Congressman Paul Cook

Representing the 8th District of California
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District Update | October 31, 2017

Nov 1, 2017
Press Release

 

Congressman Cook Named Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere Subcommittee

 

Congressman Paul Cook was named chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The move follows Rep. Jeff Duncan’s departure from the committee earlier this week.

The Western Hemisphere Subcommittee covers political relations between the US and other nations in North and South America. Specifically, the committee conducts oversight on regional institutions, US foreign assistance, regional activities of the United Nations, and all regional security pacts.

Royce said, “As a former Marine Corps colonel, Rep. Cook is deeply committed to defending U.S. interests worldwide. I look forward to working with him to continue holding the Castro and Maduro regimes accountable for their brutal repression, while increasing U.S. commercial opportunities throughout the hemisphere.”

Congressman Cook said, “There are conflicts and crises around the world, but we have tough challenges in our own backyard. With the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, I plan to help hold accountable rogue regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, support our allies in their struggle against the drug cartels, and find ways to promote security and economic prosperity across the hemisphere. I’m honored to further the good work of the subcommittee and the work of my friend and full-committee Chairman Ed Royce in promoting American interests in the Western Hemisphere.”  

Congressman Cook Votes to Expand Sanctions against Iran

 

Congressman Paul Cook voted for HR 1698, the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act. This bill, which expands sanctions against Iran for its illicit ballistic missile program, passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly.

H.R. 1698 requires the President to impose sanctions on foreign persons and entities involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those who provide or receive conventional weapons from Iran.

According to a 2016 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the U.S. intelligence community suggests, “that Tehran would choose ballistic missiles as its preferred method of delivering nuclear weapons, if it builds them. Iran’s ballistic missiles are inherently capable of delivering [weapons of mass destruction], and Tehran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.”

Iran has conducted tests of ballistic missiles designed with the ability to deliver nuclear weapons and has acquired destabilizing types of conventional weapons.

Specifically, this legislation requires the President:

  • To report to Congress on the foreign and domestic supply chain in Iran that supports its ballistic missile program.
  • To impose sanctions against: (1) Iranian government agencies involved in ballistic missile development; (2) foreign entities that supply material for, or otherwise facilitate or finance such efforts; (3) foreign persons or foreign government agencies that import, export, or re-export prohibited arms or related material to or from Iran; and (4) foreign persons or entities that transfer goods or technologies contributing to Iran’s ability to acquire or develop ballistic missiles, including launch technology, and destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons.
  • To investigate potential violations of these sanctions and report to Congress regarding credible information about Iran’s violations of arms restrictions.

Congressman Cook said, “Iran continues to show it’s a dangerous threat the United States and its allies. This legislation requires a thorough investigation into the suppliers of the regime’s weapons programs. Iran is the most serious threat we face in the Middle East, and if we don’t push back now, Iran’s reach, influence, and support for terrorists will plague the world for years to come.”  

Iran's Support for Terror Must Stop

October 23 marked the 34th anniversary of the Marine Corps Barracks bombing in Beirut Lebanon. Two-hundred forty-one American service members were killed that day at the hands of Hezbollah. Over three decades later, Hezbollah is the most powerful political force in Lebanon and has even expanded its influence into southern Syria.

Similarly, in the Palestinian territories, Hamas continues to rule the Gaza Strip and has a strong presence in the West Bank, allowing it to continue a campaign of terror that has prevented any chance of lasting peace with Israel. In Iraq, Shi’a terrorist groups have murdered American and allied troops for years, preventing Iraq from ever knowing peace. Most recently, these same groups have swept into territory previously held by ISIS or our Kurdish allies and have begun terrorizing civilians.

In Syria, the regime of Bashar al-Assad remains in power despite its responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of its own people, and the displacement of millions. In Yemen, the Houthi rebels murder civilians and have caused famine and disease on an unbelievable scale.

These terrorist groups are ultimately responsible for their own actions, and the U.S. and our allies hold them accountable in a variety of ways, including with military action. However, all of these groups have one common link that supersedes other commonalities. It’s not in their warped versions of Islam, their apocalyptic worldviews, or even their hatred for the U.S. It’s their support from and close relationship with Iran.

There is no single greater destabilizing force in the Middle East than Iran. Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran has assisted any regional terror group willing to accept its help. It began in much smaller form in the 1980s with their support for Hezbollah. Following the Marine Barracks bombing, the U.S. designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. Rather than change their behavior to lose that designation, Iran has increased their support for terrorists around the world exponentially.

Now that ISIS is crumbling, the most critical national security concern for the U.S. in the Middle East is countering Iran’s influence and support for terrorism. My colleagues and I on the House Foreign Affairs Committee understand this challenge, and we’ve pursued an aggressive agenda against Iran. This year alone, we’ve held fourteen hearings where Iran and its terrorist proxies have been a central focus. The House has passed nearly 20 pieces of relevant legislation, giving the President additional tools to counter the Iranian threat.

We can and must do more. Each front in this multi-faceted conflict against Iranian terror is unique and will require unique strategies and solutions. Diplomatically, we must be aggressive in strengthening our regional allies in this effort, fostering positive relationships, and identifying mutual interests where we can. Economically, we must isolate Iran, while also demonstrating how positive engagement and cooperation can bring prosperity and peace. Militarily, we must employ Reagan’s “peace through strength” mantra, so Iran knows that we can act with overwhelming and decisive force if necessary.

More commonly, we must train, equip, and advise our allies on how to lead their own fight, recognizing that peace must be earned by those who will be responsible for keeping it. This struggle against Iranian influence has been decades in the making and will not be quickly won. However this fight must be won, and by using all the tools available to us, it will be.

This editorial was published on October 29 in the Victor Valley Daily Press.

 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

 

Enjoy these 16 great tips from the San Bernardino County Fire Department to ensure that you have a safe Halloween.

For the original flyer, click here.

Shred Fest & Mulch Giveaway in Victorville

 

The City of Victorville is hosting their free shred fest to all Victor Valley Residents. Bring up to four 20-pound boxes of paper documents to shred for free. No business materials are allowed.  Documents are shredded on site by All Purpose Document Destruction. 

There will be a free mulch at the MRF during the fest and events. This is a "load your own" mulch giveaway, so be sure to bring your own shovels, as well as bags or other containers, to load mulch into. The giveaway is for residents only- no businesses or commercial vehicles. Mulch and compost limit is 50 gallons. 

IESBDC Training Event: Incorporating Your Small Business

 

Attend the free Inland Empire SBDC (IESBDC) Training Seminar where they will cover the process understanding which forms do you need, what processes will your new company need to follow to comply? This seminar will take place on Wednesday, November 1 at 9:00 located at the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce at 16010 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. 

Presenter Attorney Gary Foltz has over 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs incorporate their small businesses, and will discuss forming a corporation; the various forms of organization; selecting the type of organization that's right for you; as well as answering your business planning questions.

For questions, contact Mary Takovorian (909) 983-0751.

The High Desert Divas

 

Join the Adelanto Chamber of Commerce for their Annual High Desert Divas Finale where one diva will be crowned on November 9 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Victorville. The Holiday Inn is located at 15494 Palmdale Road in Victorville. 

For more information, click here .

26th Annual Golf Classic & John B. Sharp Memorial Poker Run 

 

Join the Yucaipa Chamber of Commerce for a great day on the golf course to support student scholarships.The 26th annual golf classic will take place on Friday, November 3 at 10:00 a.m. at the Yucaipa Valley Golf Club located at 33725 Chapman Heights Road in Yucaipa.

For more information, click here

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.

Suicide Prevention for Veterans

 

Register for the Rock Concert with Brent Payne to promote awareness of suicide prevention for our nation's veterans. This event will take place Wednesday, November 8 at VA Loma Linda Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) and will begin at 12 p.m.

For more information, click here. 

San Bernardino Valley College Veterans Resource Center Veterans Day Celebration

 

 

Join the San Bernardino Valley College Veterans Resource Center for their Veterans Day Celebration on November 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in room B-100.

Barstow College Veterans Day Resource Fair and Luncheon

 

Barstow Community College will host their Veterans Day event on November 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be a Veteran Community Resource Fair which will take place in the Performing Arts Center and Veterans luncheon starting at 11:30 a.m. 

For questions or RSVP, contact mbond@barstow.edu or call (760) 252-2411x7306.

Knott's Berry Farm Military Days