Congressman Adam Schiff on Labor Day Travel, ISIS, Iran Nuclear Deal and Drones in California

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee

Twitter: @RepAdamSchiff

1.  Drones and wildfires – “As commercial drones become more widespread, the U.S. Forest Service and state forestry services are likely to experience an increase in civilian operated drones interference with emergency first responders. We understand the FAA is in the process of finalizing rules to regulate the operation of small commercial drones, and we urge you to use this process to incorporate measures directed at preventing the operation of drones in a manner that interferes with first responders. We believe this review should include the possibility of requiring technological measures, such as “geo-fencing,” in commercially available drones that prevent them from being flown within a geographic area where they are likely to interfere with firefighting activities, as well as the study of other proven drone mitigation technologies. The FAA should also consider a campaign to ensure that civilian drone operators understand the dangers of operating drone in restricted airspace, and the potential harm that this irresponsible behavior could cause.”

2.  ISIS Threats – “With the recent attack on the train in France – which was heroically foiled by three Americans – we saw one of the chief concerns to U.S. and European intelligence officials.  That is, the threat from lone wolf attackers to the transportation system.  It’s impossible to harden all of our soft points – like trains, or airports – but we’re working to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to help prevent these types of attacks.  Of course, with any holiday, the threat to citizens increases – like Labor Day – where they gather in large numbers, but there’s no specific threat stream to my knowledge right now surrounding the upcoming holiday.”

3.  Iran Deal – “The deal realistically precludes Iran from developing an atomic bomb for fifteen or more years, and does so while reducing the chances of war. As one would expect in any negotiation with a bitter adversary, there are elements of the deal that turned out quite well – in this case, America’s unilateral ability to snap back the whole range of sanctions in the event of Iranian noncompliance, and the intrusive nature of inspections into Iran. And there are other elements of the deal that are concerning, even deeply concerning – lack of robust access to the sites of Iran’s past military work on nuclear weapons, and the permissible scope of Iran’s enrichment program after only fifteen years.  In the absence of a credible alternative, Congress should accept the deal and work with the Administration to strengthen its impact, while joining forces with our allies to better contain Iran’s conventional capabilities and nefarious conduct in the region and beyond.”

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