Schiff Amendment to Address the Threat Posed by Improvised Explosive Devices Sent to the President's Desk for a Signature

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House approved a measure authored by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) to require the Secretary of Defense to submit quarterly reports to Congress regarding the threat posed by IEDs and the efforts being undertaken to eliminate such a threat. Rep. Schiff introduced the amendment in reaction to continuing news reports dating back to the beginning of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan that have highlighted the catastrophic dangers associated with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and continuing concerns over the Defense Department’s response to the problem.  The bill was included in the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report (H.R. 5122) and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

“Almost every day, we receive the grim news that an American soldier or Marine has been killed by an IED,” Schiff said.  “I have never been satisfied that we are moving quickly enough to detect, disarm or safely detonate IEDs.  This measure will give Congress the ability to monitor the fight against IEDs in order to ensure we are making every effort we can to defeat them.  I am please my colleagues supported my measure; we must do everything possible to protect our troops from the devastating effects of improvised explosive devices.”

The amendment will require each report to include information regarding every incident involving the detonation or discovery of an IED in the past 90 days.  In assessing the threat posed by the IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan the report will include the following:

  • Any work being done by any office in the Department of Defense or by military department that focuses on counteringIEDs;
  • Any countermeasures being used and their success rate; 
  • Any evidence of assistance by foreign countries or other opposition forces;
  • A list and summary of information or reports developed by the Department of Defense and Armed Forces on counter-IEDefforts;
  • The status of any and all efforts within the Department of Defense and the Armed Forces to research, develop, test, andevaluate countermeasures and what is being done to speedup their introduction.

Congressman Schiff is a former federal prosecutor and the co-founder of the Democratic Study Group on National Security.  He serves on both the House Judiciary and International Relations committees.  He represents California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.