Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: December 1, 2015

Dec 1, 2015

Capitol Update

“This is a battle we must win”- By Congressman Paul Cook


Recently the world watched in horror as ISIS coordinated severely brutal and callous terror attacks in Paris, France. This should serve as a warning signal to democracies not only in the United States, but the entire Western world. We are under siege by an enemy that seeks to undermine the fundamental principles of human liberty and freedom. This conflict is about more than armies and territories – it is about ideas. Terrorists flying the flag of radical Islam are waging war against the West in order to spread their perverted brand of theocracy. If we are to defeat the most insidious threat to democracy since communism, the free nations of the world must not minimize the gravity of this situation.

Despite contrary claims by the administration, the threat of ISIS extends beyond Syria and Iraq. ISIS has now proven capable of launching coordinated attacks in Western cities, and they have made it abundantly clear that they seek to attack the US and destroy Western democracies. ISIS has also established camps in North Africa and is generating up to $6 million a day by smuggling crude oil. By most accounts, ISIS is a well-resourced terrorist organization the US has ever encountered. This is not a “Junior Varsity” squad as some have suggested.

Additionally, the refugee crisis in Syria poses a serious threat to the security of Western nations. Media reports indicate that at least one terrorist involved in the Paris attacks arrived in Europe from Syria under the guise of seeking asylum. Recently, President Obama announced a plan to admit over 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. Make no mistake: ISIS intends to capitalize on any security weakness in our immigration system. In light of recent events in Paris, immigration officials must first work to exclude known terrorists from entering the country. Unfortunately, under our current plan we cannot adequately vet their backgrounds to ensure our safety. While my heart goes out to the Syrian people who have been displaced by the outbreak of violence in their homeland, it is our duty to ensure the safety of American lives above all else. As a result, I have written to President Obama urging the Secretary of State to halt admissions of refugees from the Iraq and Syria conflict areas immediately.

As your Congressman, I am doing everything in my power to provide the resources necessary for the brave men and women fighting terrorism in every corner of the world. As citizens of a free nation, we must call on the leaders of the world to unite against the evil perpetrated by ISIS and their prodigy. We cannot allow cultural apologists to justify the barbarism of these radical organizations. To win this war, we must be willing to denounce an ideology that enslaves women, beheads followers of different faiths, and indoctrinates children into lives of hatred and violence.
This is a battle we must win.

This editorial first appeared in the Victorville Daily Press on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Please click here.

District Update

BLM Schedules Additional Open House Meetings for West Mojave Route Network Project


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has scheduled two additional open house meetings on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project, released earlier in 2015. The meetings provide an additional opportunity for the public to receive information and provide feedback on the plan.

Meetings will be held Tuesday, December 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Road, Victorville and Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at the Kerr-McGee Center, 100 W. California Avenue, Ridgecrest. Both meetings will be held from 6:00PM to 8:00PM, and include a presentation and an open house format to review maps, ask questions and provide written comments to the BLM. The BLM will review input received through the public comment period, which closes January 25, 2016, when making a decision on the final plan.

The draft plan delivers a proposed solution for adaptive and responsible travel management planning and off-highway vehicle use within the West Mojave planning area while protecting important resources and maximizing public accessibility in the desert. The plan also outlines conservation provisions for sensitive areas including providing for threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise and plays an active role in recovery of their habitat.

For more information about the Draft SEIS, including interactive mapping, please visit the BLM Website

To submit a comment, or for additional questions, please contact Edy Seehafer, West Mojave Project Manager, Bureau of Land Management, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311,, (760) 252-6021.


The Eighth Congressional District Kicks off the Holiday Season


Victorville to Light Christmas Tree and Kick off Holiday Season
The City of Victorville will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Festival of Lights on Saturday, December 5, beginning at 4:00PM at Victorville City Hall located at 14343 Civic Drive, Victorville.
For more information about the Christmas Tree Lighting, contact Hook Community Center at (760) 245-5551.

Apple Valley Christmas Tree Lighting
The City of Apple Valley will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Saturday December 5, 2015, beginning at 2:00PM at the Civic Center Park located at 14955 Dale Evans Parkway, Apple Valley.
For more information please call (760) 240-7000, x 7071 or visit

Hesperia to Light Christmas Tree
The City of Hesperia will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday December 3, 2015, beginning at 4:30PM at the Hesperia Civic Plaza Park in Hesperia.
For more information, please visit

Bishop Annual Christmas Parade
The City of Bishop will kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Street of Lights on December 4, 2015, beginning at 5:30PM at the Chamber of Commerce in Bishop.
For more information, please call 760-873-8402 or visit


Blood Drive in Apple Valley


LifeStream will hold a blood drive and bone marrow screening from 9AM to 1PM on Sunday December 6, 2015 at the Hi-Desert Center for Spiritual Living, 18575 Corwin Road, Apple Valley.

Each donor will receive, while supplies last, a $10 Amazon gift card, a free cholesterol screening and points that may be redeemed for items through LifeStream's online donor store at

Donors must be at least 15 years old, have a photo ID and be in good health. Donors ages 15 and 16 must bring a signed LifeStream parental consent form. Bone marrow donors must be 18 to 44, meet health guidelines and be willing to donate to any patient in need. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly encouraged.

Please call 800-879-4484 or visit to make an appointment.


St. Bernardine Hospice Seeks Volunteers


St. Bernardine Hospice, 18064 Wika Road, Suite 202, Apple Valley, is looking for volunteers to make calls to families, provide relief for care givers, prepare meals, write letters, run errands, care for pets, perform office duties and more.

Volunteers are crucial to hospice patients and their families by providing support that helps enhance the patient's quality of life and reduce families' care giving burdens.

For more information, call volunteer coordinator Deanna Bryant at 760-983-2647.

Veterans’ Corner

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 Veterans Holiday Tribute


On December 12, 2015 from 10AM to 2PM, the Victorville Chamber of Commerce will host their 9th annual veterans’ holiday tribute lunch. A free lunch and patriotic tribute for all veterans and their guests will be shown. There will be restored WWII vehicles, an old classic car show and quilts will be given to the vets by the Quilts of Valor.

The location for this event will be the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville. For more information, please call 760-951-8003.


Veterans’ Workshop


On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System will host a Veterans’ Workshop. The workshop will run from 2:30PM to 4:30PM at the VA Loma Linda Medical Center Auditorium.

For more information, please call 1-800-827-1000.


Wreaths Across America

Every year before Christmas thousands of holiday wreaths are placed on service members’ graves in every National Cemetery across the country. You can add to the number of wreaths by purchasing one by December 2, 2015. Wreaths are $15.00 each, and will be delivered and placed at any National Cemetery. This year the ceremony will be on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at the Riverside National Cemetery, starting at 9:00AM. The public is welcome to attend. This is a formal event, and appropriate dress is required. Military and retired military are encouraged to wear the appropriate uniform.

For more information, or to donate, click here.