Paul Cook

Paul Cook


Rep. Cook Joins Labor Department in Recognizing Employers Who Hire Vets


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) attended the U.S. Department of Labor announcement of the 2018 HIRE (Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing) Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award, recognizing the meaningful and verifiable efforts undertaken by job creators to hire and retain veterans. Honorees include small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies.

In 2017, President Trump signed into law Rep. Cook’s bill, H.R. 244, the HIRE American Military Veterans Act, creating the HIRE Vets Medallion Program. The HIRE Vets Act promotes private sector recruiting, hiring, and retaining of men and women who served honorably in the U.S. military through the voluntary participation of employers. The awards program recognizes employers who have truly demonstrated efforts to reach out and support our veterans searching for employment.

Rep. Cook said, “It’s an honor to see this legislation come to fruition. Today’s recipients deserve to be recognized for making significant strides toward hiring more veterans. Veterans who serve this country honorably shouldn’t struggle to find employment, and this bill creates an innovative system to encourage and recognize employers who make veterans a priority in their hiring practices. I look forward to seeing full implementation of the program next year.”

Recipients of the 2018 HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration Award were evaluated based on a range of criteria, including:

• Veteran hiring and retention
• Availability of veteran-specific resources
• Leadership programming for veterans
• Dedicated human resources
• Compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans

Applications for the 2019 HIRE Vets Medallion Program will open to employers on January 31, 2019. For more about the HIRE Vets Medallion Program and Award, please visit

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Congressman Cook Applauds Capture of Mail Bombing Suspect, Condemns Political Violence


WASHINGTON – This past week, at least 12 pipe-bombs have been sent to the homes of prominent political and media figures. Law enforcement apprehended a man in connection to this act of terrorism earlier this morning.

Congressman Cook released the following statement after the arrest:

“This is a very precarious time in our nation’s history. In the past several years, we’ve seen an alarming increase in politically-motivated acts of violence. Whether physical intimidation of elected officials, a shooter opening fire on members of Congress on a baseball field, or, in this case, an attempted mail bombing campaign, these acts are despicable and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“I’m grateful none of the mail bomb devices detonated and that no one was injured. I commend the swift work of local, state, and national law enforcement in apprehending the suspect quickly.

“Let me be crystal clear: all politicians must condemn all acts of political violence. Only America’s enemies benefit from our acts of self-destruction. Furthermore, all politicians must turn away from speech and imagery meant to incite violence, hatred, and unnecessary division. We have a duty to heal the wounds of our society.

“Our American allegiance, not our politics, must come first. We must return to the values and ideas of community and cooperation that made us the greatest nation on earth.”

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Rep. Cook Co-Sponsors Bill to Fund Border Wall


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) signed on as a co-sponsor for HR 7059, the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act of 2018.

The bill, which was introduced by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), contains several provisions to combat illegal immigration and includes $23.4 billion in new funding to provide border security and fully fund a border wall between the US and Mexico.

In addition to providing border wall funding, the bill also includes a provision which would rein in municipalities that fail to comply with federal immigration laws and provide sanctuary for dangerous criminals who are here illegally. Under this bill, those jurisdictions would lose eligibility for certain federal grants.

HR 7059 also includes Kate’s Law, legislation that would raise the maximum sentences for criminal aliens who illegally reenter the United States to between 10 years and 25 years in federal prison, depending on the alien’s criminal history. In addition, this bill ensures that alien gang members are kept off our streets by barring them from coming to the United States and detaining and removing them if they are criminal gang members or participate in gang activity. The bill makes it clear that criminal alien gang members are not eligible for immigration benefits, such as asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and temporary protected status.

Rep. Cook said, “This legislation provides comprehensive border security by fully funding a border wall and ensuring that we’re not only stopping dangerous criminals from coming here illegally, but we’re also bringing to justice the ones who are already here. As the founder of the Stop Sanctuary Laws Caucus, I’m especially happy to see that this bill sends a clear message to local jurisdictions that they can’t thumb their nose at federal immigration laws. I thank Leader McCarthy for introducing this legislation and am pleased to be a co-sponsor.”

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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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Cook, Sires Call for Release of Political Prisoners in Nicaragua and Venezuela


Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, issued the following statement on recent events involving political prisoners in Nicaragua and Venezuela:

Chairman Cook and Ranking Member Sires: “We are deeply troubled by continued oppression by the Nicaraguan and Venezuelan regimes against peaceful demonstrators. Arbitrary detention, disappearances, and torture tactics routinely used by the Castro regime in Cuba are also happening at alarming rates in Nicaragua and Venezuela. This past weekend, Nicaraguan National Police beat and arrested at least 26 demonstrators who were peacefully calling for the Ortega-Murillo regime to step down. In Venezuela, the Maduro regime is holding at least 250 political prisoners, including opposition deputy Juan Requesens, and opposition activist Fernando Albán was murdered by Maduro’s henchmen in the SEBIN. We vehemently condemn these actions and call for Nicaraguan and Venezuelan regimes to cease all arbitrary arrests, acts of violence, and torture against dissenting voices, immediately release all political prisoners, and restore democracy through free and fair elections.”

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Rep. Cook Announces Silver Valley Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Grant


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) announced that the Silver Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) is set to receive a $1.25 million grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). Cook had previously written a letter advocating for the grant. The Silver Valley Unified School District serves approximately 2,200 children in the High Desert.

DoDEA operates schools for military-connected children on military bases in the US and overseas. DoDEA’s annual grant program helps provide resources to military-connected local educational agencies (LEAs). Specifically, this grant will enhance and integrate technology in core curricular areas, improve educators’ professional development, support the social and emotional needs of military students, and encourage students to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs.

Rep. Cook said, “I was pleased to learn that the DoDEA awarded the Silver Valley Unified School District this substantial grant. Many military children face challenges due to family deployments and transitions, and this grant will provide Silver Valley with the means to assist its students with these difficulties. It’s our duty to ensure that our servicemembers’ children receive the highest quality educational opportunities possible, and this grant will help to accomplish that goal.”

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 Founds the Stop Sanctuary Laws Caucus


WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) announced this week the creation of the Stop Sanctuary Laws Caucus with fellow Representatives Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Mo Brooks (AL-05).

Rep. Cook said, “We’re witnessing a disturbing growth of so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies within districts and states where states and local governments attempt to limit their cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration law. These sanctuary policies are ill-conceived and are unconstitutional. They allow dangerous criminals to prey on the innocent, endangering the lives of legal residents and the very immigrant communities they purport to protect. We started this caucus to ensure there is a clear voice in Congress to counter these dangerous policies.”   

The foundation of the Stop Sanctuary Laws Caucus is built on the following beliefs:

  •  Immigration is a federal issue not subject to the ideological whims of states or local governments.
  •  Every violent crime against legal residents by illegal immigrants represents a preventable failure of government. We can and should do better.
  •  Congress must protect our communities by preventing municipalities from engaging in sanctuary policies, and it must pass stronger policies to crack down on criminals  wanted by ICE/CPB.

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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Cook Hosts Meeting with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera


Washington, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, hosted a meeting with several Members of Congress and the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, to discuss the strong partnership between the United States and Chile, yesterday’s announcement of an energy cooperation framework signed between the Treasury Department and Government of Chile, and concerns about growing Chinese presence in the region and deteriorating situations in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Chairman Cook: “Chile is a close U.S. partner and one of the fastest-growing economies in the Western Hemisphere. It has demonstrated regional leadership through development of its vast lithium reserves, ocean conservation and astronomy research, and participation in global peacekeeping missions. Our two nations share a belief in free markets and democratic values, and I commend President Piñera’s efforts to make Chile one of the most vibrant economies in the region and for publicly condemning the Maduro regime in Venezuela and working through the Lima Group, the OAS, and UN to develop a regional response to the crisis. While I remain concerned about the extending influence of China and Huawei’s presence in Chile and in the region, I look forward to deepening our strategic partnership with Chile to grow U.S. investment, maximize our trade and energy cooperation, and strengthen our security ties with President Piñera’s Administration in the months ahead.”

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Rep. Cook Votes for Comprehensive Bill to Combat the Opioid Crisis


WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted today for HR 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. The bill passed overwhelmingly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, 1,000 people are treated for opioid misuse in emergency departments per day and an average of 115 Americans die per day. The opioid crisis has also created a massive burden on our economy, causing the loss of almost 1 million workers between 1999 and 2015 and the loss of $702 billion in real output.

HR 6 is a bipartisan bill that will advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

Specifically, the bill includes several provisions, including:

Treatment and Recovery

 - Improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services
 - Provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination, and innovation
 - Establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers 

 - Encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain
 - Improves data to identify and help at-risk patients
 - Address high prescribing rate while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs

Protecting Communities
 - Give law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities
 - Better intercept illicit opioids at international mail facilities
 - Improve access to federal resources for local communities

Fighting Fentanyl
 - Better tackle ever-changing synthetic drugs
 - Crack down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs
 - Provide grants for local communities to combat fentanyl

Rep. Cook said, “The opioid crisis has continued to spiral out of control, wreaking havoc on families and burdening the economy. This year, Congress has already passed an unprecedented amount of legislation targeting the opioid crisis and this bill is another important step. I look forward to this legislation becoming law.”

For a complete look at legislation Congress has passed targeting the opioid crisis, please visit:

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 Right to Vote for US Citizens


WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for H. Res 1071, which recognizes that allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of US citizens. The bill passed the House 279-72.

Currently, the US Constitution prohibits discrimination in voting based on race, sex, poll taxes, and age. Federal law, meanwhile, prohibits non-citizens from voting in elections for federal office. However, in 2016, voters in the city of San Francisco approved a measure allowing non-citizens, including those without legal status, to vote in school board races.

Rep. Cook said, “The right to vote is one of the most important duties of being an American citizen. San Francisco has set a dangerous precedent by allowing people here illegally to affect governance for American citizens. This resolution sends a strong message that citizens alone enjoy the right to vote.”

To view the full text of H. Res 1071, click here.

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 Cook Announces Change in Service Academy Information Session


Congressman Paul Cook announced an informational session for students interested in attending one of the five US Military Service Academies. The meeting date has changed from Tuesday, September 18 to Thursday, September 20  and will be held in the Victorville City Hall Conference Room D from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The no-cost events give attendees the opportunity to learn more about our nation’s five service academies. Representatives from Congressman Cook’s office will be on hand to answer questions regarding requirements and qualifications for entrance to an academy, Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships, military preparatory schools, and congressional nominations.

High school seniors who reside in Congressman Cook’s district and are seeking admission to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for the fall 2019 semester must submit a completed nomination packet to Congressman Cook’s District Office by December 4, 2018. Please note that students interested in attending the U.S. Coast Guard Academy do not need a congressional nomination.

The scheduled information session is as follows:

September 20, 2018
Victorville City Hall
Conference Room D
14343 Civic Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Contact Information

1222 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-5861
Fax 202-225-6498

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


Tom McClintock


Jeff Denham


David Valadao


Devin Nunes


Kevin McCarthy


Steve Knight


Ed Royce


Ken Calvert


Mimi Walters


Dana Rohrabacher


Darrell Issa


Duncan Hunter


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