new boating restrictions for Lake Havasu.

 “After reflecting on input we received at public meetings and the great numbers of letters and comments submitted, I have reached the conclusion that more communication is needed before any additional changes are introduced at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge," said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director, USFWS. “I have decided to withdraw the current draft CD (compatibility determination) at this time to allow for further discussions with the community and other stakeholders.”

Rep. Cook said, “While the recent announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withdraw the proposed recreational restrictions on Lake Havasu is promising, it doesn’t mean this issue is over. We must remain vigilant and continue to ensure that federal regulators don’t limit public use on our public lands.”

“The proposed federal regulations were a classic example of excessive governmental over-reach that would have ended wonderful recreational activities and closed businesses,” Lovingood said. “We need to bring common sense to regulatory agencies. We need to always remember government exists to serve people and that that public has a right to use its public lands – and waterways.” 

Nearly 3 million visitors vacation at Lake Havasu each year, spending more than $200 million and supporting nearly 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs. A typical holiday weekend draws nearly 50,000 boaters to the area. Some 75 percent of tourists are interested in waterskiing, wakeboarding or boating while visiting Havasu. More than 1,000 people turned out to public hearings on the proposed federal regulations.

Motorized boating is already restricted by the USFWS on 17.5 miles of waterways in the area. The proposed new rules come on the heels of a USFWS closure last year that prohibited motorized boating within the reservoir in a half mile area that had been used by recreational enthusiasts for several decades.

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Votes to Stop Terrorist Recruiment

2016/06/16

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 5471, the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act. The bill passed with overwhelming support.

H.R. 5471 directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take steps to combat terrorist recruitment in the United States. Specifically, the legislation combines three bills that previously passed the House this Congress including: H.R. 4401, the Amplifying Local Efforts to Root out Terror, or ALERT, Act; H.R. 4820, the Combating Terrorist Recruitment Act and H.R. 4407, the Counterterrorism Advisory Board Act.

H.R. 4401 “scales up” U.S. government efforts to counter radicalization and terrorist recruitment nationwide by authorizing the Department of Homeland Security to better use existing fusion centers to reach out to communities. There are nearly 80 fusion centers nationwide that bring together law enforcement agencies, intelligence representatives, first responders, and other state and local organizations, and these nodes can be an important point of outreach to help communities with spotting signs of radicalization and disrupting potential attacks.

H.R. 4820 requires the Department of Homeland Security to do more to counter-message terrorist organizations like ISIS that are using social media propaganda to recruit and radicalize potential operatives within our own communities. It requires DHS to use the testimonials of former extremists to fight back against terrorist recruitment.

H.R. 4407 establishes the Counterterrorism Advisory Board (CTAB) and ensures DHS is effectively integrating intelligence, operations, and policy to fight terrorism. The legislation ensures CTAB keeps pace with today’s evolving threats, outlines its core duties, and requires the Secretary to appoint a DHS-wide Coordinator for Counterterrorism to oversee the board.

Cook said, “The Orlando terror attack is a tragic reminder of the need to be vigilant in fighting terrorism, not only threats that exist outside the US, but also homegrown threats that are inspired by radical ideologies. We need to ensure that law enforcement has all the tools they need here at home to prevent future attacks and that we’re doing everything we can to fight against terrorist organizations who are seeking to influence those in the US to commit attacks here at home.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Paul Cook Votes To Prevent IRS Abuse

2016/06/14

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act. The bill passed on the House floor.

The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to limit the information that a tax-exempt organization must report about its donors on its annual information return. Under current law, some organizations that are tax-exempt must report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their Schedule B the names and addresses or other identifying information of contributors of $5,000 or more. The bill would limit the Secretary of the Treasury from requiring identifying information of most donors.

Already, any identifying information about those donors is generally not subject to public disclosure and can be redacted by the organization when making their returns publicly available. Courts have found that states do not have the right to have access to unredacted Schedule B forms. However, there has been controversy when IRS employees have “accidentally” leaked the Schedule B form and the personally identifiable information of conservative donors.

Cook said, “The IRS has shown a disregard for protecting people’s personal information. There’s no reason for the IRS to have this data in the first place. This bill ensures that we aren’t overburdening non-profit organizations with filing superfluous documentation and also protects donors from wrongly being targeted for their personal beliefs. ”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Votes For Increased Government Transparency

2016/06/13

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for S.337, the Freedom of Information (FOIA) Improvement Act of 2016. The bill was passed by the House with overwhelming support and previously passed the Senate earlier this year by unanimous consent.

The FOIA Act of 2016 amends FOIA to increase transparency and accountability in government by improving public accessibility of government records. The bill establishes a single website for making FOIA requests, directs agencies to make records available in an electronic format, restricts the use of exemptions by agencies to withhold information from the public, and clarifies procedures for handling frequently requested documents and charging fees. It also requires agencies to report additional information to Congress on FOIA matters

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was originally enacted in 1966 and has been updated several times since. It allows any person to request and obtain existing and unpublished agency records on any topic for any reason. The Act grants the public presumptive access to agency records unless the material falls within nine exception categories.

Cook said, “FOIA is critical for allowing the public access to government records. We need to ensure that government decisions and records are transparent and readily available. This law makes important updates to FOIA to ensure that access to government documents keeps pace with technological updates.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts

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Rep. Cook Votes Against Energy and Gas Taxes

2016/06/10

WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H. Con. Res. 112, expressing the sense of Congress in opposition to the President’s proposed $10 tax on every barrel of oil and H. Con. Res. 89, expressing the Sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be harmful to the United States economy. Both measures passed the House.

H. Con. Res. 112 opposes the President’s Budget request, which included a proposed $10.25 tax hike on every barrel of oil. This tax could increase the cost of a barrel of oil by approximately 30% and result in an increase of approximately 25 cents per gallon of gasoline for American consumers. The current federal tax on gas is 18.4 cents.

H. Con. Res. 89 expresses the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and is not in the best interest of the United States. A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that a carbon tax would have a negative effect on consumption, investment, and jobs. The study also found that the tax would lead to lower real wages, lower labor productivity, and an increase in the cost of coal, natural gas, and petroleum products.

Cook said, “These anti-energy, anti-growth taxes are not good for America. These taxes fall hardest on the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes. We ought to be promoting energy policies that make America more energy independent and create jobs—not instituting new taxes that choke our economy. These taxes penalize consumers, stifle economic growth, and will lead to fewer jobs.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Issues Statement In Response To Israel Terrorist Attack

2016/06/09

WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) issued the following statement after terrorists struck a Tel Aviv market in Israel, killing 4 and wounding 16. Two Palestinian terrorists, disguised as Hasidic Jews, were apprehended immediately following the attack.

Rep. Cook said, “I stand in solidarity with Israel and condemn this cowardly, savage crime. My prayers go out to the victims of this barbaric attack. Israel and America are strong allies, and strong allies stand with each other in difficult times. Israel has been under siege since its earliest days, plagued by nations like Iran that seek to wipe them off the map. Our country can’t stand idly by while terrorists and extremists try to destroy one of our closest friends. I denounce these attacks against innocent civilians in the strongest terms.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Rep. Cook Cosponsors the No Budget No Pay Act

2016/06/01

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced today that he has joined as a co-sponsor of HR 4814, the No Budget No Pay Act. The bill would prohibit members of the House or Senate from receiving a paycheck if their respective chamber fails to pass a budget by April 15.

Cook said, “This is common sense. If you don’t get your job done, you shouldn’t get paid. Congress has an obligation to the American people to pass a budget and to do it on-time. It’s that simple. ”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

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Contact Information

1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5861
Fax 202-225-6498
cook.house.gov

Col. Paul Cook (ret.) was elected to serve in the US House of Representatives in November 2012.  He represents California’s 8th Congressional District which includes the high desert communities of San Bernardino County as well as Mono and Inyo counties.  He currently serves on the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

An infantry officer who served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Col. Cook’s military career spanned twenty-six years. His actions in combat earned him a number of honors, including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal with a V for valor. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1992 as a colonel.

After retirement, Cook continued his service by seeking and winning a seat on the Yucca Valley Town Council, ultimately serving as Mayor. He became known for his commitment to conservative fiscal policies that protected working families from higher taxes.

In 2006, Cook’s neighbors elected him to represent them in the California State Assembly. Since then, he has distinguished himself by tackling some of the most important issues of the day, like fighting government corruption, reducing taxes, and increasing penalties on sex offenders who prey on children. As Chairman of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, he has been a tireless advocate for veterans and military families.

Holding a lifelong commitment to education, Cook has taught history and political science at Copper Mountain College, California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB), and University of California, Riverside (UCR). He holds a master’s in political science from UCR and a master’s in public administration from CSUSB.

Cook has held leadership posts with his local United Way and Red Cross chapters and served as past Executive Director of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. He and his wife Jeanne reside in Yucca Valley.


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Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

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Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Steve Knight

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Darrell Issa

CALIFORNIA's 49th DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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