Schiff Offers Amendment to Address the Threat Posed by Improvised Explosive Devices

Washington, D.C. – Reacting 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, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) today will offer an amendment in the House Rules Committee that would 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.  If the Rules Committee makes the amendment in order, it will be considered on the House Floor tomorrow during debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122).

“I remain concerned that the Pentagon has not moved with the urgency it must to address the continuing devastation of improvised explosive devices,” Schiff said.  “These bombs kill Americans almost every day; no effort should be spared to stop them.”

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

  • An update on the technology and innovations being used in the design of IEDs;
  • Information on the tactics employed by the enemy in terms of the placement of IEDs;
  • Information on the tactics and technology used by the enemy to detonate IEDs;
  • Any evidence of assistance by foreign countries or other opposition forces.

Lastly, the amendment would require the report to include information regarding the U.S. military’s ability to defend itself when encountering IEDs.  The report must also include details regarding: the percentage of HUMVEES in Iraq and Afghanistan that are armored; the effectiveness of armored HUMVEES; the status of any effort aimed at improving the protection against IEDs; and any obstacles getting in the way of the implementation of any newly designed protective measures.

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.