Adam in the News


Obama’s Call for Force Authorization Against Islamic State Exposes Split (Wall Street Journal)

WASHINGTON-In a State of the Union speech that avoided a usual laundry list of requests to Congress, President Barack Obama was particularly direct about one: Asking lawmakers to formally authorize military action against Islamic State. "Take a vote," the president told lawmakers Tuesday, arguing that the action would be the best way for Congress to send a signal to the world that the U.S. is unified in the war against ISIS. But almost a year and a half after the U.S. initiated airstrikes … Continue Reading


2 Democrats Seek to Take Gunmakers’ Liability Shield (New York Times)

With little path for significant gun control legislation this year, two Democrats are pursuing another uphill battle that they hope will have more resonance: removing gunmakers' protection from liability in cases of gun violence. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, are circulating a bill that would repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 and which for the most part sh… Continue Reading


California must beware of gap between public, private colleges (Sacramento Bee)

Over the past year, I have watched my daughter Alexa navigate the challenges and stresses of applying to college. It has been a treat visiting campuses around the country, but it has also opened my eyes to the growing disparity in investment between public and private institutions. We are blessed in California to have some of the finest universities in the world, with extraordinary UC and Cal State systems and private institutions such as Stanford, Caltech and others too numerous to mention. … Continue Reading


Paul Ryan Orders Closer Look at Authorizing War Against ISIS (New York Times)

WASHINGTON - Speaker Paul D. Ryan has ordered the House majority leader and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to begin talking to members about the feasibility of a measure that would authorize war against the Islamic State militant group. Mr. Ryan's belief that Congress should exercise its constitutional role and institutional voice on matters of war puts him on a potential collision path with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and many other congressional Republi… Continue Reading


House Committee to Consider Safeguards for Handling Communications Intercepted by NSA (Wall Street Journal)

WASHINGTON-The U.S. House Intelligence Committee will consider whether new safeguards are needed for handling communications intercepted by the National Security Agency that involve U.S. lawmakers or other Americans, the top Democrat on the panel said on Wednesday. The move follows a report in The Wall Street Journal about how the NSA targeted Israeli communications during the 2015 congressional debate over a nuclear accord with Iran. The Journal said the NSA targeted the communications of Isra… Continue Reading


What NASA’s $1.3 billion budget increase means for JPL (Pasadena Star News)

Though NASA has not specifically allocated the unusually high $19.3 billion budget approved this month by Congress, one clear winner is NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The omnibus spending bill increased NASA's budget by $1.3 billion over last year and earmarked funds for two of JPL's future robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter's moon, Europa. The Mars 2020 Rover, a follow up to 2011's Curiosity rover, received $250 million, while NASA's mission to explore the frozen moon Europa received… Continue Reading


Congress needs debate on declaring war (CNN)

With the passage of an omnibus spending bill, adult behavior may be breaking out in Congress. Now, as we prepare to enter the new year, members should not shirk their basic constitutional responsibility to declare war. In January, they owe the American people a special session of Congress: a televised, bicameral debate on an updated authorization to use military force, known as an AUMF, covering the undeclared wars the United States has already been fighting across the Middle East. Preside… Continue Reading


Kids Get Hurt at Residential Schools While States Look on (Pacific Standard Magazine)

After slamming his fists into the wall until his knuckles dripped with blood, the raging teenage boy turned to a staff member and shoved him. The teen had recently been admitted to Youth Development Institute, a residential program for children with emotional and behavioral disorders in Phoenix, Arizona. Even the smallest incidents triggered his anger. Years ago, the response would have been swift and physical: The boy would have been forced to the ground and restrained until he grew calm, wh… Continue Reading


Lautenberg amendment for religious refugees extended for a year (Jewish Telegraph Agency)

WASHINGTON (JTA) - A law facilitating resettlement for Iranian religious minorities, including Jews, seeking refuge was extended for another year. The language, known as the Lautenberg amendment, was included in the massive spending bill passed by Congress and signed this week into law by President Barack Obama. "The Lautenberg amendment has served as a lifeline for over two decades to tens of thousands of Jewish, Christian, Baha'i, and other religious minorities fleeing Iran and the Forme… Continue Reading


Shaking Things Up (Pasadena Weekly)

Congress has included $8.2 million for the Earthquake Early Warning System in its proposed budget for the coming year, "a very substantial sum in these budget constrained times," said US Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). "The Early Warning System will give us critical time for trains to be slowed and surgeries to be stopped before shaking hits - saving lives and protecting infrastructure," said Schiff. Schiff called the early warning system "an investment we need to make now, not after the 'bi… Continue Reading


Top Democrat says Obama too slow in fight against ISIS (Fox News)

A top Democrat on Sunday criticized the pace of the Obama administration's war against the Islamic State, saying the U.S. needs to "change the dynamic on the ground." Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a top Democrat who has been critical of the administration's policy, said he supports creating a no-fly or buffer zone -- "something that can end the refugee flows, something that can give space and time to train up forces to take on ISIS." President Obama has rejected implementing a no-fly zone ne… Continue Reading


$8.2 Million Approved For Earthquake Early Warning System In California (LAist)

Congress has approved $8.2 million for an early warning system that will give a few seconds or more of notice before an earthquake hits the West Coast. Funding for the West Coast Earthquake Warning System was approved on Friday, and tops the $6.5 million that was approved for the same program last year, reports NBC LA. The system,currently in the testing phase, will use sensors that relay information about the location and strength of seismic activity, in order to give even a small amount of … Continue Reading


Burbank officials seek mandatory curfew at Bob Hope Airport (Los Angeles Times)

Local city government and airport officials were in Washington, D.C. this week to brief senior Federal Aviation Administrationofficials on a "conceptual term sheet" that outlines certain conditions for the possible construction of a 14-gate replacement terminal at Bob Hope Airport. They also broached the topic of a mandatory nighttime curfew at the airfield. During the meeting Wednesday in the office of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), who had arranged the sit-down, an FAA official told local re… Continue Reading


Congress approves $8.2M for California earthquake early warning system (Pasadena Star News)

Congress approved a funding bill Friday that includes $8.2 million for an early warning system capable of giving a few seconds or more of notice before an earthquake hits in the West Coast, a local congressman said. The funding for the West Coast Earthquake Warning System exceeds last year's $6.5 million amount approved for the same program, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank. The $8.2 million also is higher than the $5 million that was proposed by President Barack Obama for the fisc… Continue Reading


Pallone, Schiff Slam OSCE Ambassador’s Praise for Turkey (Asbarez)

WASHINGTON-Just hours after U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Daniel Baer's statement citing Turkey's "valuable" role in Nagorno Karabakh mediation efforts was released, Members of Congress began to express serious concerns about the top diplomat's controversial assessment, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) explained he is "troubled by the recent statement p… Continue Reading


How the United States Can Win the Cyberwar of the Future (Foreign Policy)

There is perhaps no national security problem more 21st century in both its definition and form than cybersecurity. And yet to solve it, the ready solution in nearly every U.S. national security conversation today is that tried and true 20th-century framework of deterrence. The conventional wisdom echoes back to the Cold War, the last period of long-term conflict. It argues that the best way to stop the frustrating array of cyberattacks on the United States - ranging from credit card theft, t… Continue Reading


Congress approves first major cyber bill in years (The Hill)

The final text of a major cybersecurity bill passed both chambers of Congress on Friday as part of a sweeping omnibus spending package. The bill, which provides incentives for companies to share data on hacking threats with the government without fear of facing customer lawsuits, now heads to the president's desk. The White House has indicated it will sign the $1.15 trillion spending bill, which will also make the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 law. The bill is the biggest piece of cyber le… Continue Reading


What California stands to gain from Congress' budget deal (Los Angeles Times)

The sweeping budget deal - a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill - tackles a number of policy areas, including making some $650 billion in tax breaks permanent, adopting new cybersecurity rules and repealing a decades-old ban on crude oil exports. These types of year-end bills are loaded with spending in just about every area of government, and are sometimes referred to as "Christmas trees." So what's in it for California? The bill extends tax credits for wind and solar energy developm… Continue Reading


Government privacy watchdog set to lose power to examine covert action (Washington Post)

A measure to strip a government watchdog's ability to conduct oversight of U.S. covert action programs is expected to pass Congress as early as this week as part of a larger must-pass budget bill. The measure is a jab at the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent executive-branch agency whose job is to ensure that the government's counterterrorism programs respect Americans' privacy and civil liberties. The board's chairman, David Medine, upset the committee's … Continue Reading


Early Quake Warning System for West Coast? Funding Bill Headed for Vote (West Hollywood Patch)

An early warning system that could give a few seconds or more of notice before an earthquake hits in the West Coast could receive up to $8.2 million in federal funding under a bill headed to a House vote Friday, a congressman said Thursday. The funding -- which would go the West Coast Earthquake Warning System -- will exceed last year's $6.5 million amount approved for the same program, according to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank. The proposed $8.2 million also is higher than the $5 million t… Continue Reading

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