Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: August 1, 2017

Aug 3, 2017
Newsletter
District Update | August 1, 2017

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