Schiff Tapped as Ranking Member of House Committee

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was named by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as the new Ranking Member, or top Democrat, of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). The Committee oversees the activities of the Intelligence Community.

“I feel very honored to have been named as Ranking Member of the Intelligence Committee and I am deeply grateful for the trust placed in me by Leader Pelosi and the Democratic Caucus. The Committee has one of the most important and difficult tasks in the Congress – keeping our country safe and overseeing the many agencies within the Intelligence Community.  As the tragic events of the last 24 hours make clear, the work of our intelligence agencies and our relationships with allies will continue to be of unsurpassed importance in protecting our nation and values. There will be no shortage of issues to come before Congress in this session, from addressing new threats of terrorism at home and around the world, to reforming our surveillance capabilities and oversight, as well as securing and reinforcing our nation’s cybersecurity.

“I want to thank our outgoing Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger for his tremendous leadership over the past four years, and I will continue to rely on his considerable expertise in many areas of intelligence and particularly regarding cybersecurity – an issue he has long and effectively championed. I also look forward to working closely with Chairman Nunes and the other members of the Committee to ensure strong and bipartisan oversight as we maintain the security,  privacy and values of the American people.”

In a statement naming Schiff as the Ranking Member, House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “Today, it is my privilege to name Congressman Adam Schiff as the Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.  Congressman Schiff has impeccable national security credentials, having previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee, and the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel of the Appropriations Committee. As a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, Congressman Schiff has been a vital voice on the most pressing national security challenges of our time, including counter terrorism efforts and challenges in the Middle East.  He has proven himself to be a capable leader and a proponent of surveillance reforms.

“Protecting American families is the greatest responsibility of Congress.  The House Select Committee on Intelligence is responsible for providing intelligence professionals with the resources and tools needed to preserve our national security while protecting the civil liberties and privacy of Americans.  Congressman Schiff has my full confidence that he will represent the priorities of our Caucus and the values of the American people.”

The Ranking Member is the senior-most member from the minority party and places Schiff in the important “Gang of Eight,” which refers to the four top members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees along with the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker and House Minority Leader. By law, the President must keep the Gang of Eight informed of our country’s most secret intelligence activities to maintain proper oversight.

Schiff has served for seven years as a member of the Committee after being named by the Leader to the committee in 2007, and has served for the past two years as the ranking member of the Tactical and Technical Subcommittee, which oversees the country’s space-based intelligence, cybersecurity and signal intelligence agencies.  He is also a co-founder and chair of the Democratic Study Group on National Security.  Schiff is a former federal prosecutor, having served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles.