Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Rep. Cook Votes for Federal Wildfire Policy Improvements

2017/10/12

WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for HR 2266, which includes additional wildfire funding and improved authority for active forest management. This legislation also included funding for recovery from several recent Hurricanes and improves accountability of federal agencies by including stronger reporting and oversight requirements. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

A long-time advocate for improvements in federal wildfire policy, Cook recently joined 31 other members of Congress in sending a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting comprehensive forest management and wildland fire budgeting reforms as part of the next disaster relief request.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports 49,563 fires have burned 8.4 million acres so far in 2017. According to the U.S. Forest Service (FS), another 80 million acres throughout the country are currently considered ‘high risk.’ The FS has expended more than $2.3 billion to fight fires in fiscal year 2017 alone, a new record. The House Committee on Natural Resources reports that in 2016, wildfires destroyed 4,312 structures, including 3,192 residences.

Catastrophic fires also cause significant damage to the environment. Data from NASA has concluded that one catastrophic wildfire can emit more carbon emissions in a few days than total vehicle emissions in an entire state over the course of a year.

Rep. Cook said, “Wildfire funding is crucial to dealing with the constant deadly threat of wildfires in districts like mine and throughout California. I’ve long been an advocate for reforms and improved funding. You can only watch so many fires take lives, destroy homes, and create untold environmental damage before you demand changes in our wildfire policy and budgeting. The fires we’ve seen this week only reinforce the need for this legislation. This is long overdue.”  

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, 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.

Click here to view the letter Congressman Cook signed to OMB Director Mulvaney.

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Rep. Cook Announces Support for Improved Federal Wildfire Policy

2017/10/05

WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today announced his support for White House Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) request to Congress for improved wildfire funding and active forest management.

A long-time advocate for improvements in federal wildfire policy, Cook recently joined 31 other members of Congress who sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) asking for comprehensive forest management and wildland fire budgeting reforms as part of the next disaster relief request.

Specifically, the members wrote, “Mismanagement has left our forests vulnerable to insects and disease and ripe for catastrophic wildfires. The system is broken. We need forest management reforms, and we need them now.”

On Wednesday afternoon, OMB responded to the letter, announcing a request to Speaker Ryan for $567.5 million for improved firefighting efforts. Eight times in the last twelve years, the US Forest Service has taken funds from other operating accounts and transferred those funds to firefighting purposes. In doing so, they’ve depleted accounts for forest management practices that help prevent catastrophic wildfires.

The National Interagency Fire Center reports 49,563 fires have burned 8.4 million acres so far in 2017. According to the U.S. Forest Service (FS), another 80 million acres throughout the country are currently considered ‘high risk.’ The FS has expended more than $2.3 billion to fight fires in fiscal year 2017 alone, a new record. The House Committee on Natural Resources reports that in 2016, wildfires destroyed 4,312 structures, including 3,192 residences.

Catastrophic fires also cause significant damage to the environment. Data from NASA has concluded that one catastrophic wildfire can emit more carbon emissions in a few days than total vehicle emissions in an entire state over the course of a year.

Rep. Cook said, “Wildfire funding is crucial to dealing with the constant deadly threat of wildfires in districts like mine, and I’ve long been an advocate for reforms and improved funding. You can only watch so many California fires take lives, destroy homes, and create untold environmental damage before you demand changes in our wildfire policy and budgeting. This administration takes the threat seriously, and I commend them for it. This is long overdue.”  

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, 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.

Click here to view the letter Congressman Cook signed to OMB Director Mulvaney.

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Rep.Cook Votes to Keep Fugitives off Federal Benefits

2017/09/28

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for HR 2792, the “Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons (CUFF) Act.”  The bill passed the House by a margin of 244-171.

The CUFF Act amends the law to prohibit individuals who have an outstanding arrest warrant for a felony or parole violation from receiving certain monthly welfare benefits. The law would apply only to felony charges or a crime carrying a minimum term of one or more years in prison. The policy would not punish those convicted of misdemeanors, such as outstanding parking tickets.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would save $2 billion over ten years. It is supported by the National Sheriffs Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.

Rep. Cook said, “Wanted felons and parole violators must be held accountable for their actions. This commonsense legislation prevents taxpayer dollars from funding the lifestyle of potentially dangerous criminals.”  

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, 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 for Bill to Combat MS-13 Gang

2017/09/14

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for H.R. 3697, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. The bill passed the House by a margin of 233-175.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has found that membership of violent transnational gangs is comprised largely of foreign-born nationals. According to the Department of Justice, MS-13, a transnational gang that is notoriously violent and comprised of members mostly from Central America, has 10,000 members inside the United States and 40,000 members worldwide. MS-13 engages in gang activities in at least 40 states. Their members are known to be extremely violent, often killing their victims with machetes.

Currently, it is not possible to deport gang members until they are convicted of an independent crime. This bill ensures that criminal alien gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and temporary protected status, and includes provisions to detain and remove criminal gang members or those who participate in gang activity.

Specifically, this legislation defines a criminal gang as a group of five or more individuals whose primary purpose is to commit one or more of the following offenses: a felony drug offense, importing or harboring aliens, a crime of violence, obstruction of justice, fraud, or conspiracy to commit an offense. The bill prohibits aliens who have been associated with a criminal gang from entering the country and establishes that an alien in the United States who is associated with a criminal gang is deportable.

Rep. Cook said, “The most important job of the federal government is to keep Americans safe. We are a nation of immigrants, but we must not reward violent gang members such as those in MS-13 who break our laws and threaten the safety of our communities. This is common-sense legislation that fixes a dangerous loophole in our immigration laws. I look forward to it becoming law.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, 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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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: September 5, 2017

2017/09/05

Service for Our Veterans

During my time in office, one of my top priorities has always been improving services for our nation’s veterans. With a 24-hour news cycle that thrives on controversy and negative stories, it’s easy to miss out on some of the positive things being accomplished. My colleagues and I have worked hard on veterans’ legislation, and the President has signed into law several of these bills, all of which will have a significant impact on our nation’s veterans.

Helping our veterans obtain gainful employment once they leave the military is one of Congress’s most critical responsibilities. I’ve worked to address this issue by trying to find ways to incentivize employers to hire and retain veterans. Earlier this year, the President signed into law a bill I authored called the HIRE Vets Act of 2017. This much-needed legislation encourages companies to hire and retain veterans by rewarding employers with “HIRE Vets Medallions” if they meet certain criteria. The medallions can then be used on marketing materials so that the public can see which employers are truly living up to their commitments to bring veterans into the workforce.

The needs of veterans and the nature of higher education have changed dramatically over the past decade. In response to these changes, Congress updated and modernized the Post-9/11 GI Bill with the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. This bill was overwhelmingly supported by members of both parties and veterans organizations and was signed into law by the President last month. This legislation greatly expands eligibility and access to GI Bill benefits. It also gives veterans greater flexibility for the type of education they pursue, increasing their ability to pursue technical certifications and other types of degrees. Included in that legislation was language from my bill, the Veterans Education Equity Act. This provision fixed the way the VA determines Post-9/11 GI Bill housing payments for student veterans, which prevents some veterans from receiving a fair housing payment. This change ensures that our student veterans are getting a fair and reasonable housing benefit so they can afford their education.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the VA, David Shulkin, has been working to change the culture among employees and to streamline how that VA operates. To assist that effort, Congress passed and the President signed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. This important legislation gives the Secretary more flexibility to change personnel who are not performing to the VA’s standards. Maintaining the status quo at the VA is not acceptable, and this bill will help Secretary Shulkin to change that. Congress also recently passed the VA Choice Act, extending and fully funding the Choice program that allows certain veterans to access care outside the VA and avoid long wait times.

We still have more work to do with regard to veterans’ access to healthcare, reforming the VA to make it more accountable, and improving veteran unemployment, but these bills show that Congress is making headway to address these issues. As long as I’m in office, I’ll keep fighting for our veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices to our great nation.

This editorial was recently published  in the Yucaipa Valley News Mirror.

FAA Overflight Issue in Lake Arrowhead

 

I am continuing to work diligently with the FAA to find and implement a solution to the overflight issue that has plagued Lake Arrowhead residents for several months. This change in flight patterns has created a quality of life issue in our mountain communities, and I am committed to reversing it. Click here to see a copy of the letter I sent to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in June requesting a resolution for this issue.

If you have experienced this issue, please write a letter to my Apple Valley District Office at 14955 Dale Evans Parkway Apple Valley, CA 92307.

Membership Orientation for The Yucaipa Chamber of Commerce

 

On Friday, September 8 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a free membership orientation for members to get the most out of their investment. Members are encouraged to attend as there is always something to learn. 

For questions, contact Ellen at (760) 790-1841

Barstow Marine Corps Rodeo

 

Get the thrills of the most extreme rodeo events on September 8 & 9 at MCLB Barstow! The Flying U Extreme Rodeo features fan favorite events such as bull riding & bull fighting with the added flare of new events - bull poker, ring of fire, toro teeter totter and FMX. Enjoy the parachute jumper with American Flag, freestyle motocycles, and other kid’s activities.

For tickets or more information, click here

Yucca Valley Rotary 2nd Annual Lobersterfest

 

The 2nd Annual Lobersterfest hosted by the Yucca Valley Rotary Club will be on Saturday, September 9. This amazing fun night under the stars with great food includes: lobster and steak, full potato bar, desserts, and sides. There will also be live music catering the event.

For questions contact the Yucca Valley Rotary at  760-365-7003 or email cynthia@cynthiakraemer.com for information regarding the location.

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.

High Desert Marines 4th Annual Car and Motorcycle Show

 

 

Join the High Desert Marines 4th Annual Car and Motorcycle show on Saturday, September 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Midway Home Solutions on 14444 Atstar Drive in Victorville. Registration for the show begins at 8:00 a.m.

For information contact Tim at (760) 985-3440

September is Veteran Suicide Prevention Month

 

September marks Veteran Suicide Prevention month. Statistics show that 21 veterans are believed to take their lives each day once they return from their deployments. Veterans and/or families who house former service members please visit the Veteran Crisis Line.

For more information contact the  Veterans Crisis line at (800) 273-8255 or  click here

Veterans are encouraged to visit the High Desert Vet Center at 15095 Amargosa Road, Suite 107 in Victorville. You can call their office at (760) 261-5925.

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

 

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

 
 
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President Signs Rep. Cook’s Legislation to Ensure Fair Housing Benefit for Student Veterans

2017/08/17

WASHINGTON-   President Trump has signed HR 3218, Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. Rep. Cook was a co-sponsor of the legislation, which includes language from his Veterans Education Equity Act.

Cook introduced the Veterans Education Equity Act in January 2017 to fix a problem in Post-9/11 GI Bill housing payments for student veterans, which prevented some veterans from receiving a fair housing payment.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a hard-earned benefit that pays for student veterans’ higher education tuition and fees, as well as a monthly basic allowance for housing (BAH) stipend. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) determines the BAH amount based on the zip code where the school is certified as an institute of higher education, not necessarily where a campus is located. For schools with campuses in multiple locations, this policy can result in monthly BAH payments that fall below or far exceed the actual cost of housing. Cook’s Veterans Education Equity Act would fix the problem by calculating the payment based on where students attend their classes, not where the institution of higher learning is certified, ensuring veterans receive an adequate and fair housing allowance while eliminating fraud and waste in the program. While Cook’s bill did not make it through Congress, he succeeding in having the bill language included in HR 3218.

HR 3218 also removes time restrictions to use the GI Bill, enabling future recipients to use their GI benefits for their entire life as opposed to the current 15-year timeline. The bill also includes significant increases in GI Bill funding for Reservists and Guardsmen, dependents, surviving spouses and surviving dependents. The bill is budget neutral and includes provisions that have been proposed and prioritized by Veterans Service Organizations.

Since 1944, The GI Bill – later renamed the Post-9/11 GI Bill – has provided veterans the opportunity to invest in themselves and their futures through access to education benefits. It has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school, and other training programs.

Rep. Cook said, “This important legislation is a package of reforms makes significant improvements to the GI bill and ensures veterans can use their education benefits whenever they choose. I’m pleased that package of reforms includes my language concerning the veterans student housing benefit, which is essential to ensuring they can afford to complete their education. One of my top priorities in Congress is protecting the benefits our veterans have earned while defending this nation, and the President did well by signing HR 3218 into law.”

A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, 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 on Charlottesville

2017/08/15

Washington - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) issued the following statement on the violence that occured in Charlotesville this past weekend:

"My prayers are with those that were injured in the violence and with the family of the woman who was murdered. I condemn in the strongest terms all of the actions by extremists, including those in Charlottesville, who spread hatred and perpetrate violence against their fellow Americans. Members of white supremacy groups do not represent America, and the views they espouse stand contrary to our core American values. Their actions should not be tolerated in any form."

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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: August 8, 2017

2017/08/09

U.S. Congressman Paul Cook

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 Congressman Cook Introduces Airspace Protection Act of 2017

It seems that every day a new wildfire is reported somewhere in our state, striking fear in the hearts of rural homeowners. As we enter the 2017 fire season in California, it’s important to consider ways to make our communities safer and minimize the loss of life and property in the event of a catastrophic fire.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of devastating fires across San Bernardino County. Last year’s Blue Cut Fire, in the Cajon Pass, scorched 37,000 acres, and destroyed 105 homes and 213 structures. The year prior, the Lake Fire burned 31,000 acres and took over a month to extinguish.

To make matters worse, this year’s fire season is already outpacing 2016. According to Cal Fire statistics, through the first six months of last year there were 22,709 wildfires, totaling 30,574 acres. However, this year, during the same period 2,905 wildfires were reported over an area of 68,129 acres. It’s no easy task to battle these fires, in light of the triple-digit temperatures, unforgiving terrain, and strained resources. Thankfully, our local, state and federal firefighting agencies are there to defend our communities.

Recently, the presence of remote-controlled drones in the airspace above wildfires have complicated firefighting efforts. Whether these drone operators have malicious intent or not, these devices cause major disruptions to aerial firefighting capabilities. During the North Fire of 2015, all firefighting aircraft were grounded over fears of collisions with drones. The inability to utilize aerial assets resulted in the fire jumping Interstate 15 and destroying over 20 vehicles in the Cajon Pass. Thankfully no lives were lost that day.

Grounding firefighting aircraft due to drone incursions isn’t unique to California. A number of fires in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah were also impacted by drone activity. As the popularity and capability of these unmanned aircraft increases it’s become readily apparent that we must take action to protect lives, homes and our environment, by restricting drone usage.

After listening to the concerns of fire officials and local residents, I have introduced the Airspace Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1138) in Congress. This bill would make it a felony offense to operate a drone that interferes with wildfire suppression on federal land. Under the provisions of the measure, anyone convicted of this offense would be subject to five years in federal prison. I’m optimistic that it will gain the support of my colleagues in Congress, so that our firefighters on the front lines have the best chance to protect our communities.

In the meantime, you and your family can take steps to increase your chances of surviving a major wildfire. Creating a defensible space around your home is a crucial component to fire safety. California law requires homeowners who reside in a State Responsibility Area to create a 100 ft. buffer zone around inhabited structures that is free of flammable debris. It’s also important to have emergency supplies, and an action plan prepared, in the event of an evacuation. I encourage you to visit the CalFire website, https://www.readyforwildfire.org to learn more about wildfire safety. In addition, CalFire recently launched a new application for smartphones called “Ready for Wildfire” that provides users with critical wildfire alerts. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple and Google Play stores.

The most important step you can take to avoid tragedy during major free is to follow the instructions of all public safety personnel. While the thought of losing your home is horrifying, it isn’t worth losing your life I wish you and your families a safe fire season.

This op-ed was published in Rim of The World News, click here for the original editorial.

 

Memorial Service for U.S. Forest Service Firefighter Brent Witham

 

It is with my deepest condolences that I share the news that U.S. Forest Service Vista Grande Hotshot, Brent Witham was killed on August 2, 2017 while working on the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana. Please join the community to honor this hero at 10:00 a.m. on August 10th at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino in the Orange Pavilion room.

Condolences for the family can be mailed to the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 602 South Tippecanoe, San Bernardino, CA 92408. Emails can be sent to withammeorialinfo@gmail.com . Please put “CONDOLENCES” in the subject line. All correspondence will be given to Brent’s family.

For more information, click here

 

Apple Valley Unveils Electric Charging Stations

 

Electric car owners can bolt over to Apple Valley Town Hall for a charge now that the Town’s two electric vehicle charging stations are available.

The Level 2 units were installed in front of the Development Services Building at no cost to the Town, thanks to a $19,244 grant from the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District. Most commercially available electric vehicles have the ability to charge using AC Level 1 and 2 charging equipment. Although Tesla vehicles do not use the J1772 charge ports used for Level 2 chargers, they do sell an adapter.

“From Teslas to Fords, and from Nissans to Chevys, we are seeing more and more electric vehicles on our local roadways,” said Director of Public Works Greg Snyder. “This convenient location will allow drivers of electric vehicles to swing by, plug in and either do business at the town, take a swim in the pool, play in the park, have lunch or do some shopping in The Commons retail center across the street.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, charging equipment for plug-in electric vehicles is classified by the rate at which the batteries are charged. Charging times vary based on how depleted the battery is, how much energy it holds, the type of battery and other factors. Level 2 charge stations typically provide 10 to 20 miles of range per one hour of charging

With the handy payment kiosk, users can get a boost for their vehicle at the rate of $1.25 per hour, which is sold in one-hour increments. This payment schedule was set to cover the cost of the electricity and any administrative costs the service might incur.

For more information call (760) 240-7000 x 7074.

 

Hesperia Summer Concert Series August 11

 

This Friday the City of Hesperia is hosting their Summer Concert Series "Urban Skies"-a tribute to Keith Urban. Music will start at 6:00 p.m. with the headliner beginning at 7:00 p.m. The event is free to the public and visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for their comfort. The Hesperia concert series is located at Hesperia Civic Plaza Park on 15833 Smoke Tree Street.

For questions, contact (760) 244-5488

 

Twentynine Palms Chamber Sundown Mixer

 

Join the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce for their Sundown Mixer at 29 Palms Ram Truck Center on Thursday, August 24th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Chamber members are encouraged to bring raffle items showcasing their businesses and their business cards. 

For questions, contact (760) 367-3445

 

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.

Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative

 

The Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Financial Wellbeing & Mental Health event on August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Health Services Auditorium. This is located at 850 E. Foothill Blvd in Rialto. If you need assistance registering or require disability accommodations contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5195 or email dbuck@csusb.edu.  

 

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

 

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

 

Veterans Express Transit System( V.E.T.S.)

 

V.E.T.S. is a free transportation service starting January 9, 2017, provided by VA Loma Linda Health Care System, to assist Veterans with round-trip transportation to the VA Loma Linda for medical appointments.

The V.E.T.S. program has collaborated with local community partners, including the Victorville Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) to coordinate the pick-up point at the Victorville Transfer Point (VTP) in Victorville on Lorene Drive between Valley Center Drive and 7th Street. It is situated adjacent to Interstate 15 behind Costco.

Reservations Must be made 24 hours in advance. Please call V.E.T.S Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at (800) 741-8387 or (909) 825-7084, ext. 6475.

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                       

 

Sent from the Office of U.S. Representative Paul Cook

 
 
 

APPLE VALLEY OFFICE
14955 Dale Evans Parkway
Apple Valley Town Hall
Apple Valley, CA 92307
Phone: 760.247.1815
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm

YUCAIPA OFFICE
34282 Yucaipa Boulevard
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Phone: 909.797.4900
Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm

WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202.225.5861
Hours: 9:00am - 6:00pm

 

UPDATE SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS | PRIVACY POLICY | CONTACT US

 
 
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: August 1, 2017

2017/08/03

U.S. Congressman Paul Cook

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Congressman Cook Votes for Increased Sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran

 

Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 3364, the Countering Adversarial Nations Through Sanctions Act. The bill includes a package of comprehensive sanctions against North Korea, Russia, and Iran – three regimes that continue to threaten their neighbors and undermine US national security. The bill passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The first provision of HR 3364 targets those involved in the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten Israel, and its ongoing human rights abuses. It imposes sanctions on any individual who contributes materially to Iran’s ballistic missile program, weapons of mass destruction programs, or participates in the sale or transfer of military equipment to Iran. It also calls for increased sanctions on anyone who is identified to be responsible for torture and other violations of internationally recognized human rights.  

The second provision of HR 3364 counteracts Russian aggression by strengthening sanctions in response to cyber-attacks and interference in Ukraine, empowers Congress to review any sanctions relief, and works to strengthen international cooperation in opposing Russian aggression. Specifically, the legislation provides for a mandated Congressional review if sanctions are relaxed, suspended, or terminated. It targets corruption and key sectors of the Russian economy, including arms sales and the export of oil and gas. Lastly, it also fixes a provision in a previous Senate bill that could have hurt the US economy while benefitting Russian energy oligarchs.

The third provision of HR 3364 amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to enhance the President’s authority to impose sanctions on those who violate U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding North Korea. It expands sanctions to further deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs by cutting off Kim Jung Un’s access to cash. Additionally, the bill cracks down on North Korea’s shipping and use of international ports and targets those who employ North Korean slave labor.

Congressman Cook said, “Iran, North Korea, and Russia continue to pose a serious threat to U.S. national security. These additional sanctions will give us additional tools to combat their continued aggression and ensure their illicit activities don’t go unchecked.”

Congressman Cook's Bill to Foster Robust Domestic Helium Market Passes House Natural Resources Committee

 

Congressman Paul Cook announced that his bill H.R. 3279, the Helium Extraction Act of 2017, unanimously passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee. The bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow helium extraction from gas on federal lands under the same terms as gas and oil.

Helium is an essential element used in MRIs, air-to-missile guidance systems, and semiconductors. As such, a steady supply of helium is critical for the medical, defense, and energy industries. The United States is currently the world’s largest supplier of helium. The next largest producers are Qatar, Algeria, and Russia.

Historically, much of the American demand for helium has been satisfied by the Federal Helium Reserve. However, there are major concerns about the future of our domestic helium production. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the reserve has enough helium to meet about 40 percent of the domestic demand for the gas. Additionally, the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 requires that by September 30, 2021, the reserve must be sold and the facility closed. Given the vast political, economic, and diplomatic uncertainty surrounding many the largest foreign suppliers of helium, it would be dangerous for America to become dependent on them.

Congressman Cook said, “Helium has become irreplaceable in our space, defense, and medical industries. Without this bill, we could become dangerously dependent on unstable foreign countries for our supply of helium. This bill encourages the development of American sources of helium and will boost both our national security and economy. I’m grateful to Chairman Rob Bishop and the Natural Resources Committee for moving this bill forward.”

Congressman Cook Votes To Extend VA Choice Act

 

Congressman Paul Cook voted for S. 114, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, and the Senate previously passed this bill in May.

The Veterans Choice Program was enacted in 2014 and provided $10 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to receive health care from private care facilities rather than VA hospitals. It was originally scheduled to expire in August of this year, but this past April, Congress and the President eliminated the program’s sunset so veterans could continue to receive private care. This legislation provides an additional $2.1 billion in funding to extend the program for approximately six more months, ensuring that veterans benefiting from this program will continue to receive care. The bill also authorizes 28 major medical facility leases and enhances the recruitment, retention, and training of the VA workforce. It requires the VA to conduct an annual performance plan for political appointees and to develop a plan to hire highly qualified directors for medical centers that have not had permanent leadership.

Congressman Cook said, “The VA Choice Act has been crucial for helping our veterans get the care they deserve. This legislation will ensure that we continue funding this important program which provides our nation’s heroes with timely medical care rather than enduring long wait times at the VA.”

                                                                                         

How to Start a Small Business Workshop

 

The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting a free workshop for aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs  on August 10 at the Hesperia Branch Library on 9650 7th Avenue from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  They will  discuss the steps to take towards starting your first business. The “How to Start Your Small Business” workshop is presented by an SBDC Business Consultant who will discuss informational topics such as: being an entrepreneur, business planning,  small business financing, legal forms of organization, licensing and permits, and  the services provided by the Inland Empire SBDC.

For more information, Click Here

Movies in the Park in Adelanto

 

Residents of Adelanto are invited to attend another Moves in the Park session at Richardson Park on August 4th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This week's film will be The Jungle Book and people are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. This is a free event. Richardson Park is located at 11600 Air Expressway in Adelanto. 

Backpack Giveaway at Joshua Tree Lighthouse Christian Center

 

Joshua Tree Lighthouse Christian Center is preparing for their back pack give away on Saturday, August 5th at 10:00 a.m. at the Church located at 5475 Sunburst Ave. in Joshua Tree. All children in kindergarten through 6th grade are welcome to attend. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A limited number of backpacks are available and will be given away on a first come first serve basis. All students who register will have their name put in for a special drawing for a free bicycle. The local fire department will have a fire truck for children to tour along with other activities. 

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.

9th Annual Veteran Operation Recognition-Veterans Diploma Project

The San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, in partnership with the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs, is announcing their Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project. The Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project provides veterans and internees, who were unable to complete high school due to military service or internment, the opportunity to receive a high school diploma.

The deadline to submit an application to be eligible for the Veteran Diploma Project is August 25.

For more information, Click Here

Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative 

 

The Inland Empire Veterans Mental Health Collaborative is hosting a Financial Wellbeing & Mental Health event on August 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Health Services Auditorium. This is located at 850 E. Foothill Blvd in Rialto. If you need assistance registering or require disability accommodations contact the Veterans Success Center at (909) 537-5195 or email dbuck@csusb.edu.  

Sent from the Office of U.S. Representative Paul Cook

 
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Rep Cook Votes to Extend VA Choice Act

2017/07/28

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for S. 114, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, and the Senate previously passed this bill in May.

The Veterans Choice Program was enacted in 2014 and provided $10 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow veterans to receive health care from private care facilities rather than VA hospitals. It was originally scheduled to expire in August of this year, but this past April, Congress and the President eliminated the program’s sunset so veterans could continue to receive private care. This legislation provides an additional $2.1 billion in funding to extend the program for approximately six more months, ensuring that veterans benefiting from this program will continue to receive care. The bill also authorizes 28 major medical facility leases and enhances the recruitment, retention, and training of the VA workforce. It requires the VA to conduct an annual performance plan for political appointees and to develop a plan to hire highly qualified directors for medical centers that have not had permanent leadership.

Rep. Cook said, “The VA Choice Act has been crucial for helping our veterans get the care they deserve. This legislation will ensure that we continue funding this important program which provides our nation’s heroes with timely medical care rather than enduring long wait times at the VA.”

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.


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

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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