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Los Angeles County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Legislative work

By Adam B. Schiff

Candidate for United States Representative; District 28

This information is provided by the candidate
MAKING US MORE SECURE As a member of the State / Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, Schiff oversees the conduct of our foreign policy and the distribution of foreign assistance. Schiff is especially interested in using his position on the subcommittee to bring more attention to bear on our relationship with Pakistan, which he sees as indispensable in the fight against al Qaeda. Similarly, Schiff is also interested in helping to build Afghan institutions and to stave off collapse in Yemen and somehow resuscitate Somalia.

Schiff is committed to formal American recognition of the Armenian Genocide and to building greater regional security in the South Caucasus today. He supports aid to Armenia, assistance and self-determination for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and strong limits on American assistance to Azerbaijan.

As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Congressman Schiff has worked to strengthen our foreign intelligence-gathering capabilities while ensuring that Americans' civil liberties are protected.

PROTECTING US FROM CRIME Congressman Schiff has led the drive to address the rape kit backlog in Los Angeles by securing millions in federal funding for both the City and County, as well as to establish a new regional DNA lab in the Glendale Police Department. In addition to millions he has obtained through the appropriations process, he has fought for changes to federal rules that reduce the efficiency of crime labs that work with DNA evidence, particularly rape kits that are awaiting processing. Most recently, the FBI agreed to undertake a full review of their requirement that public labs conduct a time-consuming and duplicative review of DNA evidence processed with the help of private labs.

Schiff is sponsor of the Child Protection Improvements Act which passed the House by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 412-4. The legislation would improve and make permanent an existing pilot program that allows child serving nonprofits such as mentoring organizations to access affordable, accurate, and fast FBI background checks. These checks help ensure that children are protected from predators and that non-profits have the best information when they make decisions pairing children with adult volunteers.

Congressman Schiff is lead Democratic sponsor of the Managing Arson Through Criminal History Act (MATCH Act), which would expand the tools for investigators of arson crimes. The bill would incentivize the creation of databases at the state level of repeat arsonists and require those arsonists to register with their local areas. Arson is one of the most difficult crimes to investigate, and the cause of many destructive wildfires in the Los Angeles region. The MATCH Act passed the House by voice vote and is awaiting additional action in the Senate.

Congressman Schiff is an original sponsor of the Katie Sepich Enhanced DNA Collection Act which would incentivize the collection DNA from arrestees, making the national DNA index system strong and more able to solve crimes. Certain states, including California, would be eligible for a 10 percent bonus in certain formula law enforcement grants because they have previously adopted policies of collecting DNA samples from all arrestees for serious felonies. Congressman Schiff has been advocating for this change for many years and has previously offered language that was passed by the House to implement the change, though it has not yet passed the Senate. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 357-32 and awaits action in the Senate.

EXTENDING HEALTH CARE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: Congressman Schiff was one of the leaders to advocate for a public health insurance option during the Health Care reform debate. According to the non-partisan CBO office, a public option, competing alongside private health insurance options, would bring down national and public health costs, expand access to quality affordable care, and reduce our national deficits.

He upported legislation to overhaul our broken health care system. The Affordable Care Act will provide coverage to 32 million more people, or more than 94% percent of Americans, while lowering health care costs over the long term. This historic legislation will reduce the deficit by $143 billion over the next ten years, with $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction in the following 10 years.

WORKING TO IMPROVE OUR KIDS' EDUCATION: Schiff worked with his colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to secure additional funding for education jobs, wrote Congressional leadership urging them to work to find legislative vehicles for supplemental education jobs funding, and voted for a bill, H.R. 1586, that will save 16,500 jobs in California alone.

Supported legislation in early 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that established a $39.5 billion fund that went to local school districts and was used to restore state education cuts; prevent teacher layoffs; prevent other education cutbacks; modernize, renovate, and repair public schools.

Schiff supported the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, that invests $36 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $5,975 by 2017. The bill converts all new federal student lending to the Direct Loan program, rather than being routed through private lenders. This will save taxpayers $61 billion over the 10 years, and will reduce the deficit by at least $10 billion over 10 years.

ENSURING AMERICA'S LEADERSHIP IN SPACE Congressman Schiff's service on the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has enabled him to work to ensure that CalTech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory remain at the center of some of America's boldest scientific adventures. JPL is currently preparing to send an unmanned rolling laboratory to Mars and has begun preparations for a new mission to Jupiter that will explore the giant planet's moons sometime in the late 2020s or early 2030s. Schiff has also been an outspoken supporter of President Obama's plan to reorient the government's space efforts as we prepare for an eventual manned trip to Mars sometime later in this century.

IMPROVING TRANSPORTATION Congressman Schiff has had numerous discussions with the mayor of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County MTA to urge them to start construction on the Gold Line as soon as possible. As a result of these conversations, ground was broken on phase 2A of the Gold Line in June. The project should be completed by 2014 at the latest. Construction work on phase 2A is expected to create 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic activity. To ensure that phase 2B of the gold line can be completed, Schiff along with his colleague, Rep. Judy Chu, secured $650,000 in the FY2011 THUD appropriations bill that passed the house in July. This funding will allow the project to complete the environmental work necessary to compete for federal funds for phase 2B.

Schiff has long been a strong supporter of high speed rail in California. He has signed on to numerous letters of support from the California Congressional delegation to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, urging the secretary to steer a large portion of the $8 billion in stimulus funds for high speed rail to California. Ultimately, Representative Schiff participated in the announcement event with Sec. LaHood and Sens. Boxer and Feinstein that California would receive $2.25 billion in stimulus funds for high speed rail, far more than any other state received. Combined with State matching funds, the project is expected to create 90,000 jobs. Once the line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, travel time between the two cities will be cut to less than three hours, expanding transportation options for Californians, congestion on our highways will be lessened and the state's air will be cleaner.

PROTECTING INDY/MAC DEPOSITORS: Through his work on the Financial Services Appropriations subcommittee and with House leadership, Rep. Schiff helped to get legislative language included in Wall Street Reform legislation (H.R. 4173) that would extend retroactively the increase in the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000, benefiting those depositors that sustained losses in excess of the $100,000 limit when IndyMac bank collapsed. Further, checks were issued and sent out recently to those depositors whose losses are now retroactively covered by the new law.

SOCIAL SECURITY/SENIORS: Schiff supported legislation, the Affordable Care Act, that will strengthen Medicare with lower prescription drug costs for those in the prescription drug `donut hole,' including rebate checks of $250, free preventive care, and extend solvency for Medicare for an additional decade.

Congressman Schiff cosponsored the Social Security Fairness Act, which would repeal government pension offset (GPO) requirements applicable to husband's and wife's insurance benefits, widow's and widower's insurance benefits, that currently limit the benefits of over 6.4 million state and local workers.

HOUSING: Spearheaded an effort and authored a letter to leadership supporting additional funding for the Housing Choice Voucher Program in late 2009, reversing further cuts in assistance to renters, state and local housing agencies nationwide by working to include language that would give HUD the authority to help housing agencies with the most severe shortfalls.

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