Rep. Devin Nunes is a Congressman from the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley of California. He is currently serving in his third term in the House of Representatives and is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, Social Security, Medicare, and trade.
Congressman Nunes is a native of Tulare County, where his family has farmed for three generations. The Nunes family immigrated to America from PortugalÃ¯Â¿Â½s Azores islands. They are part of a large Portuguese community living in the San Joaquin Valley, many of whom help to cultivate our nationÃ¯Â¿Â½s most productive farmland.
The 21st Congressional District, which includes all of Tulare County and parts of Fresno County, is the most diverse and valuable farm land in the United States. The region consistently ranks first in the nation; both in terms of crop diversity and crop value. It is also the largest milk shed in the world.
Congressman Nunes graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he received a bachelorÃ¯Â¿Â½s degree in agricultural business and a masterÃ¯Â¿Â½s degree in agriculture. Following college, he focused his attention on educational issues and was elected to the Board of Trustees for the College of the Sequoias (COS). During his tenure on the COS Board of Trustees, Nunes led the effort to provide smaller communities greater access to the Internet and satellite educational services. He also worked to provide more opportunities for high school students to access community college classes.
In 2001, Nunes was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as California State Director for the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. However, when congressional boundaries were redrawn in 2002, Nunes was afforded a unique opportunity to represent his home town in the House of Representatives.
Devin and his wife Elizabeth have one child, Evelyn Rose Nunes, and live in Tulare.
Nunes currently serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over taxes, healthcare, Social Security, trade and other important federal programs.
Prior to his selection to serve on the Ways and Means Committee, Nunes was Chairman of the Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, where he pursued common sense management principles for the nationÃ¯Â¿Â½s vast public lands, national parks and monuments. Additionally, he served on the Agriculture Committee, where he aggressively defended the interests of farmers.
The 21st Congressional District is the largest agriculture district in the United States, both in terms of cash value and crop diversity. While on the Agriculture Committee, Nunes focused on policies that affected agricultural trade. He also participated in reviews concerning major farm policies, including crop insurance and food security.
In addition, Nunes was honored to serve on the VeteransÃ¯Â¿Â½ Affairs Committee where he contributed to the oversight of federal programs affecting the well being of the nationÃ¯Â¿Â½s veterans. During his time in Congress, Nunes has worked to ensure efficient and effective delivery of services to veterans. He has worked to increase pay and benefits and has intervened in hundreds of cases to directly assist veterans experiencing challenges with federal agencies.
As a leader in the Republican Conference, Nunes currently serves as an Assistant Republican Whip.
The unique geography, climate, demographics and economic factors of the Central Valley pose many challenges to its residents, including water supply, trade, health care and transportation.
During his tenure in Congress, Nunes has spearheaded many local efforts to bring attention to these challenges. In 2005, he introduced H.R. 99, which designated State Route 99 as a Congressional High Priority Corridor. The bill also provided federal authorization for SR 99 to become part of the national interstate system. The bill became law as part of H.R. 3 in August of 2005.
Nunes has also championed investments in CaliforniaÃ¯Â¿Â½s water infrastructure system and introduced legislation in 2003 that authorized a feasibility study for a new water reservoir near Temperance Flat in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The feasibility study is scheduled to be completed in 2009.
Recognizing the importance of maintaining strong ties with Portugal and her former colonies around the world, Nunes has been active in dialogue with officials from Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Angola. Nunes has used his position to advocate the establishment of democratic institutions, free trade, and more open government.
In 2006, Nunes distinguished himself in the Republican conference as a leader on energy issues. His legislation, the American Made Energy Freedom Act, received bi-partisan praise and has become an important part of the national energy debate. The bill, which proposes the largest investment in clean renewable energy in history, represents NunesÃ¯Â¿Â½ view that we must use all of our domestic resources to achieve energy independence. In July 2008, the Republican conference in the House introduced the American Energy Act, which is largely based on the Nunes plan.