Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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Congressman Paul Cook's Newsletter: January 6, 2016

Jan 5, 2016

Capitol Update

A Message From Congressman Cook on President Obama's Latest Executive Order

Today, using recent tragedies as political justification, President Obama took divisive action attempting to restrict law-abiding gun-owners and, in effect, creating a disincentive for Americans to seek help for mental health issues. Regardless of how you feel about 2nd Amendment rights, no President should create the equivalent of new laws through executive order. The courts have struck down numerous Obama executive orders where he exceeded his constitutional authority, and I expect the President’s actions today will meet the same fate. His actions would allow Washington bureaucrats to one day regulate every private gun owner just as they would a dealer, making it effectively impossible to transfer or sell a legally-owned firearm. Additionally, today’s actions included a directive to the Department of Health and Human Services that would remove important privacy safeguards for Americans’ mental health records by allowing transfer of those records from states to a federal database. These regulations would not only put Americans’ health records at greater risk of being hacked and stolen, but also raise the possibility that people with mental health concerns might avoid treatment in order to avoid an administrative blacklist for gun ownership. We need to encourage those with mental illness to seek treatment, and the President’s actions are contrary to this goal.

I’m adamantly opposed to the President ignoring the constitution and unilaterally rewriting laws. Moreover, the Second Amendment is a constitutional right affirmed by the courts, and I’ll oppose any efforts by this President or any future President to weaken it. From my initial analysis, nothing the President proposed today would have prevented the massacre in the City of San Bernardino. Conversely, a former Department of Homeland Security employee has claimed that President Obama’s State Department and the Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties shut down his investigation into the mosque attended by the perpetrators of the San Bernardino attack, citing profiling concerns. We all want less violence, but these regulations hurt legal gun owners, make us less safe, and will simply divide Americans further. The President needs to stop targeting law-abiding citizens and start targeting the terrorists and criminals.

Congressman Cook Votes for Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act


Congressman Cook voted to Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015. This bipartisan legislation requires President Obama to lay out a strategy to counter terrorist use of social media.

This bill also requires the President to come up with a policy to enhance the exchange of information and dialogue between the federal government and social media companies.

Cook said, “It’s become normal for terrorists to use social media to fund raise, indoctrinate, and recruit future members. This bipartisan legislation will require the President to come up with a strategy to stop terrorists from using social media to advance their message of hate.”

District Update

The Town of Apple Valley Offers El Nino Resource Information


With El Nino storms estimated to be their strongest in years, the Town of Apple Valley and Apple Valley Fire Protection District are getting prepared...and citizens should too.

The Town has created a page on its website with helpful resources and links to help residents get through the upcoming rainy season safely. Don’t wait until the rain starts falling to get your property and emergency preparedness plans in order. Follow these tips now to ensure the safety and well-being of you and the ones you love:

• Make sure any necessary home repairs are complete
• Determine the areas on your property that may have flooded in the past. If needed utilize sandbags for those areas.
• Make sure your car’s tires have proper tread and windshield wipers are in proper working order.
• Never drive around marked flood barricades or into flood waters.
• Never attempt to walk or wade through flowing water. As little as 6 inches of water can sweep you off your feet causing a potentially life threatening situation.
• Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions and flooding in your area.
• Identify important items to take if your neighborhood is evacuated, such as computers, photos, important documents, medications, and other needed items for your family and pets.
• Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation is ordered. Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.
• Have enough food and water to supply your family for at least a 72-hour period.
• Always remember to include a radio and flashlight with fresh batteries in your kit.

For more information visit Click on services and emergency preparedness.

The City of Hesperia: Prepare for Flooding Before It Occurs


The most effective way to protect your property against flooding is to prepare before it rains. Preparations can consist of very simple home maintenance but, depending on your circumstances, may involve the construction of permanent drainage systems, walls or other measures to divert water, mud or debris.

Although rare in the High Desert, flood waters can be swift, powerful, and at times deadly. The National Weather Service is predicting that El Nino will likely peak during the 2015-16 winter season. The City of Hesperia, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are great resources for information on storms in this region.

The National Weather Service (NWS), along with FEMA's FloodSmart Program, shows the effects and costs of flooding to millions of people. This site provides essential information on what to know and do before, during and after a flood as well as a variety of safety tips and online tools. View the complete Flood Safety and Awareness article for more information about the importance of being prepared. Residents may also find this El Nino Preparedness checklist to be helpful.

It is important for residents to stay informed. During severe storms and other disasters and emergencies, the City of Hesperia will post important information and emergency updates on the City of Hesperia website as well as on City of Hesperia Facebook and Twitter pages. Encourage your friends and neighbors to follow the City of Hesperia on social media and to sign up for emergency alerts on the City website.

Sandbag Locations
If sandbags are needed to protect your house from flooding, City of Hesperia residents may pick them up during business hours at the following locations:

•City Hall at 9700 Seventh Ave
•Public Works Division at 17282 Mojave St
•Fire Station 302 at 17288 Olive St
•Fire Station 304 at 15660 Eucalyptus St
•Fire Station 305 at 8331 Caliente Ave

Ten sandbags will be allotted to each Hesperia household. For more information, contact the Public Works Division at (760) 947-1400.

City of Victorville Christmas Tree Collection Program


Once again, City of Victorville residents will be able to recycle Christmas trees at the curb. The City’s hauler, Victorville Disposal, will be picking up trees at curbside January 4-15 on customers’ regular trash collection day. The program is for residential customers on cart (barrel) service only.

Natural, flocked, and artificial trees will all be collected. Trees more than 6 feet tall should be cut in half and placed at the curb on the resident’s regular service day. All stands, plastic bags, and decorations must be removed.

Natural trees will be collected separately from trash and will be turned into mulch. The flocked trees will be collected and disposed of as trash, since the flocking material makes them unsuitable for composting or mulch.

After January 15, residents of single family homes can dispose of trees by scheduling a free bulky item pickup by calling Victorville Disposal at 760-245-8607.

City of Victorville residents can also drop off natural, un-flocked trees at American Organics, a composting business located at 20055 Shay Road Victorville. American Organics has offered to accept natural, un-flocked Christmas trees from Victorville residents for free through January 31. American Organics is open Monday through Friday from 7AM to 4PM and Saturdays from 7:00AM to 3:30PM. Trees dropped off to American Organics must be free of stands and all decorations.

Christmas trees or excess trash can also be disposed of for a charge at the County landfill on Stoddard Wells Road. Call the San Bernardino County Solid Waste Management Department at 1-800-722-8004 for landfill hours and fees.

For more information, Victorville residents should call Victorville Disposal at 760-245-8607 or visit the City of Victorville recycling information website at: 

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.

Veteran Job Fair Workshop


On Friday, January 8, 2016 a Veterans Job Fair Workshop will take place from 8AM to 1PM at the San Bernardino Employment Resource Center. This workshop will cover effective job fair preparation and follow-up techniques. Please dress for success and bring your resume.

The location of the San Bernardino Employment Resource Center is 658 East Brier Drive, Suite 100 in San Bernardino.

For more information, please call Hiderjiro Hiratuska at (909) 382-0478.

Veteran Driver License and ID Available


The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently launched the Veteran Driver License Initiative. This initiative allows California Veterans to obtain a "Veteran" designation on their California driver license or identification card (DL/ID). Interested Veterans need to present a valid DD-214 (must show discharge status) to a local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO) to receive Veteran Status verification. Then the Veteran takes the CVSO verification form to a DMV field office for processing.

DMV charges an additional $5, plus the cost of a new, renewal, or duplicate license fee for this enhancement.

For more information, please call 1-800-952-5626 or click here.