Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Rep. Cook Responds To VA Secretary's Comments

2016/05/24

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today issued a response to comments made by Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald yesterday in which he compared the time it takes for veterans to receive medical treatment by comparing waiting for health care to Disneyland guests waiting for a ride.

Cook said, “The Secretary’s comments were disgraceful. It’s indicative of a culture of bureaucracy and disdain at the VA, rather than actually doing their job taking care of our veterans. Veterans have died waiting for health care benefits they’ve earned. Getting timely access to the healthcare they earned is quite literally a life or death issue for many veterans. Our veterans deserve better and the Secretary should be ashamed.”

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

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Rep. Paul Cook Bill to Create Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Passes House

2016/05/23

WASHINGTON –Rep. Paul Cook (R – Apple Valley) announced that his bill, H.R. 496, the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Establishment Act, passed unanimously in the House of Representatives today. This legislation establishes the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, encompassing 18,610 acres of the scenic Alabama Hills. This designation would preserve this land for recreational use by the public and future generations. A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) map of the proposed Alabama Hills National Scenic Area can be found here.

This bill guarantees that all recreational activities currently taking place in the Alabama Hills will continue. This includes not only hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, but hunting, fishing, and authorized motorized vehicle use as well. Additionally, recreational prospecting (rock-hounding) will continue to be allowed in historic mining areas under this legislation.

This bill is the culmination of months of work by Rep. Paul Cook and the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group to draft legislative language acceptable to all key local stakeholders. The stewardship group is dedicated to promoting the long term vision, conservation, use, enhancement, and enjoyment of the Alabama Hills. Many groups and organizations have worked with the stewardship group, including Inyo County, the Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce, the Lone-Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, local business owners, and other key stakeholders.

Cook said, “The Alabama Hills are a natural treasure and I’m thrilled that the legislation to protect it passed the House today. This bill is a balanced approach, meets the desires of all stakeholders, and preserves the Alabama Hills for future generations to enjoy. The level of local input and support has been tremendous and is example for how land use decisions are best made.”

The Alabama Hills Stewardship Group (AHSG) released a statement saying, “We are delighted by the passage of our proposed Alabama Hills National Scenic Area legislation. And we are extremely appreciative to Congressman Cook, for his passionate support and leadership in getting this bill passed in the House of Representatives. This is the culmination of years of collaboration and steadfast support from a broad range of stakeholders. We are proud of our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management in helping manage and protect this semi-primitive area and look forward to both preserving this jaw-dropping landscape and providing access to it, for future generations.”

AHSG board member and chair of the Designation Study Committee Kevin Mazzu said, “These years of significant and diverse input, have helped improve and strengthen both the legislative language as well as our coalition of support. The heavy lifting has been done; and some final enhancements – driven by stakeholder feedback – have helped the legislation reach the perfect balance between conservation and access.”

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors has also been enthusiastic in its support of the bill, voting unanimously to endorse the legislation and traveling repeatedly to Washington DC to push for its passage.

Inyo County Supervisor Matt Kingsley, 5th District said, “Congressman Cook and his staff’s hard work in passing the Alabama Hills NSA bill thru the House is a huge step forward in the legislative process. Although progress has been slow; this type of organic, grassroots legislation requires closely orchestrated cooperation and collaboration between all parties to be successful. My hope is that the Senate approval process will now be accelerated.”

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

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Rep. Cook Votes For National Security Legislation

2016/05/19

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for HR 4909, the annual national security authorization bill. The bill passed the House late last night with bipartisan support.

This year’s bill takes several vital steps to restore the strength and readiness of our military after years of neglect. It defends the security of the United States by reversing troop cuts, increases investments in training and maintenance programs, and rebuilds crumbling military facilities. It takes care of our troops by giving them the full pay raise they are entitled to under the law and improves their health care system. Most importantly, it takes vital steps to combat the many threats the United States faces, from terrorists like ISIS to an increasingly aggressive Russia.    

Rep. Cook said, “This bill gives our troops the support and resources they deserve. This legislation makes America safer by keeping dangerous terrorists in military custody where they belong. It takes concrete steps to counter an increasingly hostile and unpredictable Russia. This bill puts excuses, politics, and election-year rhetoric aside and does the right thing for our brave men and women in uniform.”    

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 Cosponsors Bill to Punish Those Who Murder First Responders

2016/05/19

WASHINGTON-   In acknowledgment of National Police Week, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today announced that he is a cosponsor of HR 814, The Thin Blue Line Act.

The Thin Blue Line Act would make the murder of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or first responder an aggravating factor in death penalty determinations and would be applicable for any person murdered on duty, because of the performance of their duty, or because of their status as a public official.

The measure covers every law enforcement officer whether federal, state, or local as well as any firefighter or first responder. The only requirement is that the homicide provides federal jurisdiction. This includes the following:

  • The interstate homicide of an officer
  • A homicide of an officer who is serving on a joint federal/state/local taskforce (example: Organized Crime Task Forces, Drug Enforcement Task Forces, Human Trafficking Task Forces)
  • An officer, deputy, firefighter, first responder killed on federal land

In the first 5 months of this year, we’ve already seen the same number of officer deaths as all of 2015.

Rep. Cook said, “Every day our first responders are risking their lives to protect our communities. When someone takes the life of a law enforcement officer or a fire fighter, they need to be appropriately punished. This bill will ensure justice is served.”

This week is National Police Week. National Police Week began in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events that honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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

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Rep. Cook Votes To Protect Taxpayers from Identity Theft

2016/05/16

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 3832, The Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Prevention Act of 2016. The measure passed the House overwhelmingly.

This bill directs the IRS to enhance the agency’s efforts in combating the growing problem of identity theft. Specifically, the bill requires the IRS to notify taxpayers of any instances of identity theft detected by the IRS, and to provide affected taxpayers with information on the circumstances of such theft. 

Tax refund fraud associated with identity theft is a serious threat facing Americans. Identity theft refund fraud occurs when a refund-seeking identity thief obtains an individual’s identifying information and uses it to file a fraudulent tax return. This fraud burdens taxpayers who have had fraudulent tax returns filed in their name because they must deal with delayed refunds as they authenticate their identities with the IRS. In 2013, the IRS estimated that it prevented $24.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds, but paid $5.8 billion in fraudulent refunds

Rep. Cook said, “Identity theft is a huge problem. This bill will help keep taxpayers’ identities safe and also save taxpayer money. We need to do everything we can to protect taxpayers’ personal information and if it’s exposed, the IRS has an obligation to let them know their identity has been compromised.”

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

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Rep. Cook Votes to Combat Drug Abuse

2016/05/12

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 5046, The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016. The measure passed the House overwhelmingly.

The bill establishes a comprehensive opioid abuse grant program at the Department of Justice (DOJ). It authorizes $103 million annually through 2021 for the DOJ to make grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes for opioid reduction programs. The bill provides resources for first responders and law enforcement, criminal investigations for the unlawful distribution of opioids, drug courts, and residential substance abuse treatment. It provides maximum flexibility to states using the grant dollars.

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin).

Rep. Cook said, “With drug abuse on the rise in the U.S., particularly opioid drug abuse, this bill is an important piece of bipartisan legislation that will crack down on the abuse of these dangerous drugs, both by providing funds for treatment and punishing those who are illegally distributing them.”

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

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Rep. Cook Recognizes Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow For Excellence

2016/05/12

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today announced that Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow has received the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. This award is given to one installation in every branch of the military for outstanding performance over the previous year.

Cook said, “I’m glad the President and Secretary of Defense have recognized what we in California have known for a long time: Barstow is an invaluable asset to the Marine Corps. The men and women at this base go above and beyond to ensure our Marine Corps is ready to meet the challenges on the horizon.”

This award closely follows a recent announcement that Chad Hildebrandt, Rail Operations Supervisor, received the Marine Corps Installations Command Civilian Employee of the Year and the Marine Corps Logistician of the Year awards.

Cook continued, “The excellence of Logistics Base Barstow is a testament to the work ethic and dedication of its employees and leadership. The Corps is stronger and better prepared for having these patriotic men and women in service.”

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

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Rep. Cook's Veteran Employment Bill Passes House Committee

2016/05/11

WASHINGTON- Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity passed a veterans’ jobs bill introduced by Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley). HR 3286, the HIRE Vets Act of 2016 is a bipartisan bill that would promote private sector recruiting, hiring, and retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through a voluntary and effective program. Specifically, it would create an awards program recognizing the meaningful, verifiable efforts undertaken by employers – both large and small – to hire and retain veterans. The bill is designed to be self-funded and completely voluntary for employers.

Through the U.S. Department of Labor, the HIRE Vets Act would allow businesses to apply to be honored for their commitment to hire and retain veterans. The employer would be able to display “HIRE Vets Medallions” on products and marketing materials, conveying to veterans and the public that their business makes veterans a priority. These medallions would be awarded to businesses with specific veteran hiring and retention goals each year.

To ensure proper oversight, the Secretary of Labor would be required to provide Congress with annual reports on the success of the program with regard to veteran employment and retention results.  

Rep. Cook said, “I’m pleased to see this important bill advance through committee and am appreciative of the bipartisan support of my colleagues. It’s imperative that we do everything we can to ensure veterans find meaningful employment and this bill is an important step in accomplishing that.”

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

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Rep. Cook Votes To Give Law Enforcement Critical Resources

2016/05/10

WASHINGTON-   Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for a series of bills designed to strengthen law enforcement officers’ ability to fight crime and drug abuse. Cook voted for three bills, which passed with broad bipartisan support.

Cook supported S. 32, the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, making it easier for U.S. law enforcement officials to identify and target traffickers. The legislation prohibits the manufacture or distribution of controlled substances if such substances would be unlawfully imported into the United States, or within 12 miles of its coastline.

The second bill was the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program Reauthorization Act. This reauthorizes the Bulletproof Vest Partnership which allows the Department of Justice to provide body armor to state and local law enforcement personnel. There has been a spike in law enforcement deaths in recent years and this measure ensures adequate funding for this program through 2020.

Cook also voted for H.R. 2137, the Federal Law Enforcement Self-Defense and Protection Act. This bill grants federal law enforcement officers the same rights to carry a government-issued firearm during a furlough that exist when a furlough is not in effect. During the lapse in funding in 2013, approximately 1,800 federal officers were forced to hand over their government issued firearms while placed on involuntary furlough.

Rep. Cook said, “Our law enforcement officers are putting themselves in harm’s way everyday to make America safer. With drug overdose deaths on the rise and a recent increase in law enforcement deaths, we need to do everything we can to provide law enforcement with the resources they need to do their job safely.”

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

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Rep. Cook Co-Sponsors Bill to Reimburse Local Law Enforcement for Costs of Incarcerating Criminal Illegal Immigrants

2016/05/05

WASHINGTON- Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced he has signed on as a cosponsor to HR 5035, a bill which will reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).

SCAAP is a grant program that reimburses states and local governments for the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants convicted of crimes. By law, the federal government is responsible for immigration enforcement, including the incarceration of undocumented criminal offenders. When this is not possible, the law requires the federal government to compensate local governments for the costs of incarceration. Five states, one of which is California, incarcerate 60 percent of all criminal alien offenders. However, the federal government is not providing their share of the cost.

Cook said, “As the cost to incarcerate undocumented criminals continues to rise, funding from the federal government has continued to decline. California shouldn’t be left with the bill. The federal government needs to carry their share of the burden. That’s why I’m supporting this bill which authorizes the program through 2020.”

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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