Paul Cook

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Rep. Cook Announces Federal Firefighters Grant for Victorville

2019/09/12

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced today that the City of Victorville Fire Department has received a $310,633 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant will provide resources to the Victorville Fire Department to assist with their operations and safety, including thermal imaging units, testing and calibration, air filling stations for self-contained breathing apparatus, additional fire hoses, and other vital tooling for engines.

The grant is part of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The primary goal of AFG is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Rep. Cook said, “I’m pleased to announce that our first responders in Victorville have received this critical grant funding. This money will provide much-needed resources to the fire department that will modernize our fire trucks with life-saving enhancements, keeping our firefighters safe and prepared to protect the community.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Co-sponsors Legislation Offering Homeowner Tax Incentives for Earthquake Preparedness

2019/08/28

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced that he is co-sponsoring the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act to exclude grants that support residential seismic retrofits from federal taxation. A residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquakes by bolting the house to its foundation, and adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. These earthquake mitigation measures are already tax-free at the state level in California.

A study from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimated that earthquake losses in the United States total about $4.4 billion per year, with California alone accounting for $3.3 billion in damages.

To address this significant risk, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services established the California Residential Mitigation Program to help residents take proactive measures in protecting their homes from earthquake damage. Their Earthquake Brace + Bolt program provides homeowners up to $3,000 toward a retrofit, which costs between $3,000 and $5,000 on average.

Rep. Cook said, “We must ensure that homeowners aren’t penalized for investing in earthquake readiness. While these earthquake mitigation measures are tax-free in the State of California, residents are taxed by the federal government on grants they receive to safeguard their homes from earthquakes. The Trona quakes in July are a reminder that we need to strongly encourage earthquake readiness incentives that will save lives and protect families and their homes.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Applauds BLM Proposed Rule to Streamline Royalty Rate Reduction Process for Non-Energy Solid Minerals Mined on Public Lands

2019/08/26

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) applauded the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement today of a proposed rule to provide much needed regulatory relief and efficiencies for non-energy solid leasable minerals, including soda ash. The proposed rule is expected to save up to $5 million in regulatory costs over the next decade.

Specifically, the rule will streamline the process for the BLM to administratively reduce royalties collected on soda ash. A rate reduction will keep US producers competitive and allow U.S. soda ash producers to expand in foreign markets, securing good-paying American mining jobs.

Rep. Cook has been a strong advocate for reducing royalties collected on soda ash by the federal government and has previously introduced legislation to do so. Soda ash is used to manufacture glass and produce chemicals, detergents, paper, and other products. Soda ash also has a critical national security role as a key component in cockpit windshields manufactured by the aerospace industry.
Aside from the economic benefit, promoting American soda ash is good for the environment. While American soda ash is found naturally, Chinese soda ash is produced synthetically. Chinese synthetic production uses twice the energy, which results in over three times the carbon emissions as natural soda ash production.

Rep. Cook said, “Over the past decade, American soda ash producers have faced significant challenges from foreign, synthetic soda ash producers in China and Turkey. Sodium carbonate production is a $1.8 billion industry which provides hundreds of jobs to my constituents in Trona and thousands more to hardworking Americans across the nation. The previous administration chose to triple the federal royalty rate for soda ash, severely impacting its production. More recently, Trona has been significantly damaged by major earthquakes, causing serious disruptions to local industry. This important rule sets the stage for rapid relief that will protect and expand mining jobs, strengthen our national security, and help local soda ash producers in my district recover from a devastating natural disaster. I thank the BLM and the Administration for taking action to support this critical industry.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Joins the American Sikh Caucus

2019/08/23

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced today that he has joined the American Sikh Congressional Caucus. This year marks the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, the first of ten gurus and founders of Sikhism, which is celebrated across the nation and worldwide. The American Sikh Caucus serves to educate Members of Congress and the general public about the rich history and culture of Sikh Americans.

The first Sikh immigrants arrived in California and Washington state in the early 1900s, where they worked on farms, in lumber mills and mines, and helped build the Transcontinental Railroad. Today, there are more than 500,000 Sikhs living in the United States, serving in the military, running small businesses, local charities, and making significant contributions to this country.

Rep. Cook said, “I’m proud to become a member of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus. Sikhs first arrived to California more than 120 years ago, and now our state is home to the largest Sikh community in the nation. Sikh Americans have made significant contributions to our nation’s agriculture, technology, medicine, and have served as members of the US Armed Forces. It’s essential to respect and recognize all faiths in Congress and I look forward to working with my colleagues to give the Sikh community a stronger voice.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Sends Bipartisan Letter to California Department of Education Condemning Anti-Semitic Curriculum

2019/08/16

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08) joined a bipartisan group of House colleagues in sending a letter to the California Department of Education Instructional Quality Commission expressing strong disapproval of the current draft of the state’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC). The intent of this curriculum is to encourage students to understand and appreciate the rich diversity of American history and the extensive contributions made by various ethnic and religious groups. The draft proposal has been criticized for not only excluding most of the American Jewish experience but perpetuating and promoting anti-Semitism and the marginalization of Jewish Students.

The California State Board of Education has acknowledged the serious problems with the current draft but has been reluctant to look at the anti-Semitic statements and actions by members of the committee writing the curriculum. It is unclear whether these individuals will be allowed to participate in any revisions to the policy.

Cook said, “As a former educator who believes that education should be primarily a state and local issue, I generally try not to weigh in on state-level educational policies. However, the egregious omission of Jewish culture and history from this curriculum and its hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people is deeply troubling. Last month the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the rising anti-Semitism in segments of our country and expressing strong opposition to the racist Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel. Proponents of BDS and other racist policies have no business participating in developing our children’s curriculum and the California State Board of Education should exclude any supporters of this racist policy from further participation.”

Representatives Brad Sherman (CA-30), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Mike Levin (CA- 49), and Susan Davis (CA- 53) joined Rep. Cook on the letter. The letter can be found here.

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Sends Letter to U.S. Small Business Administration Requesting Assistance for Kern and San Bernardino Counties

2019/08/06

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08) sent a letter to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton requesting both Kern and San Bernardino counties be classified as disaster areas to further support the communities impacted by the earthquakes beginning on July 4, 2019. This action would allow significant resources from the SBA Office of Disaster Assistance to aid individuals and their communities during the recovery process.

Rep. Cook said, “Though it’s been a month since the earthquakes struck Southern California, residents of Trona and surrounding communities continue to be seriously impacted by its effects. I will continue working to ensure that my constituents receive the assistance they need to recover from this disaster. I’d like to thank the President for ordering federal assistance to augment state and local help and hope that the Small Business Administration quickly approves this disaster designation.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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.

Full text of the letter can be found HERE.

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Rep. Cook Joins Bipartisan Group to Handwash Vietnam Veterans Memorial

2019/07/26

WASHINGTON – This morning, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) joined a bipartisan group of fellow Representatives to wash the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by hand to show respect and gratitude for those who lost their lives in Vietnam. 


Constructed in 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a 2-acre U.S. national memorial that honors service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam, and those service members who were unaccounted for during the war.

Attendees included:
• Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.)
• Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.)
• Rep. Gilbert Cisneros (D-Calif.)
• Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.)
• Rep. Jason Crow (R-Colo.)
• Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.)
• Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.)
• Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.)
• Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)
• Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.)
• Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.)
• Rep. Seth Moulton (R-Mass.)
• Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.)
• Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.)
• Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.)
• Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.)

Rep. Cook said, “It was very moving to join my colleagues this morning at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as we paid tribute to the more than 58,000 men and women who perished in Vietnam. Many of them served alongside me, but didn’t make it home. We must never forget their service or their sacrifice. Our nation is forever in debt.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Amendment to Ensure Readiness of Military Bases Damaged by Earthquakes

2019/07/10

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced today that he is co-sponsoring an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to repair any damages to military bases caused by the earthquakes that occurred in the Ridgecrest area this past week. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) introduced the amendment, which will be considered by the House this week.

The language in the amendment includes any damages sustained at Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. This amendment calls on the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress within ninety days detailing what corrective actions need to be undertaken to ensure our military readiness. It also requires an explanation as to how the construction projects will incorporate ways to minimize the threat from natural disasters in the future.

Rep. Cook said, “Last week’s earthquakes damaged key military installations in the area. Congress has a duty to ensure these bases are operational and mission ready. We owe it to our men and women in uniform that they have the best tools possible to defend our national security. I thank Leader McCarthy for joining me in recognizing the importance of this amendment and hope that the House will pass it this week.”

Rep. McCarthy said, “Having seen some of the damage firsthand, last week’s earthquakes were devastating to NAWS China Lake and our community of Ridgecrest. Despite the destruction, our American spirit has prevailed in the face of adversity, with people from all over the state coming together to help our neighbors. But we are still recovering.

“NAWS China Lake, along with Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Irwin, are national assets. With the epicenter of the earthquakes on China Lake, the Navy is still assessing damage, but we need to ensure that we are not only rebuilding this important base to address the threats facing our nation today, but also emerging threats in the days ahead. My amendment authorizes $100 million to help address China Lake’s pressing needs and requires the Department of Defense to modernize infrastructure and facilities at China Lake as part of the efforts to return the base to mission-capable status. We will rebuild China Lake, stronger and better.

“These bases are critical to the region and our national security, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment to provide much-needed assistance to areas most impacted by the earthquakes in Ridgecrest.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, Cook is also the Republican Leader on the House Natural Resources Indigenous Peoples of America Subcommittee. He 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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Reps. Cook and Espaillat Introduce E-waste Reform Legislation to Protect National Security

2019/07/01

WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-New York) introduced HR 3559, the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA). This national security bill stops the flow of e-waste to China and other countries that regularly counterfeit electronics. The bill will ensure that such e-waste does not become the source of counterfeit goods that may reenter military and civilian electronics in the United States.

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

Rep. Cook said, “China regularly counterfeits electronics and puts these dangerous products, including critical military equipment, back into the market. These electronic components threaten the reliability and safety of a wide range of technologies. SEERA will ensure we’re not exporting electronic scrap materials that return to us as counterfeit parts and undermine the reliability of technology essential to our national security. I thank Congressman Espaillat for his leadership on this issue.”

Rep. Espaillat said, “I appreciate the bipartisan effort to curb China’s baneful economic practices, and I am delighted to work with my colleague, Representative Paul Cook, on our bill to abate e-waste exports to China, which directly threaten our national security and economic interests. Despite the recently enhanced prevention and detection measures imposed on e-waste, the current situation remains untenable and requires a comprehensive strategy to choke off counterfeiters’ feedstock: American e-waste exports. Aside from the national security concerns this bill addresses, SEERA mitigates the damaging effects on the environment caused by China’s unchecked recycling of e-scrap, which contains toxic materials such as lead, PCBs, mercury and more.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services 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 Remove the Stain Act

2019/06/25

WASHINGTON –Rep. Cook (R- Apple Valley) announced today that he is co-sponsoring the Remove the Stain Act. The bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (D-Washington).

The Remove the Stain Act, would rescind twenty Medals of Honor from individuals who participated in the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, which resulted in the killing of over 250 Lakota Sioux, over half of which were women and children.

Rep. Cook said, “The massacre at Wounded Knee was nothing less than a slaughter of Native Americans. No reading of the criteria for actions meriting a Medal of Honor – either historical or modern – can lead one to believe the United States should have awarded these twenty medals. The contemporary citations for these twenty individuals are nonspecific on acts of gallantry. I view it as vague language meant to cover up a slaughter, and I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to correct the record.

“The Medal of Honor is our highest and most prestigious military decoration, reserved for service members who perform acts of tremendous valor. By allowing twenty individuals to retain Medals of Honor for the massacre at Wounded Knee, we dishonor every deserving Medal of Honor recipient. This bill will correct the honor roll of awardees, rescinding the medals from the twenty individuals.

“While we can never undo the actions on that day, December 29, 1890, we owe it to the decedents of the Lakota Sioux and to native peoples in general to make amends wherever possible. I thank my colleagues for joining me in introducing this legislation and hope that the House of Representatives will take action as soon as possible.”

A member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, Cook is the Republican Leader on the House Natural Resources Indigenous Peoples of America Subcommittee. He 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

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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