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Devin Nunes

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Title: Devin Nunes  
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Subject: California's 21st congressional district, California's 22nd congressional district, United States congressional delegations from California, United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2014, United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
Collection: 1973 Births, American People of Azorean Descent, American People of Portuguese Descent, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Alumni, California Republicans, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from California, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives
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Devin Nunes

Devin Nunes
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Mike Rogers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Kevin McCarthy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Bill Thomas
Succeeded by David Valadao
Personal details
Born Devin Gerald Nunes
(1973-10-01) October 1, 1973
Tulare, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Nunes
Children Evelyn, Julia, Margaret
Alma mater California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Religion Roman Catholicism

Devin Gerald Nunes, OIH, (born October 1, 1973) is the U.S. Representative for California's 22nd congressional district, serving since 2003. He is the twelfth and, at 42 years old, youngest Member of Congress in history to serve as chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Nunes' district, numbered as the 21st District from 2003 to 2013, is located in the San Joaquin Valley and includes most of western Tulare County, as well as much of eastern Fresno County. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is also the author of the book Restoring the Republic, published by WND Books in September 2010. Time magazine named Nunes one of the rising stars of American politics under 40, in their list of ″40 under 40″; that is, the top forty civic leaders under 40 years of age.[1] Nunes is a member of two committees in the House of Representatives: Ways and Means, where he was chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he is chairman.[2] He was co-chair of the Brazil Caucus and the U.S.-Mexico Friendship Caucus.


  • Early life, education, and career 1
  • Elections 2002–2014 2
  • U.S. Congress 3
    • Committees 3.1
    • Policies and legislation 3.2
      • Water 3.2.1
      • Energy 3.2.2
      • Federal spending, healthcare, state pensions 3.2.3
      • Transportation 3.2.4
      • Veterans 3.2.5
    • National security, foreign affairs, and trade 3.3
    • Controversies 3.4
    • Author 3.5
    • Committees 112th Congress 3.6
    • Committees 114th Congress 3.7
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life, education, and career

Nunes was born in Tulare, California, the oldest of two sons born to Anthony and Diane Nunes.[3] His family has operated a farm in Tulare County for three generations. The Nunes family is of Portuguese descent, immigrating from the Azores to California.[4]

Nunes graduated from Tulare Union High School. He is the second member of Congress to attend Tulare Union, following Olympic gold medalist Bob Mathias three decades later, who served in House of Representatives from 1967 to 1975. After associate's work at College of the Sequoias, Nunes 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 public office when he was 22 years old. He unseated an 18-year incumbent for a seat on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the College of the Sequoias, earning 65 percent of the vote.[5] He served as a trustee from 1996 to 2002.[6] In 2001, he was appointed by President George Radanovich.

Elections 2002–2014

Nunes' principal opponents in the crowded seven-way 2002 Republican 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. This was critical; 42% of the district's population was in Fresno County and 58% in Tulare County.[7] Patterson and Briggs split the vote in Fresno County, allowing Nunes to win by a four-point margin over Patterson, his nearest competitor. Nunes won 46.5% of the vote in Tulare County and 28.1% of the vote in Fresno County. In addition to Patterson and Briggs splitting Fresno County's vote, Nunes was also helped by a strong showing in the rural part of the district.[8] He won the endorsement of the California Farm Bureau and the Fresno Bee.[7] This district is solidly Republican, and Nunes coasted to victory in November. He has been reelected five times against only nominal Democratic opposition. During the June 8, 2010, California primary, Nunes actually received more write-in votes in the Democratic primary than the Democratic write-in candidate Ruben Macareno.[9][10] He ran unopposed in the 2010 general election.

Nunes' district was renumbered California's 22nd congressional district after the 2010 Census. With redistricting, Nunes lost most of eastern Tulare County to the neighboring 23rd District. California's 22nd congressional district also has an Hispanic plurality (44.8%). Based on recent elections totals, it remains predominately Republican. In the 2012 and 2014 general elections, Nunes won 61.88% and 70.58% respectively against Democratic opposition.[11]

U.S. Congress


During 108th Congress, Nunes' first term in Congress, he 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 the 109th Congress, Nunes was named to the House Ways and Means Committee. In January 2013, Nunes was named chairman of the Ways and Means Trade subcommittee.[12] He was also a member of the House Budget Committee during the 111th Congress. For the 112th United States Congress, Nunes was named to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was named chairman in the 114th Congress by Speaker John Boehner.

In 2003, Nunes became a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Republican Members of Congress of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.

Policies and legislation


On May 1, 2011, Nunes authored with the support of other members of the San Joaquin Valley's Republican Congressional Delegation the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act to restore the flow of water to the San Joaquin Valley. This later became the basis for another bill co-sponsored by Nunes, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, which passed the House of Representative in February 2014 but was not voted on by the Senate. Nunes co-sponsored a third water bill, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act, which passed the House of Representatives in December 2014 but was not voted on by the Senate. Water restrictions have been in place to enforce the Endangered Species Act and other environmental regulations which have seen water allocations decline dramatically even in non-drought years. The result has been what Nunes terms a "man-made drought".[13] Nunes wrote in National Review in April 2015, "The House of Representatives has passed three bills in the last three years that would have expanded California water supplies by rolling back damaging environmental regulations. These bills died amid opposition from Senate Democrats, Governor Brown, and President Obama." [14]

In February 2014, during a drought that had hit California, Nunes rejected any link between the drought and global warming, saying "Global warming is nonsense."[15] He criticized the federal government for shutting off portions of California’s system of water irrigation and storage, and diverting water into a program for freshwater salmon and the delta smelt. “There was plenty of water. This has nothing to do with drought."[16][17] Nunes elaborated on these themes in his April 2015 National Review article. At the time California farmers were under attack for using most of California's water, making the state's drought worse. Farmers were accused of using 80 percent of the water, often on water-intensive crops, such as almonds. Nunes, a third-generation dairy farmer, challenged media criticism of farmers. He wrote, "Farmers do not use 80 percent of California’s water. In reality, 50 percent of the water that is captured by the state’s dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, and other infrastructure is diverted for environmental causes. Farmers, in fact, use 40 percent of the water supply. Environmentalists have manufactured the 80 percent statistic by deliberately excluding environmental diversions from their calculations." [14] Nunes added that California's lack of adequate water storage facilities has only made the problem worse. He wrote, "Furthermore, in many years there are additional millions of acre-feet of water that are simply flushed into the ocean due to a lack of storage capacity — a situation partly explained by environmental groups’ opposition to new water-storage projects.[14] Returning to an argument he has made before regarding California's water storage and irrigation system, Nunes added, "The drought is a genuine problem in California, but our irrigation system was designed to withstand five years of drought."[14]


In 2006, Nunes authored the "American-Made Energy Freedom Act". 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.[18]

On July 28, 2010, Nunes introduced H.R. 5899, "A Roadmap for America's Energy Future". It accelerates the exploration and production of fossil fuel; supports the rapid development of market-based alternative energy supplies; and expands the number of nuclear reactors from the current 104 to 300 over the next 30 years.[19] Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal wrote that "It's a bill designed to produce energy, not restrict it. It returns government to the role of energy facilitator, not energy boss. It costs nothing and contains no freebies. It instead offers a competitive twist to government support of renewable energy."[20]

Federal spending, healthcare, state pensions

On January 27, 2010, Nunes became an original cosponsor of H.R. 4529, "A Roadmap for America's Future", sponsored by Paul Ryan.[21] H.R. 4529 proposes major reforms of the U.S. health care system, Social Security, the federal tax code, job training, and the budget process. The "Roadmap" claims to solve the problem of the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and provides for their long-term financial solvency. With respect to Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the plan would increase costs for States or those States would reduce enrollment; with respect to Medicare, the CBO has said the average senior would pay nearly twice what they currently contribute for the same coverage when the plan is fully implemented. On January 29, 2010, President Obama said that the "Roadmap" is a "legitimate" plan to solve the fiscal crisis facing the United States due to the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Medicaid.[22] Nunes was also a cosponsor of "Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2008", an earlier version of H.R. 4529.

Also in 2009, Nunes coauthored 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. The bill also proposes to adsorb Medicaid programs to the exchange system.[23] The Patients' Choice Act was incorporated into A Roadmap for America's Future.

On December 2, 2010, Nunes introduced H.R. 6484, the "Public Employee Pension Transparency Act".[24] Paul Ryan and Darrell Issa (R-CA) are cosponsors. H.R. 6484 enhances transparency for state and local pensions, and would establish a clear federal prohibition on any future public pension bailouts by the federal government.


California State Route 99 is a highway running north and south that breaks off from Interstate 5 at Wheeler Ridge in Kern County and continues through the Central Valley until it connects with I-5 again at Red Bluff in Tehama County. In 2005, Nunes introduced H.R. 99, which designated State Route 99 as a congressional High Priority Corridor. The bill also provided federal authorization for Highway 99 to become part of the Interstate Highway System. The bill became law as part of H.R. 3 in August 2005. On February 17, 2011, Nunes introduced H.R. 761, the "San Joaquin Valley Transportation Enhancement Act", which would give the State of California the option to redirect federal high-speed rail funds to finance improvements to Highway 99.[25] H.R. 761 was cosponsored by Jeff Denham (R-CA) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).[26]


The Hubbard Act of 2008, H.R.5825, was named in honor of the Hubbard brothers of California, Jared, Nathan, and Jason. Jared and Nathan lost their lives serving in Iraq. Jason Hubbard was discharged as a sole survivor, but denied separation benefits on leaving the Army. The Hubbard Act provides sole survivors a number of benefits already offered to other soldiers honorably discharged. Sole survivors also do not have to repay any portion of their enlistment bonus, are entitled to the educational benefits of the Montgomery GI Bill, and can receive separation pay and transitional healthcare coverage.

National security, foreign affairs, and trade

Nunes is a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s national security policies, calling for stronger measures, for example, to fight ISIS, support for Ukraine and other Eastern European countries threatened by Russian actions in the region, and efforts to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.[27] Nunes is also a prominent critic of the administration’s response to the Benghazi terror attack, Nunes was instrumental in bringing three security officers who fought in Benghazi to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. His actions were recorded in remarkable detail by the Weekly Standard, including controversies within the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence over the Benghazi investigations.[28]

As chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Nunes has oversight over some 17 military and national intelligence programs, including the CIA and other agency clandestine activities. Nunes travels extensively, like other HPSCI chairmen and members, and often to dangerous and strife-torn parts of the world. However, in the security sensitive and secretive world of intelligence, little is often disclosed in advance where HPSCI members travel to protect their safety, unless reported by HPSCI members themselves, the U.S or foreign governments, or international media.

As co-chair of the Brazil and Mexico caucuses, Nunes was selected by Speaker John Boehner to be a member of a well-publicized congressional delegation that the Speaker led to Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico in January 2012. Members of the delegation were Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI), Ways and Means Committee chairman; Doc Hastings (R-WA), Natural Resources Committee chairman; John Kline (R-MN), Education and the Workforce Committee chairman; Greg Walden (R-OR); and Dan Boren (D-OK). Boren was the sole Democrat on the trip.

As co-chair with Jared Polis (D-CO) of the U.S.-Mexico Friendship Caucus, Nunes along with members of the Congressional Hispanic Conference of the House of Representatives met with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico on April 24, 2012, in what is believed to be Calderón's final trip to Washington, D.C, as President of Mexico. Steny Hoyer, the Democratic Whip, also attended the meeting.[29]

Nunes has placed himself firmly in the middle of negotiations between the U.S. and Portuguese governments over the future of Lajes air base on the island of Terceira in the Azores. Since 2009, the Obama administration has had plans to reduce U.S. personnel at the air base, but has encountered strong opposition from the Portuguese government for a host of reasons, including future costs to the host government. Nunes, believing he is acting in U.S. interests, has blocked the Pentagon from implementing the plan. There are 650 military personnel and family members at the base. The Pentagon plan would reduce that number to some 150. Nunes' plans for the Azores would actually increase U.S. personnel. He is also proposing relocating Africa Command and European Command intelligence centers to the Azores, also contrary to plans by Pentagon and NATO to create a larger intelligence "fusion" facility in Britain. Nunes' plan would locate 1,000 intelligence personnel to the Azores. He maintains that this would save the U.S. money because cost of living and construction costs are less in the Azores than the U.K.[30] The Pentagon has a different view; writing, for example, on one of their websites, officials report, "Moving to Lajes Field is very expensive and living is expensive as well." Officials have also criticized the weather in the Azores, which only adds to the controversy of moving intelligence personnel to the U.K., a country not known for ideal weather conditions.[31] Whistleblowers have now come forward at the Pentagon, prompting Congress to investigate their allegations of manipulation and distortion of cost estimates of locating a new intelligence fusion center at the British airfield at Croughton,[32] near London, instead at Lajes. The result was to make relocating personnel near London appear cheaper than the Azores. Nunes has called the Pentagon cost estimates "laughable." He remarked, when asked about the congressional investigation, "You have the nicest base that you have in all of the Department of Defense, with cheaper annual costs on the cost of living, the housing allowance, not to mention the size and scope of the base. It was built to house 2,000 airmen. With Croughton you would have to build or rent this housing out."

In June 2015, Nunes attracted national and world media attention, when he said on an CBS' Face the Nation, "We face the highest threat level we have ever faced in this country, today. Even after 9/11.[33]


Nunes has been characterized as confrontational and sharped-tongued by his opponents.[34] He has been an unrelenting critic of the American left, particularly San Francisco Bay Area liberal activists and the environmental lobby.[35] He wrote in his book that members of the environmental lobby were "followers of neo-Marxist, socialist, Maoist or Communist ideals." [36] During the debate over President Obama's health care bill in the House of Representatives, Nunes said of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, "For most of the 20th century people fled the ghost of communist dictators and now you are bringing the ghosts back into this chamber." [37] He has also had a long-running dispute with another San Francisco Bay Area Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, over California water policy and other issues,[38] even running a series of advertisements against her in California.[39] This fueled media speculation, later denied, that Nunes would challenge her for the Senate.[40] He has said of Feinstein, "She is either held hostage by extremists or she is an extremist." [41] Nunes wrote in April 2015 of what he calls "environmental extremists" and the damage he charges they have done in pursuit of an environmental utopia, "Utterly convinced of the righteousness of their crusade, environmental extremists stop at nothing in pursuing their utopian conception of 'sustainability.' The interests of families, farmers, and entire communities — whose very existence is often regarded as an impediment to sustainability — are ignored and derided in the quest for an ever-more pristine environment free from human contamination."[14]

Nunes has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration's foreign policy referring to it as a "complete disaster". He has also called Obama administration officials "wimps" for being opposed to enhanced interrogation techniques but for using drones instead to deal with terrorists. "People complain about harsh interrogation yet are okay with vaporizing people. In reality, they are kind of wimps, because they are not willing to do the hard stuff of capturing and interrogating people to get actionable information. The enemy knows that this administration won't interrogate them," Nunes told the American Thinker.[42]

Nunes' verbal jousting is not restricted to liberals in Congress or the Obama administration. During the October 2013 budget standoff, Nunes famously called certain members of his own Republican Conference who favored a government shutdown, "Lemmings with suicide vests, it's kind of an insult to lemmings to call them lemmings" because of their tactics.[43][44][45]

In May 2014, Nunes came under fire when he charged that Congressman Justin Amash was "al-Qaeda's best friend in Congress" due to the Michigan Congressman's voting record on National Security Agency surveillance. At the time, Amash had voted in opposition to a Nunes water bill for California "on constitutional grounds." Nunes' statement about Amash linked the two issues, with him adding that Amash was acting as an ally of San Francisco liberals, who were opponents of Nunes' California water bills and NSA policies: “He’s been leading the charge and not telling the truth about [NSA surveillance policies]. He’s been fanning the flames, and it gets to the point where my assessment is this is a guy willing to work with San Francisco Democrats to protect bait fish, and at the same time he’s Al Qaeda’s best friend in the Congress.” [46]

In February 2015, during debate over Department of Homeland Security funding, Nunes showed again that he had not lost any of his colorfulness or verbal sharpness with opponents, in again criticizing certain conservative members of the Republican Conference: "I prefer to be in the arena voting than trying to placate a small group of phony conservative members who have no credible policy proposals and no political strategy to stop Obama’s lawlessness. While conservative leaders are trying to move the ball up the field, these other members sit in exotic places like basements of Mexican restaurants and upper levels of House office buildings, seemingly unaware that they can’t advance conservatism by playing fantasy football with their voting cards." [47]


On September 13, 2010, Nunes' book, Restoring the Republic: A Clear, Concise, and Colorful Blueprint for America's Future was published by WND Books, an imprint of WorldNetDaily. He also wrote a forward to the novel Home Is An Island by famed Portuguese-American author Alfred Lewis. Originally a bestseller when published by Random House in 1951, Nunes' forward is in the 2012 edition by Tagus Press, an imprint of the Center for Portuguese Culture and Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth In the forward, Nunes wrote about the experience of Azoreans immigrating to America: "Lewis’ classic book remains relevant today. Home Is An Island says a lot about America and immigrants in the early twentieth century, and how they decided to come to America. It describes in countless ways how Azoreans viewed themselves as Americans long before they left the Azores.[48]

Committees 112th Congress

Committees 114th Congress

Personal life

Nunes is married to Elizabeth Nunes (née Tamariz), with whom he has three daughters—Evelyn, Julia, and Margaret.[3]


  1. ^ Devin Nunes - 40 Under 40 - TIME
  2. ^ US home prices rise strong 12.1 percent in June
  3. ^ a b [2]
  4. ^ 'I broke so many tractors, they made me work with the cows' | TheHill
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ CA Secretary of State - Vote2002 - United States Congress District 21 - Tulare County
  9. ^
  10. ^ County of Fresno - County Clerk Registrar of Voters - June 8, 2010 Statewide Direct Primary
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nunes to chair subcommittee on trade
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d e
  15. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu; Davenport, Coral (February 14, 2014). "Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California".  
  16. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (14 February 2014). "Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California".  
  17. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (14 February 2014). "Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California".  
  18. ^ American-Made Energy Freedom Act of 2006 (2006; 109th Congress H.R. 5890) -
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ RepDevinNunes - YouTube
  22. ^
  23. ^ FDsys - Browse Congressional Bills
  24. ^
  25. ^ San Joaquin Valley Transportation Enhancement Act of 2011 (2011; 112th Congress H.R. 761) -
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Hayes, Stephen F.; Joscelyn, Thomas (December 15, 2014). "The Benghazi Report".  
  29. ^
  30. ^ Barnes, Julian E.(June 16, 2015) "U.S., Portugal Wrangle Over Fate of U.S. Base in Azores," Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  31. ^,P4_INST_TYPE:360,INSTALLATION Retrieved 7 July 2015
  32. ^ Lake, Eli (July 20, 2015). "Congress Probing Pentagon 'Manipulation' of U.K. Base Plan".  
  33. ^ CBS Face the Nation (June 21, 2015). "Intel Chairman: Facing highest threat level in years". Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  34. ^ Lawmakers get testy in water debate | Turlock Recent News | Modesto Bee
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ Nunes contemplating bid against Feinstein |
  39. ^ RealClearPolitics - Politics - Nov 07, 2011 - GOP congressman runs TV ads attacking Feinstein
  40. ^ Nunes staffer says congressman won't challenge Feinstein | Politics | McClatchy DC
  41. ^
  42. ^ Articles: A Tale of Three Cabinet Nominees
  43. ^ Nunes calls fellow House Republicans ‘Lemmings with suicide vests’ - The Washington Post
  44. ^
  45. ^ GOP civil war rages on -
  46. ^ Establishment takes on die-hard tea partier
  47. ^
  48. ^ "The Portuguese in the Americas Series". 
  49. ^ "HPSCI Majority Members". Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

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

Succeeded by
David Valadao
Preceded by
Kevin McCarthy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd congressional district

Preceded by
Mike Rogers
Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tim Murphy
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mike Rogers
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