Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: December 15, 2015

Dec 15, 2015

Capitol Update

Congressman Cook Votes to Keep Terrorists out of the US


Last Tuesday, Congressman Cook voted for HR 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. This bill closes gaps existing in the program and adds additional layers of protection.

Currently, citizens of all 38 approved Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries can travel more easily to the United States than travelers from other countries. Rather than going to the US consulate to obtain a visa, citizens of VWP countries must provide detailed background information through an online form that is screened against US security systems. VWP applicants are approved or denied for travel to the US more quickly than citizens from non-VWP countries. This program enhances US security because the VWP countries must agree to strengthen their own security screening measures and to share crucial counterterrorism and law enforcement information with the US.

In light of the high terror threat environment, more needs to be done to close VWP security gaps and keep terrorists from entering into the US. HR 158 denies VWP travel to travelers who are nationals of – or have visited during the past five years- Iraq, Syria, and other countries with significant terrorist activity. These travelers will be required to seek a visa for entry into the United States through a more stringent process.

This bill also demands strong intelligence sharing by law enforcement, enhances screening of all travelers in VWP countries, prevents extremists from using fraudulent documents to evade detection, and takes steps to ensure VWP travelers do not falsify their background information.

Cook said, “We need strong leadership to defeat ISIS. Despite our President’s assertion, ISIS is not a ‘junior varsity’ organization. They control more territory than al-Qaeda ever did in the Middle East. With the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, it’s clear we need to be doing more to improve our security screening to prevent future attacks. This bill takes an important step in the right direction by closing loopholes in the Visa Waiver Program and now is the time to pass it. Terrorists are not welcome in the United States of America.”


Congressman Cook’s CMORCA Bill Continues to Gain Local Support

Congressman Cook’s bill, HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act (CMORCA), continued to gain local support and took a significant step toward becoming law.

On Monday, the Town of Yucca Valley voted 5-0 to support H.R. 3668. This bill places over a million acres of existing scenic federal lands into conservation for future generations, while protecting recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, and continuing to allow important economic activity such as mining in the California desert. The Cities of Barstow, Hesperia, Twentynine Palms, and Banning, the Town of Apple Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass Regional Water Alliance, and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission have already announced their support of the bill.

Additionally, H.R. 3668 took a significant step forward in the legislative process. On Wednesday, HR 3668 was heard at a legislative hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands. At the hearing, San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood testified in support of the bill.

Cook said, “I’m thrilled to have the support of the Town of Yucca Valley for the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conversation Act. They join numerous other local communities in supporting my bill that protects our desert, addresses the needs of our off- highway vehicles users, and maintains our economic vitality.”

“The Town of Yucca Valley supports CMORCA because it’s a balanced approach to conserving our desert, keeping our public lands open for recreational activities, and keeping our economic best interests at the forefront. I’d like to thank Congressman Cook for engaging local constituents and stake holders about what they would like to see move forward,” said Yucca Valley Mayor George Huntington.

District Update

City of Victorville to Host American Red Cross Blood Drive


The City of Victorville will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, December 22, from 9AM to 3PM at Victorville City Hall located at 14343 Civic Drive.
The American Red Cross Bloodmobile will be parked in the parking lot in front of Victorville City Hall, in the area closest to the County Courthouse.

For every lifesaving donation, participants will receive a Free American Red Cross t-shirt, two tickets to the Laugh Factory and a voucher for discounted tickets to a LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks game.

The City of Victorville is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Christian Guntert, Director of Community Services. “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, local businesses and residents an opportunity to help save lives.”

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly encouraged and do receive priority.

To make your appointment today, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or visit and enter sponsor code: cityofvv


Cleaning for a Cause: Holiday Food and Toy Drive to Benefit the Victor Valley Rescue Mission


This holiday season So Cal Squeegee Pros is hosting "Cleaning for a Cause: Holiday Food and Toy Drive to Benefit the Victor Valley Rescue Mission." We will be encouraging donations by offering gift certificates good for $30 off any window cleaning service in exchange for qualifying donations.

From November 11 through December 23, donors will receive one gift certificate for every three nonperishable food items or for each new toy valued at approximately $10 or more. Donations may be made directly to the Victor Valley Rescue Mission at:

16857 C Street in Victorville, CA 92395.

You can also call So Cal Squeegee Pros to arrange a pick up time as well as receive a free estimate and $30 off gift certificate.

The Victor Valley Rescue Mission offers a wide range of life changing treatment programs that address the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. They offer services free of charge to the poor and needy in our community.


Hesperia Friends of the Library Book Sale


The Friends' Fabulous Holiday Sale begins Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 during regular library hours (Mon-Thurs, 10 AM-8 PM ; Fri, 10AM -6PM; Sat, 9AM -5 PM; Sun, 1PM -5PM). Donated books, VHS tapes, CDs, and DVDs, many suitable for gift-giving, await your inspection. Prices range from 25 cents to $40.00. The very large inventory is supplemented daily.

All purchases support the activities and materials collection of the Hesperia Branch Library.


Night of Lights- Mono County


Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with a one-of-a-kind evening at Canyon Lodge. A fun-filled night for all ages with live music, a firework show, torchlight parade and more.

Event Schedule
4:30PM - 6:30PM - Family activities at Canyon Lodge including snowmobile rides, sledding hill, face painting and more.
5:00PM - Evening festivities and food concessions open
5:00PM - 8:00PM - Rooftop Viewing Area and Family Club Room opens
5:15PM - Live Music
5:30PM - Magic Show
6:45PM - Night of Lights Show
7:45PM - After show live music

Rooftop Viewing Area - Join your friends and family atop Canyon Lodge on the fifth floor from 5PM to 8PM for a light party not to miss. Offering a cash bar and grab-and-go food purchase, with standing room and limited seating, there's no other place you'd rather be to enjoy the nights events. Adult (13+) tickets are $25, child (5-12) tickets are $10, and children 4 and under are free.

Family Club Room - Gather with the family for a night of pure magic. Enjoy the Night of Lights festivities from a warm setting on the fourth floor of Canyon Lodge from 5PM to 8PM, with room for sitting and standing. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and the kids will enjoy a magician and appearance from Woolly himself. Adult (13+) tickets are $35, child (5-12) tickets are $25, and children 4 and under are free.

For more information, please call 1-800-MAMMOTH or click here.

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.

Resume Workshop


On Wednesday, December 16, 2015 from 9AM to 11AM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding a Resume Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include developing an effective resume and composing cover letter and thank you letters. Prior registration is required. Please register at CALJOBS and

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.


Interview Workshop


On Thursday, December 16, 2015 from 1:30PM to 3PM, the High Desert Employment Resource Center will be holding an Interview Workshop. The location of the center is 17310 Bear Valley Road, Suite 109 in Victorville California.

Topics include interview techniques, verbal communications, and body language. Please register at CALJOBS and

For more information, please call Lena Salas at 760-552-6535.