Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Congressman Cook's Newsletter: December 16, 2014

2014/12/16

Capitol Update A message from Congressman Cook on the Omnibus Spending Bill Many of you reached out to me to voice your opinions about the Omnibus Spending Bill. The bill, passed by Congress last week, will keep the government open. If Congress had not taken action the government would have shut down. This bill sets the stage for a showdown on the President’s executive order on immigration after January when a Republican House and Senate will be sworn in.  The bill provides more than $1 trillion for operation of the federal government through September 2015. It is consistent with defense and non-defense budget caps, and all the terms agreed to in the Ryan-Murray Budget Agreement. It also puts funds for the Department of Homeland Security under a temporary Continuing Resolution until February 27. President Obama’s executive order is being implemented by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency. This fee-based organization collects money from processed immigration papers, and cannot be defunded. In fact, even if we had shut down the government last week, it would have been allowed to continue implementing Obama’s amnesty through fee revenue. The only way to reverse the President’s executive order is to pass a bill that includes specific policy riders banning CIS from using fee money to carry it out. This cannot be done as long as Harry Reid controls the Senate, but in February, the House will be able to work with the Senate to pass a Homeland Security funding bill blocking the President’s illegal orders. Because the rest of the government will already be funded, this will allow us to confront the President without letting him blackmail us by threatening to shut down the government. I’m already fighting to stop the President from forcing laws on Americans. I voted for H.R. 5759, the “Block Immigration Executive Action Act.” Under H.R. 5759, the President would be barred from using executive orders, regulations, or other actions to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants in the U.S. I will continue to fight to stop the president’s lawless amnesty, and will continue fighting to block it. Congressman Cook Votes for California Drought Relief Effort Congressman Cook voted for H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014. Currently, California is facing the worst drought in 1,200 years which has led to high unemployment and higher food prices across the country. This bill will expedite the approval of projects to address water supply shortages in California. This vital piece of legislation provides eighteen months of relief (two water years) while protecting the State Water Project and protecting Northern California water rights. There are three to four months of rain in California and under H.R. 5781 as much water as possible will be captured during that time. Additional water will be stored by capturing high river flows from storms. H.R. 5781 also provides regulatory flexibility to expedite permits and complete reviews to improve water quality and water transfer requests. It does not amend the Endangered Species Act, or deprive federal fishery agencies of any discretion to take actions necessary for the long-term survival of listed species. Cook says, “This legislation will provide much needed relief to Californians suffering under horrendous drought conditions without harming the environment. This common sense bill brings together ideas from the House and Senate, but it’s only a temporary fix. “This legislation will expire on September 30, 2016. We need to continue working together to come up with a long-term water solution for California families.”  Congressman Cook Votes to Improve Job Opportunities Congressman Cook was pleased to support bipartisan legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. This legislation is important for many Americans who are looking for work and for the employers who have job opportunities that remain unfilled due to the skills gap – meaning they have been unable to find workers with the training necessary for the job offered. Closing this gap will improve the lives of many American job seekers while helping our economy grow. The bill, which was signed into law, modernizes and improves existing federal workforce development programs, helps workers attain skills for 21st century jobs, and provides support to people with disabilities to enter and remain in competitive, integrated job settings. District Update Middle School Students Win Big at Regional Competition Students from Mesa View Middle School took home an award after competing in the First Lego League Southern California Regional Championship. The students were up against 56 other teams from southern California at LegoLand. Students had to qualify for the competition. Teams earned their spots in by winning tournaments against 400 other regional teams. Teams were judged on robot design, core values, project, and game board competition. Mesa View had two teams, and Mustangs 1 was up for recognition in both Project and Core Values after all rounds were finished. The students created, and ran, a Coding Club for kids. There, they taught their classmates how to build their own websites. Mustangs 1 team members also showed they were able to work together, while having fun. The students even created a pledge to be good and respectful teammates. All of the team’s hard work was rewarded when they were called up to the stage to at the end of the competition to receive the first place Core Values Inspiration Award. Congratulations to these wonderful students from Mesa View Middle School. Picture courtesy of the Yucaipa News Mirror.   Volunteers Needed For Bird Count Attention bird watchers and nature lovers! On Sunday, December 28 volunteers will meet at Joshua Tree National Park. The group will meet at Indian Cove Ranger Station or the West Entrance Station. The event will start at 7 AM and wrap up at 5 PM. Volunteers should bring lunch, water, binoculars, field guides, and warm clothing. For more information call (760)366-8913. USDA Food Giveaway Yucca Valley Church of the Nazarene will host a USDA Food Giveaway on Friday, December 12, at 56248 Buena Vista Drive. It will start at 10 AM and wrap up at 12 PM. For more information contact Michael Sereno at (760)365-7819 or msereno2004@yahoo.com. Holiday Event The Victor Valley Rescue Mission is hosting a Christmas Toy Giveaway for kids under 12 years old on Friday, December 19. The event will include a Santa’s Village, crafts, games, and live music. Registration is required for the toy giveaway. It will be held at 14800 Seventh St from 11 AM to 2 PM. For registration information call (760) 955-5958. Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map Released  The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has presented the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report components for San Bernardino County and Incorporated Areas for the community to review. You can view the map here. Veterans Corner  My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at (760)247-1815. Veterans Healthcare Living Assessment A powerful new tool can help Veterans better understand their health habits and overall health. It can also provide advice on ways to improve their well-being. It’s called the “HealtheLiving Assessment,” or, “HLA.” The HLA asks each user a set of personalized, confidential questions. The answers are used to calculate the Veteran’s “health age” and risk for disease. It takes about 20 minutes to complete and is available online 24/7. The tool is now available at the My HealtheVet website. Call for Landlords Willing to House Homeless Veterans California is home to nearly 2 million Veterans, of which an estimated 19,000 are homeless. The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino in collaboration with community based organizations throughout the county is developing a list of landlords interested in helping the Housing Authority and the local Loma Linda Veterans Administration (VA) house homeless veterans. This initiative is supported in part by traditional VA Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers. Veterans pay about 30 percent of their net income and the voucher covers the rest of the contract rent. The list of landlords will be given directly to VASH voucher recipients as well as community organizations working directly with and supporting veterans that are in receipt of other funds to support permanent housing or who have their own means but are receiving services to help them transition back into private market housing. For more information contact Becky Murillo at vash@hacsb.com or by phone at (909)890-5308. Discounts for Veterans Outback Steakhouse is honoring all active and retired military personnel with a 15 percent discount through December 31. You must show a valid military ID. Great clips is offering free haircuts for veterans through December 31. Long Trail Home Raises Money for Veterans Matt Littrell, a Marine, who served two tours in Iraq during his enlistment is raising money for the Semper Fi Fund. The program provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill, and injured members of all branches of the U.S. armed forces and their families. Littrell rode his horse more than 2700 miles from Camp Lejeune, NC to Camp Pendleton, CA, and finished his journey on December 1. He dubbed the trip the, “Long Trail Home,” and began the journey on Veterans Day. Littrell has raised more than $80,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. The founder of GoDaddy has promised to match all money raised by the Semper Fi Fund until December 31, up to $5 million. For more information about the "Long Trail Home," click here. Image courtesy of The Long Trail Home Facebook Page. Read More

Congressman Cook's Newsletter: December 2, 2014

2014/12/02

Capitol Update A Message from Congressman Cook on Tax Reform With Republicans assuming control of both the House and Senate in January, Congress now has the opportunity and the responsibility to revise our tax code. Our current tax code is written in a way that benefits accountants, attorneys, and well-connected special interests. Our tax deductions often favor these narrow interests, and too few benefit working Americans and the average business – both of which are struggling in system that can prevent them from thriving. It’s time we right the ship and create a better and fairer economy. At the same time, the base tax rates are too high. Reducing the overall tax rates, along with cuts to inefficient and outdated spending programs will boost the economy and create jobs without increasing our budget deficit.  While many of the deductions written into the tax code are special interest loopholes, we must fight to retain common-sense taxpayer protections. One of those is the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction, a deduction that allows the dream of home ownership to become a reality for millions of Americans. It allows homeowners to reduce their tax burden by deducting the interest they pay on their home loan. This deduction is a valuable tool in saving for the future and helps create stable communities by creating buyers instead of renters. American families have been hit hard by a tough economy. Raising a child in this day and age is expensive, but our tax code shouldn’t make it harder. I worked with my colleagues in the House to pass the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014 (H.R. 4935), which allows more American families access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit. The bill also eliminates the, “marriage penalty” and will prevent nearly $1 billion dollars in false claims by requiring families to submit a social security number to claim the credit. The current Senate has refused to act on this pro-family bill, though I and others are pressing for change with the new Republican Senate. I also support efforts to reward young Americans who invest in their future by pursuing higher education. H.R. 3393, the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act, consolidates educational tax deductions into one refundable credit for students. The new American Opportunity Tax Credit would provide between $2000 and $4000 each year for qualified tuition expenses. More students, many of whom struggle to support themselves and repay their student loans, will have access to this credit thanks to this legislation. Despite widespread support in the House, the current Senate has obstructed this bill from moving forward. This too must change. With the New Year and a new majority in the Senate, the next congress must move forward on reforming our broken tax code. That said, the current Senate still has the opportunity to act on these important bills, and I will dedicate myself in the remaining days of 2014 to pursuing that goal. Sending H.R. 4935 and H.R. 3393 to the president for his signature would be a great first step as we move forward with comprehensive tax reform in the next congress. It’s time to have a tax code that serves American families and small businesses, not special interests. This editorial first appeared in the Inyo County Register on November 20, 2014. Congressman Cook Votes to Protect Our Nation’s Electric Grid Congressman Cook voted in support of H.R. 3410, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. This bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to protect against threats to our nation’s electric grid and develop contingency plans in the event of an attack. An attack on the grid by the Islamic State or a similar organization has been a recent topic of discussion in the national media. Reports estimate that an attack on our national electric grid could render the system unworkable for multiple days, putting rural areas across the country in economic hardship. Military bases and other national security facilities, including the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, have begun developing their own independent power grids in response. Cook said, “Our electric grid is an essential part of any homeland security protection plan. It's long past time that we create an emergency plan in the event of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or other directed attack on our grid. This isn’t a threat to a few cities or states, it impacts the entire nation. The evolution of the technology and the organizations seeking to attack the US homeland should make this a top priority for Homeland Security.” Congressman Cook Supports Internet Tax Freedom Over the course of the past two decades, new technologies have changed the way Americans share information, get our news, and buy goods. Since 1998, Congress has used a series of temporary measures to ensure that states don't tax Americans’ access to the internet or e-commerce transactions. Congressman Cook believes it's time to reaffirm our commitment to keeping internet access free and open to all. Cook voted for H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. This bipartisan bill is a permanent measure that will protect Americans’ ability to access the internet in an age where more and more of our lives rely on transactions made in cyberspace. District Update Congressman Cook Mourns Passing of Big Bear Lake City Clerk I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Cheri Haggerty Lawrence, city clerk for Big Bear Lake. Mrs. Haggerty Lawrence served Big Bear Lake for many years in a variety of roles. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband, children, and family during this difficult time. You can read more about her work in the community here.  [[{"fid":"350","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"height":"398","width":"374","style":"width: 316px; height: 273px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] Image courtesy of The San Bernardino Sun.   Marines Treated to Rides in Vintage Cars A one-way cab ride from the Palm Springs airport to the Twentynine Palms base can cost as much as $200 per person. More than 300 Marines kept that cash in their pockets, when they returned from spending Thanksgiving with loved ones. Soldiers Organized Services, or "SOS," partnered with the Morongo Basin Car Club for a second year to drive many of the Marines to the base in restored classic cars. The plan called for 16 vintage rides, unfortunately extremely strong winds in the high desert forced organizers and volunteers to use their personal cars for the lengthy drive. Three classic cars—a 1927 Model T, a 1942 Ford convertible, and a 2002 Corvette—were still able to make the trip. Erica Stone, founder of SOS, walked a group of Marines from the airport to Palm Springs City Hall, where several drivers awaited them. "I had no idea (about the ride) until I got back to Palm Springs," said Chandler Mason, who got to ride in an electric blue convertible, "I'm a big car fan." Stone says, "It's so much more than a free ride. It's about giving.” SOS organizes the rides as a reprieve for many Marines who struggle to afford trips back home for the holidays. [[{"fid":"351","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"height":"1438","width":"1919","style":"width: 349px; height: 302px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] Image and quotes courtesy of The Desert Sun.   Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map Released The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has presented the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report components for San Bernardino County and Incorporated Areas for the community to review. You can view the map here.  Veterans Corner My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at 760-247-1815. Long Trail Home Raises Money For Veterans Matt Littrell, a Marine, who served two tours in Iraq during his enlistment is raising money for the Semper Fi Fund. The program provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill, and injured members of all branches of the U.S. armed forces and their families. Littrell rode his horse more than 2700 miles from Camp Lejeune, NC to Camp Pendleton, CA, and finished his journey on December 1. He dubbed the trip the “Long Trail Home” and began the journey on Veterans Day. Littrell has raised more than $80,000 for the Semper Fi Fund. The founder of GoDaddy has promised to match all money raised by the Semper Fi Fund until December 31 (up to $5 million). To donate, click here. [[{"fid":"352","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"height":"959","width":"720","style":"width: 360px; height: 393px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] Image courtesy of The Long Trail Home Facebook Page.   All Veterans Job Fair Disabled American Veterans and Recruit Military will host an all veteran’s job fair on December 4. It will be held at Liberty Station’s Naval Training Center Promenade at Corky McMillin Event Center, in San Diego. The job fair will start at 11 AM and wrap up at 3 PM. You can find more information here. Wreaths Across America Every year before Christmas thousands of holiday wreaths are placed on service members graves in every National cemetery across the country. You can add to the number of wreaths by purchasing one by December 2. Wreaths are $15.00 each, and will be delivered and placed at any National cemetery. This year the ceremony will be on Saturday, December 13 at The Riverside National Cemetery ceremony, starting at 9 AM. The public is welcome to attend. This is a formal event, and appropriate dress is required. Military and retired military are encouraged to wear the appropriate uniform. For more information, or to donate, click here. Read More

Congressman Cook's Newsletter: November 25, 2014

2014/11/25

Capitol Update A Message from Congressman Cook: It's Time to Secure Our Borders The message in this last election was clear: the American people want the president and Congress to work together to secure our borders. Unfortunately, this appears to have fallen on deaf ears with President Obama. He could have asked Congress to take up this issue during the “lame duck” session, or he could have waited until January when the new Congress was sworn in.  Unfortunately, rather than listening to the American people and working with Congress to strengthen our borders, the president chose to violate the Constitution with an executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.  The challenge is finding a way to respond to the president’s illegal action. Some have argued that the best way to block this amnesty is to simply defund the agencies that would implement it. However, President Obama has already indicated that he will veto any legislation that defunds his amnesty. We saw last year that the president and his allies, who control the Senate until January, have no problem shutting down the government for as long as it takes to force their will on the American people. A shutdown would devastate our already weak economy and harm tens of millions of Americans.  While there is no good way to block the president’s executive order directly, there are two appropriate responses from Congress. First, the newly elected Senate should demand that any nominees for positions that oversee this amnesty program, as well as any judicial nominees, repudiate the administration’s power grab. If they will not give this commitment, the Senate should deny confirmation. Preventing the administration from filling the key positions to implement amnesty would slow and could even reverse this policy. Similarly, any judicial nominees that aren’t willing to reject this usurpation of Congress’ lawmaking authority are not fit to serve on the federal bench. Additionally, the first priority for the new Congress must be to pass a real border security bill that will put an end to mass illegal immigration into America. This bill should include all of the fencing, sensors, and surveillance equipment necessary to secure and monitor the entire U.S.-Mexico border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, it should include a significantly increased border patrol as well as placing enough National Guard troops on the border as necessary to end infiltration efforts. Additionally, this bill must mandate the use of E-Verify for all new hires and contain harsh penalties for companies that employ illegal labor.  The president’s more limited DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) amnesty sparked the current wave of illegal immigrant children pouring across our border, and it’s certain that his latest action will result in millions of new illegal immigrants in the coming months and years. President Obama’s action does nothing to secure our border or protect our citizens, so Congress must act. Sending a border-security bill to the president’s desk will force him to prove once and for all if he meant what he said when he claimed to support a comprehensive immigration fix. Failure to sign a border security bill will show that the president was never interested in a secure border. It’s time to hold the president’s feet to the fire. It’s time to secure our borders. This editorial first appeared in the San Bernardino County Sun on November 25, 2014, and can be seen here: http://www.sbsun.com/opinion/20141125/obamas-executive-action-on-immigration-x2014-2-ways-congress-should-respond-paul-cook Congressman Cook Co-Sponsors Legislation to Put Target on Kidnappers and Terrorists Congressman Cook joined Congressman Paul Gosar in introducing legislation to create a new program to reward American allies in the Global War on Terror. This program will provide a $5,000,000 cash reward to individuals providing information leading to the capture of any person involved with the kidnapping and murder of American citizens. The legislation will reward people brave enough to assist the U.S. in bringing terrorists to justice. It will also deter ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations from continuing their murderous ways. Cook said, “The horrific murders of American hostages must end. Paying ransoms to terrorists who kidnap and murder Americans does nothing but put a target on American citizens. This bill puts the target where it belongs: on the kidnappers and terrorists who threaten Americans.”  Congressman Cook Votes to Protect American Manufacturing Congressman Cook voted in favor of H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act. This bill helps businesses comply with new or revised air quality standards from the EPA and will reduce delays in the preconstruction permitting process for new factories and expansion projects.  The Promoting New Manufacturing Act increases transparency by creating a dashboard for the number of permits issued annually and timelines for final preconstruction permit decisions. It reduces permit delays by ensuring the EPA provides timely guidelines about how to comply with air quality standards affecting the permit applications. This bill also promotes more efficient processing of permits by requiring the EPA to send a report to Congress every year on the actions the agency is taking to expedite the permitting process. Cook said, “This commonsense bill is about putting hard working Americans back to work. This legislation reduces job-killing regulations by streamlining the permitting process. The Promoting New Manufacturing Act is critical to growing America’s manufacturing industry. I urge the Senate to pass this bill to boost our economy and create good-paying American jobs.” Congressman Cook’s Bill to Rename 29 Palms Post Office for Col. Mac Dube Passes House H.R. 5331 passed in the House of Representatives. The bill renames the facility located at 73839 Gorgonio Drive in Twentynine Palms as the “Colonel M.J ‘Mac’ Dube, USMC Post Office Building. Cook introduced the legislation in July, after Dube passed away in April 2014.  Dube served thirty years in the United States Marine Corps. He was a decorated combat veteran and served as Chief of Staff at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. His personal and unit decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V,” four Purple Hearts, two Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” three Navy Commendation Medals with Combat “V,” the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, four Presidential Unit Citations, three Navy Unit Citations, and two Good Conduct Medals.  Following his retirement from the Marines, he began his involvement with the City of Twentynine Palms in 1994. He served as councilmember and held various roles including a stint as a field representative for a San Bernardino County Supervisor. He was the co-grand marshal for the Pioneer Days Parade in 2010 and was involved with numerous community organizations. Cook said, “Mac and I both served as colonels at the same time, an honor I’ll always remember and cherish. The Marine Corps has an old saying, ‘No greater friend, no worse enemy.’ This could not have been truer for Mac, he was a great Marine and his thirty years, four Purple Hearts, and a Silver Star deserve our recognition.  “The naming of the Twentynine Palms Post Office after Mac is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to his nation and the Twentynine Palms community. Mac served his nation honorably and left a legacy for all those who come after him. He’ll always be remembered in Twentynine Palms for his hard work, dedication, and patriotism. This post office will stand as a testament to all he did.” [[{"fid":"347","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"style":"width: 416px; height: 284px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] District Update A Thanksgiving Message from Congressman Cook Thanksgiving is a day when we take time out of our busy lives to gather with family, friends, and neighbors. We remember all that we’re thankful for and enjoy the time we’re able to spend with loved ones. We reflect on all the accomplishments and challenges from the past year and think about what next year may hold for us.  As I gather with my friends and family this Thanksgiving, I’ll be thankful for having the privilege of representing California’s 8th District in Congress. I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers all the service men and women who are not home. They’re serving our nation far away from their families and in harm’s way. For them and for their sacrifices, we are especially grateful. I’ll continue my work to protect our freedoms and to ensure that our children and grandchildren inherit a stronger more prosperous nation. I wish you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving Meals and Food Banks If you or anyone you know is in need of a warm meal over the Thanksgiving holiday, below is a list of some places in the community that may be able to help. The Lords Table 15512 6th Street Victorville, CA 92395 Thursday, November 27, 2014 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. Call (760) 241-2043 The Salvation Army 14585 La paz Dr. Victorville, CA 92392 Thursday, November 27, 2014 11:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. Call (760) 245-2545 Victor Valley Rescue Mission Victor Valley High School 16350 Mojave Dr. Victorville, CA 92395 Tuesday, November 25, 2014 12:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Call (760) 955-5958 The Salvation Army 838 N. Alta St. Redlands, CA 92374 Thursday, November 27, 2014 Call (909) 792-8818 Congressman Cook Celebrates Small Business Saturday Congressman Cook encourages everyone to take part in Small Business Saturday this coming Saturday, November 29. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.  You can find participating small businesses, and use the hash tag #SmallBizSat and tweet at me @RepPaulCook to show your support for businesses in the district.  Congressman Cook Recognizes Local Family on National Adoption Day “It was important to do something, not just share a status update,” says Rebecca Frascotti McNutt when asked why she chose to adopt three young children. Rebecca and her husband Scott welcomed their son Preston 15 years ago. Then, disaster struck. Scott was serving in the military on September 11, 2001. The Barstow couple knew Scott’s military duties would take him away from home, and they pressed pause on expanding their family. Fast forward to 2011. Scott retired and it was time for some new faces in the McNutt household. “We didn’t have this overwhelming need for our kids to be biologically related to us,” said Rebecca. She and her husband chose to foster children, and took in Roman shortly after Scott’s retirement. A few years later the boy’s parents rights were terminated, and Scott and Rebecca were asked if they wanted to make his stay permanent.  Rebecca and Scott jumped at the opportunity, adopting Roman and his younger brother Jonathan. Then, the call came to take in a little girl, who was just a day old. Rebecca and Scott were up to the challenge. The couple cared for Amelia for nearly a year and a half, and adopted her on November 20, 2014.  The couple says adoption is a different way of building their family, and they couldn’t turn their backs on children in need. Rebecca says her biological son has had to make the biggest adjustment, going from an only child to having three siblings. She says Preston has risen to the occasion, “he understands where they’re coming out of,” says Rebecca, “he sees the need as well.” With a full house the McNutts are no longer fostering children, allowing Rebecca and Scott to give their four children all their love. There are an estimated 100,000 kids in the U.S. in need of a good home. As a member of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Congressman Cook is committed to finding solutions to the challenges facing all foster youth and improving child outcomes. These children are our future.  Congressman Cook commends the McNutt family for stepping forward and giving these children a loving home. [[{"fid":"348","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"style":"width: 400px; height: 276px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map Released The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has presented the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) panels and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report components for San Bernardino County and Incorporated Areas for the community to review. You can view the map here.   Viewing Parties for Orion EFT-1 Orion Exploration Flight Test-One (EFT-1) is scheduled for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on December 4 at 7:05 am (Subject to change). You can learn more about NASA’s exploration goals and space program at viewing parties at the NASA Armstrong Educator Resource Center -AERO Institute, at 38256 N. Sierra Highway, Suite A in Palmdale, CA, and Armstrong Flight Research Center Visitor Center, at 4800 Lilly Drive in Edwards, CA, NASA is building a human space exploration system, including the Orion and the Space Launch System, that will provide an entirely new capability to launch cargo and crewed missions, extend human presence beyond low-Earth Orbit, and enable new missions of exploration throughout the solar system. The Orion spacecraft is a key component of this plan, and Orion’s first mission – EFT-1 – will set NASA on the journey to accomplishing these goals. During EFT-1, Orion will travel farther than any human spaceflight vehicle has traveled in 40 years.  NASA Orion can be found on Facebook (NASA’s Orion Spacecraft), Twitter (@NASA_Orion), Google Plus (NASA Orion), and Flickr (NASA Orion Spacecraft).  Events Happening in the District On Tuesday, November 25 the Highland Chamber will hold its luncheon and annual meeting of membership. The event will be held at the Spring Lake Clubhouse at 6892 Cloverhill Dr. It will start at 11:30 AM and wrap up at 1:00 PM. On Wednesday, November 26 the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its meeting from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM. The meeting will be held at the Apple Valley Country Club Rancho Redz. On Saturday, November 29 the City of Yucaipa in conjunction with the Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce will host the Winter Fest. The event will include a snow play area, kid’s fun zone, roving carolers, holiday shopping and craft fair, food vendors, a holiday concert and a tree lighting ceremony. The event is free, but there will be fees for select event attractions. The event will get underway at 5 PM at Uptown Yucaipa Blvd. Also on Saturday, November 29 the City of Yucaipa will celebrate 25 years of city hood with a Silver Jubilee Dinner. The dinner will be held in Uptown Yucaipa from 6 PM to 8 PM. Congratulations to Naomi Oyadomari, Teachers “R” Heroes Award Winner Students and teachers packed the gym at Lucerne Valley Middle School to celebrate Miss. Naomi Oyadomari, winner of the Teachers “R” Heroes award. Better known as, “Miss O,” the award recognizes her dedication to her students and profession. This award is made possible by Victor Valley College, El Dorado Broadcasters, and San Bernardino County Schools. [[{"fid":"349","view_mode":"full","attributes":{"style":"width: 400px; height: 300px;","class":"media-element file-full"},"fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media"}]] To nominate a teacher click here. Congrats Miss O, thanks again for all you do for our youth! Military Nominations Final Reminder! If you are a current high school senior and are interested in attending one of our nation’s prestigious military academies, I encourage you to fill out an application through my office. Young Americans who attend West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, or the Air Force Academy receive a world-class university education. This gives them the skills to not only serve in our nation’s armed forces, but to lead successful careers later in life. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2014. The application for a service academy nomination can be found here. Veterans Corner My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at 760-247-1815. All Veterans Job Fair Disabled American Veterans and Recruit Military will host an all veteran’s job fair on December 4. It will be held at Liberty Station’s Naval Training Center Promenade at Corky McMillin Event Center in San Diego. The job fair will start at 11 AM and wrap up at 3 PM. You can find more information here. 2014 Leroy Huff Memorial Walk This annual event is held in memory of Leroy Huff. Huff, a Vietnam Veteran and Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in December 2013. The memorial walk and run will be held on Saturday, November 29 in Riverside, CA. All the money raised will go toward educational programs to help people better understand and fight the disease. For more information call 951-241-6168. Wreaths Across America Every year before Christmas thousands of holiday wreaths are placed on service members graves in every National cemetery across the country. You can add to the number of wreaths by purchasing one by December 2. Wreaths are $15.00 each, and will be delivered and placed at any National cemetery. This year the ceremony will be on Saturday, December 13 at The Riverside National Cemetery ceremony, starting at 9 AM. The public is welcome to attend. This is a formal event, and appropriate dress is required. Military and retired military are encouraged to wear the appropriate uniform. To sponsor a wreath click here. For more information click here. Read More

Obama’s executive action on immigration — 2 ways Congress should respond: Paul Cook

2014/11/25

The message in this last election was clear: the American people want the president and Congress to work together to secure our borders. Unfortunately, this appears to have fallen on deaf ears with President Obama. He could have asked Congress to take up this issue during the “lame duck” session, or he could have waited until January when the new Congress was sworn in. Unfortunately, rather than listening to the American people and working with Congress to strengthen our borders, the president chose to violate the Constitution with an executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The challenge is finding a way to respond to the president’s illegal action. Some have argued that the best way to block this amnesty is to simply defund the agencies that would implement it. However, President Obama has already indicated that he will veto any legislation that defunds his amnesty. We saw last year that the president and his allies, who control the Senate until January, have no problem shutting down the government for as long as it takes to force their will on the American people. A shutdown would devastate our already weak economy and harm tens of millions of Americans. While there is no good way to block the president’s executive order directly, there are two appropriate responses from Congress. First, the newly elected Senate should demand that any nominees for positions that oversee this amnesty program, as well as any judicial nominees, repudiate the administration’s power grab. If they will not give this commitment, the Senate should deny confirmation. Preventing the administration from filling the key positions to implement amnesty would slow and could even reverse this policy. Similarly, any judicial nominees that aren’t willing to reject this usurpation of Congress’ lawmaking authority are not fit to serve on the federal bench. Additionally, the first priority for the new Congress must be to pass a real border security bill that will put an end to mass illegal immigration into America. This bill should include all of the fencing, sensors, and surveillance equipment necessary to secure and monitor the entire U.S.-Mexico border from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, it should include a significantly increased border patrol as well as placing enough National Guard troops on the border as necessary to end infiltration efforts. Additionally, this bill must mandate the use of E-Verify for all new hires and contain harsh penalties for companies that employ illegal labor. The president’s more limited DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) amnesty sparked the current wave of illegal immigrant children pouring across our border, and it’s certain that his latest action will result in millions of new illegal immigrants in the coming months and years. President Obama’s action does nothing to secure our border or protect our citizens, so Congress must act. Sending a border-security bill to the president’s desk will force him to prove once and for all if he meant what he said when he claimed to support a comprehensive immigration fix. Failure to sign a border security bill will show that the president was never interested in a secure border. It’s time to hold the president’s feet to the fire. It’s time to secure our borders. Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa, represents California’s 8th Congressional District. Read More

Rep. Paul Cook Responds to Chuck Hagel’s Resignation

2014/11/24

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) responded to the announcement that U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will step down. Hagel has served as Secretary of Defense for nearly two years. Cook said, “I disagreed with Secretary Hagel often on policy matters, but he served his country in combat and in office and did so with distinction and honor. He also inherited a number of existing problems and, in my opinion, terrible policy coming directly from the White House. “We’ve now had two Secretaries of Defense in a row who have had serious disagreements with the President. I hope we can get back on track during one of the more difficult times in our nation’s history.” A member of the House Veterans’ Affairs, 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. ### Read More

Rep. Paul Cook Co-Sponsors Legislation to Put Target on Kidnappers and Terrorists

2014/11/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) joined Rep. Paul Gosar (R- AZ) in introducing legislation to create a new program to reward American allies in the Global War on Terror. This program will provide a $5,000,000 cash reward to individuals providing information leading to the capture of any person involved with the kidnapping and murder of American citizens. The legislation will reward people brave enough to assist the U.S. in bringing terrorists to justice. It will also deter ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations from continuing their murderous ways. Cook says, “The horrific murders of American hostages must end. Paying ransoms to terrorists who kidnap and murder Americans does nothing but put a target on American citizens. This bill puts the target where it belongs: on the kidnappers and terrorists who threaten Americans.”  A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat.                                                                                        ### Read More

Rep. Paul Cook Releases Statement on the President's Executive Order on Immigration

2014/11/21

"I’m disappointed that President Obama has again chosen unilateral action rather than working with Congress. The message in this last election was clear: the American people want the President and Congress to work together. This appears to have fallen on deaf ears with President Obama. He could have asked Congress to take up the issue of immigration during the ‘lame duck’ session, or he could have waited until January when the new Congress was sworn in, placing the burden on Republicans to act. The President should do what the American people want and work with Congress to strengthen our borders, rather than violating the Constitution with an illegal executive order. “In 2011, the President himself stated that the Constitution doesn’t give him the authority to declare amnesty unilaterally, so I’m dismayed that he’s reversed himself. His action is a slap in the face to every immigrant who followed the rules. I’m also concerned that his actions effectively grant amnesty to a group of people that could contain members who pose a threat to national security. This is a serious concern.  “This is also a huge blow to working-class Americans. Legalizing millions of new workers through amnesty will create even more competition for American workers, many of whom are already struggling to find jobs. Immigrants who don’t find work will only place further strain on our government once they become eligible for a whole range of government benefits and entitlements. The President claimed he wanted a comprehensive immigration solution, but this will do nothing to secure our border or protect our citizens. The American people deserve far better.”  Read More

Rep. Paul Cook Votes To Protect American Manufacturing

2014/11/20

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted in favor of H.R. 4795, the Promoting New Manufacturing Act. This bill helps businesses comply with new or revised air quality standards from the EPA and will reduce delays in the preconstruction permitting process for new factories and expansion projects. The Promoting New Manufacturing Act increases transparency by creating a dashboard for the number of permits issued annually and timelines for final preconstruction permit decisions. It reduces permit delays by ensuring the EPA provides timely guidelines about how to comply with air quality standards affecting the permit applications. This bill also promotes more efficient processing of permits by requiring the EPA to send a report to Congress every year on the actions the agency is taking to expedite the permitting process. Cook said, “This commonsense bill is about putting Americans back to work. This legislation reduces job-killing regulations by streamlining the permitting process. The Promoting New Manufacturing Act is critical to growing America’s manufacturing industry. I urge the Senate to pass this bill to boost our economy and create good-paying American jobs.” A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat.                                                                                         ### Read More

Congressman Cook Newsletter: November 18, 2014

2014/11/18

Capitol Update Congressman Cook Votes To Construct Keystone Pipeline Congressman Cook voted in favor of H.R. 5682, a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. This bill passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. H.R. 5682 authorizes TransCanada to construct, connect, operate, and maintain the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to Texas. Building the pipeline will create an estimated 20,000 jobs across the country, and will protect the national security interests of the United States by reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Today’s vote is an important step toward building this critical pipeline. An estimated 380,000 barrels of oil will move through the pipeline per day, about half the amount of oil the U.S. imports from the Middle East. TransCanada plans to invest $7 billion in building the pipeline which will generate tax revenue in several states and boosting gross state product by billions of dollars. Cook said, “The House has acted on behalf of the majority of Americans that support building the Keystone XL Pipeline. This is about jobs, jobs, and more jobs. I’ve always said that we can find ways to protect the environment and still boost the economy. This project will help accomplish that goal. The pipeline will directly create an estimated 20,000 high paying jobs as well as indirectly create thousands of additional jobs nationwide.  “Building the Keystone XL Pipeline is not just good environmental and fiscal policy; it’s good national security policy. The more energy America buys from close allies like Canada, the less dependent the country is on sources of foreign oil from unfriendly places like the Middle East, Venezuela, and Russia. “I am urging the Senate to do the right thing and pass this bill. If the Senate passes the bill it will head to the President’s desk. President Obama can create tens of thousands of American jobs and strengthen our energy security with the stroke of the pen.” A Message from Congressman Cook on the New Republican Majority Last month, President Obama declared, “I’m not on the ballot this year… but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” On Election Day, the American people agreed, voting to elect the largest Republican House Majority since the late 1920s and a Republican majority in the Senate. This was not only a repudiation of the President’s policies, but was a mandate from the people for a new direction. This new Congress has the responsibility to get government back to work. For four years, Harry Reid’s Senate blocked House efforts to create jobs, make government more efficient, and grow the economy. Now, with a newly elected Senate majority dedicated to working with the House, we have the opportunity to send long overdue legislation to the President’s desk. These bills include expanded American energy production and exploration, a simplified tax code, stronger national security, and robust job-creating legislation. Any attempt by the President to veto or obstruct this legislation would be ignoring the clear message of the American people. Additionally, the new Republican Senate majority will restore a crucial check on this administration. The President’s claim that he can bypass Congress and govern “with a pen and a phone” requires compliant courts and compliant staff in key executive agencies. Through its control of the confirmation process for appointees, the Senate can hold the President accountable in a way that the House cannot and ensure that presidential appointees who ignore the primacy of Congress will not be confirmed. The appointment of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General will serve as a key opportunity for the Senate to check the President’s overreach. Before she is confirmed, the Senate must get a commitment from her that she’ll never go along with any administration amnesty scheme. Increasing domestic energy production and ending our reliance on foreign oil must be a top priority for the new Congress. By creating a diverse domestic energy portfolio, we can stabilize living expenses for middle-class families hit hardest by spikes in energy and gas prices. America must maximize the resources we have, rather than rely on foreign oil fields subject to capture by terrorist groups like ISIS. We also need to deal with defense sequestration. Draconian cuts to national security spending have threatened our readiness and could send troops into combat underprepared. When Americans puts their lives on the line for this country, we owe it to them to take every precaution to ensure that they’ll return safely. We also need to ensure the new leadership at the Veterans Administration follows through on the reform package passed by Congress and signed into law last summer. We’ve failed our veterans too long, and we must do better. Finally, we must fight to create good-paying jobs for working Americans. The first step to a strong economy is scaling back government rules and regulations. Small businesses are the engine of the American economy, and the administration’s regulations have caused that engine to stall. Last year, legislation to limit the President’s ability to impose job-killing regulations failed to pass a divided Congress. With a new Republican majority, I expect this crucial bill will reach the President’s desk next year. These are just a few of the vital bills that can become law in the next Congress. I’m hopeful that Congress will be able to work with the President to follow through on the American people’s mandate. Expanded energy, stronger national security and veterans services, and less regulation should be the top priorities of the next Congress as we work to keep America strong. This editorial first appeared in The Riverside Press Enterprise on November 16, 2014. To view the article click here. Congressman Cook Opposes Secretary Hagel’s Call for Base Closures Congressman Cook today responded to the comments made by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on his recent visit to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. Hagel called for a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) as part of his plans to downsize the military. These comments were made during a visit to Fort Irwin, one of the Army’s premier training bases. The Secretary did not specify which bases he would seek to close. Congressman Cook responded, “I simply don’t understand why the Secretary of Defense would talk about closing military bases at a time when we face so many global threats. With the Islamic State, an increasingly aggressive Russia and China, and rogue nations like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons, the readiness of our troops and our capabilities should be our number one priority.  “In addition to the security situation, the Secretary’s comments could not have been delivered at a worse location, in the midst of communities that were severely impacted by the closures of Norton Air Force Base and George Air Force Base. California has been repeatedly targeted for base closures, despite the fact that it contains some of the finest military installations in the world. "I will fight to prevent any additional California base closures, especially those in Southern California. I’m prepared to voice those concerns to the Secretary.” A Message from Congressman Cook on National Adoption Day On Saturday, November 22, we will celebrate National Adoption Day as a way to raise awareness of the children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. In 2013, 4,500 children were adopted by their forever families but more than 100,000 are still awaiting permanent homes. There are more than 23,000 foster children who age out of the system every year without ever receiving a permanent home or the support they need to be independent and productive adults.  In honor of National Adoption Day, I've cosponsored a House resolution highlighting these issues and promoting permanent homes to these vulnerable children.  Congressman Cook Votes to Eliminate Unnecessary Government Reports Last week, Congressman Cook voted in favor of H.R. 4194, the Government Reports Elimination Act, a bill that eliminates unnecessary and duplicative government reports. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this bill will reduce spending by more than $1 million over five years by eliminating and modifying these government reports,.  Cook said, “H.R. 4194 is a great step in the right direction of reducing government waste. By simply modifying and eliminating a handful of government reports, we were able to see savings in the millions. I urge my colleagues in the House to continue to cut through unnecessary and wasteful government and reduce the tax payer burden.” Congressman Cook Promotes Data Safety  There have been too many stories this year about credit card data being stolen from major retailers. Between four highly publicized attacks, over 113 million credit cards were compromised. Here are a few tips to protect yourself in the event your information is stolen: 1) Change your passwords every 90 days with a password that is at least 8 characters; 2) Take advantage of free credit monitoring services offered by impacted stores; 3) Never trust suspicious e-mails or phone calls asking for your personal information; and 4) Check your own credit score free of charge at www.annualcreditreport.com. District Update Congratulations to San Bernardino County’s New Firefighters More than two dozen cadets made it through 10 weeks of intense training to become firefighters in San Bernardino County. Each cadet entered the training as a licensed paramedic. During the program the cadets trained for six days a week. The program included training in structural and wild land firefighting, and rescue and emergency medical services. Cadets also had to follow a demanding physical fitness regimen. The new graduates will assume full-time shift assignments as firefighter-paramedics at stations throughout the county fire’s jurisdiction. Those locations include Fontana, Victorville, Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Lake Arrowhead, and Hesperia. Military Nominations If you are a current high school senior and are interested in attending one of our nation’s prestigious military academies, I encourage you to fill out an application through my office. Young Americans who attend West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, or the Air Force Academy receive a world-class university education. This gives them the skills to not only serve in our nation’s armed forces, but to lead successful careers later in life. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2014. The application for a service academy nomination can be found here. Veterans Corner My office is here to help you. If you or someone you know needs help with the Veterans' Administration please call my Apple Valley District Office at 760-247-1815. Women Veterans Collaborative Networking Event The Inland Empire will host an event exclusively designed for women Veterans on Thursday, November 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This event will focus on women’s wellness and healthy living. Light refreshments will be served. The event will be held at 2055 Elks Drive in San Bernardino. Barbecue for Veterans Disabled American Veterans will host a barbecue on Friday, November 21. It will be held in the Veterans Community Garden at 2517 Pacific St in Highland. The barbecue is held once a month. For more information call 909-770-4812. 2014 Leroy Huff Memorial Walk This annual event is held in memory of Leroy Huff. Huff, a Vietnam Veteran and Marine Master Gunnery Sergeant, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer in December 2013. The memorial walk and run will be held on Saturday, November 29 in Riverside, CA. All the money raised will go toward educational programs to help people better understand and fight the disease. For more information call 951-241-6168. Read More

Rep. Paul Cook Opposes Secretary Hagel’s Call for Base Closures

2014/11/18

WASHINGTON– Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today responded to the comments made by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on his recent visit to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. Hagel called for a new Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) as part of his plans to downsize the military. These comments were made during a visit to Fort Irwin, one of the Army’s premier training bases. The Secretary did not specify which bases he would seek to close. Rep. Cook responded, “I simply don’t understand why the Secretary of Defense would talk about closing military bases at a time when we face so many global threats. With the Islamic State, an increasingly aggressive Russia and China, and rogue nations like Iran and North Korea pursuing nuclear weapons, the readiness of our troops and our capabilities should be our number one priority. “In addition to the security situation, the Secretary’s comments could not have been delivered at a worse location, in the midst of communities that were severely impacted by the closures of Norton Air Force Base and George Air Force Base. California has been targeted repeatedly for base closures, despite the fact that it contains some of the finest military installations in the world. "I will fight to prevent any additional California base closures, especially those in Southern California. I’m prepared to voice those concerns to the Secretary.” A member of the House Armed Services, Veterans' Affairs, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat. Read More

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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.


Serving With

Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Buck McKeon

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Gary Miller

CALIFORNIA's 31st DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

John Campbell

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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