Devin Nunes

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Devin Nunes
Devin Nunes, official color photo portrait.jpg
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 (age 41)
Tulare, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
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. The 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 is chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.[2] He is also co-chair of the Brazil Caucus and the U.S.-Mexico Friendship Caucus.

Early life, education, and career[edit]

Nunes was born in Tulare, California. 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.[3]

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.[4] He served as a trustee from 1996 to 2002.[5] 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 congressional district, a new California district created through reapportionment after the 2000 United States census. Before 2002, the 21st congressional district was part of three districts represented respectively by Bill Thomas, Cal Dooley, and George Radanovich.

Elections 2002–2010[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7] He won the endorsement of the California Farm Bureau and the Fresno Bee.[6] 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.[8][9] He ran unopposed in the 2010 general election.

Nunes' district was renumbered as the 22nd District after the 2010 census. It lost most of eastern Tulare County to the neighboring 23rd District, and became plurality-Hispanic. However, it is no less Republican than its predecessor.

U.S. Congress[edit]


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.[10] 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.

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[edit]


On May 1, 2011, Nunes with the other members of the San Joaquin Valley's Republican Congressional Delegation introduced the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act to restore the flow of water to the San Joaquin Valley. Water restrictions have been in place to enforce the Endangered Species Act, which has seen water allocations decline dramatically even in non-drought years. The result has been what Nunes terms a "man-made drought".[11]

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." 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. “There was plenty of water. This has nothing to do with drought."[12][13]


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.[14]

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.[15] 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."[16]

Federal spending, healthcare, state pensions[edit]

On January 27, 2010, Nunes became an original cosponsor of H.R. 4529, "A Roadmap for America's Future", sponsored by Paul Ryan.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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".[20] 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.[21] H.R. 761 was cosponsored by Jeff Denham (R-CA) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).[22]


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[edit]

As a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Nunes would have oversight over 17 military and national intelligence programs, including the CIA and other clandestine activities. He appears to travel extensively as a committee member. Unlike most congressional travel, in the highly secretive world of intelligence little is disclosed where Members of Congress travel unless reported by the House intelligence committee, foreign governments, or international media. Committee records indicate that Nunes has traveled to Europe, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia during 2011–2012.[23] Foreign country news reports reveal that Nunes was in Kashmir in November 2011 with Mac Thornberry (R-TX) also a member of the House intelligence committee and vice-chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, as part of a larger trip to India. It was further reported (and photographed) that they met with Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.[24]

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.[25]


Nunes has been referred to as brash and sharped-tongued by his opponents.[26] He has had a long-running dispute with Senator Dianne Feinstein over water policy and other issues,[27] running a series of ads against her in California.[28] There was even speculation that Nunes would challenge her for the Senate.[29] 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.[30]

During the October 2013 budget standoff, Representative Nunes called the leadership of his caucus "Lemmings with suicide vests, it's kind of an insult to lemmings to call them lemmings" because he expected his party would get most of the blame when the government shut down. [31] [32] [33]

In May 2014, Nunes came under fire when he made the charge that Congressman Justin Amash was "al-Qaeda's best friend in Congress" due to Amash's voting record on war, foreign policy, and civil liberties.[34]


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.

Committees 112th Congress[edit]

Committees 114th Congress[edit]


  1. ^ Devin Nunes - 40 Under 40 - TIME
  2. ^ US home prices rise strong 12.1 percent in June
  3. ^ 'I broke so many tractors, they made me work with the cows' | TheHill
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ CA Secretary of State - Vote2002 - United States Congress District 21 - Tulare County
  8. ^
  9. ^ County of Fresno - County Clerk Registrar of Voters - June 8, 2010 Statewide Direct Primary
  10. ^ Nunes to chair subcommittee on trade
  11. ^
  12. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (14 February 2014). "Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California". New York Times. 
  13. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (14 February 2014). "Obama Announces Aid for Drought-Stricken California". New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  14. ^ American-Made Energy Freedom Act of 2006 (2006; 109th Congress H.R. 5890) -
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ RepDevinNunes - YouTube
  18. ^
  19. ^ FDsys - Browse Congressional Bills
  20. ^
  21. ^ San Joaquin Valley Transportation Enhancement Act of 2011 (2011; 112th Congress H.R. 761) -
  22. ^
  23. ^ Lawmakers spend millions on foreign travel to more than 120 countries | Politics | McClatchy DC
  24. ^ US CODEL led by Mac Thornbery calls on Omar | Kashmir Media Watch
  25. ^
  26. ^ Lawmakers get testy in water debate | Turlock Recent News | Modesto Bee
  27. ^ Nunes contemplating bid against Feinstein |
  28. ^ RealClearPolitics - Politics - Nov 07, 2011 - GOP congressman runs TV ads attacking Feinstein
  29. ^ Nunes staffer says congressman won't challenge Feinstein | Politics | McClatchy DC
  30. ^ Articles: A Tale of Three Cabinet Nominees
  31. ^ Nunes calls fellow House Republicans ‘Lemmings with suicide vests’ - The Washington Post
  32. ^
  33. ^ GOP civil war rages on -
  34. ^ Establishment takes on die-hard tea partier
  35. ^ "HPSCI Majority Members". Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

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