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Devin Nunes


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 2003
Preceded by Bill Thomas

Born October 1, 1973 (1973-10-01) (age 36)
Tulare, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Nunes
Residence Tulare, California
Alma mater California Polytechnic State University
Occupation farmer
Religion Roman Catholic

Devin Nunes (born October 1, 1973), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2003, representing California's 21st congressional district (map). The district, located in the San Joaquin Valley, includes all of Tulare County, as well as much of eastern Fresno County.

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Background

Nunes was born in Tulare, California. His family has operated a farm in Tulare County for three generations. After associate's work at College of the Sequoias, he graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and a master’s degree in agriculture.

Nunes was first elected to office when he was 22 years old. He unseated an 18-year incumbent for a seat on the Board of Trustees of the College of the Sequoias. Nunes earned 65 percent of the vote.[1] He served as a trustee from 1996-2002.[2] In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as California State Director for the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development section. He left this post later in the year to run for the Republican nomination in the 21st, California's newest congressional district. His principal opponents in the crowded seven-way primary were former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson and State Assemblyman Mike Briggs. Nunes was the only major candidate from Tulare County, while Patterson and Briggs were both from Fresno. Patterson and Briggs split the Fresno vote, allowing Nunes to win by a narrow four-point margin over Patterson. This district is heavily Republican, and Nunes coasted to victory in November. He has been reelected three times against only nominal Democratic opposition.

Congressional career

During his first two terms in Congress, Nunes served on the House Resources Committee, where he was chairman of its National Parks Subcommittee. He was also a member of the Agriculture and Veterans Affairs committees. In 2006, Nunes was named to the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a member of the House Budget Committee, and is an Assistant Republican whip.

In 2006, Nunes authored the American-Made Energy Freedom Act, which proposed the largest investment in clean, renewable energy in U.S. history. In July 2008, the Republican Conference introduced the American Energy Act, which included a key Nunes proposal from the American-Made Energy Freedom Act to establish a renewable energy trust fund from revenues generated by deep ocean and Arctic coastal plain exploration and invest the monies in alternative fuels and technology.[3] Nunes supports what is called an “all-of-the-above” approach to U.S. energy policy. Every option must be on the table, if Americans are ever to achieve energy independence. The U.S. should invest in solar and other energy alternatives to fossil fuel when it is economically feasible; but Americans must also explore untapped petroleum resources in an environmentally responsible way and invest in the latest nuclear technology.

In 2009, Nunes co-authored the Patients' Choice Act with Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the House, and Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) in the Senate. The Patient's Choice Act would establish a system of state health insurance exchanges and amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a refundable tax credit for qualified health care insurance coverage, all with the goal of improving patients' access to private health insurance. The bill also proposes to absorb Medicaid programs into the exchange system. [4] Another key provision of the Patients' Choice Act is the requirement that the Secretary of Health and Human Services convene an inter-agency committee to develop a national strategy for health promotion and disease prevention.[5] Nunes said when the bill was introduced: "The American people deserve a health care system that is centered on their individual needs. Our bill will allow us to achieve this goal, while improving health outcomes, lowering cost and guaranteeing access to health care for every single American."[6]

Nunes is an outspoken critic of the water and fiscal crises in California. He has written two articles on these topics for the Wall Street Journal. In "California’s Gold Rush Has Been Reversed," Nunes criticizes the tax and regulatory policies of the state government, which he says are driving people out of California. He advocates two major reforms: a part-time, non-partisan legislature and fundamental reform of taxation and spending, which would include two-year budgeting, ending budget stalemates, spending controls, and refunding budget surpluses.[7]

In "It’s Fish Versus Farmers in the San Joaquin Valley," Nunes continues his criticism of the man-made drought in the San Joaquin Valley where, because of the Endangered Species Act, the federal government and the radical environmentalists have, according to Nunes, chosen "fish over families."[8]

Nunes is a frequent guest on the Ray Appleton Show on KMJ in Fresno, California[9] to discuss issues affecting the San Joaquin Valley, including the man-made drought in California. He has also had two notable appearances on Hannity[10]to discuss the water crises in the San Joaquin Valley, both on location in Huron, California.

On November 7, 2009, Nunes joined 176 Republicans and 39 Democrats in opposing H.R.3962, "Affordable Health Care for America Act," [11] the largest health care bill to pass the House of Representatives since Medicare. Nunes said on the House floor in opposition to the bill, "... we are being asked now to create a new trillion-dollar, government-run health care program despite the fact that we can't pay for the two existing government programs that we have today - Medicare and Medicaid. These two programs have at least $62 trillion in debt that this Congress refuses to recognize. Let me repeat that again: $62 trillion in debt that we face with our two existing government-run health care programs. Mr. Speaker, with $1 trillion here and $1 trillion there, pretty soon, you are talking about real money. What is worse is that, despite all of this spending during record times of high unemployment, this bill will kill American jobs, exporting them overseas. In the meantime, our government leaders continue to run over and grovel to the Chinese to borrow more money to finance the spending. Mr. Speaker, Rome is burning while this Congress fiddles. This Congress is so irresponsible, so reckless, it's like watching a broke, drunk gambler continuing to double down, just trying to break even." [12]

Nunes is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Republican congressmen of Hispanic and Portuguese descent, and a co-chair of the Congressional Brazil Caucus.

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Committee Assignments

Notes

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Thomas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st congressional district

2003–
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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