Video archive of the US Congress

House Proceeding on Sep 30th, 2009 :: 2:29:50 to 2:36:25
Total video length: 4 hours 40 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Adam B. Schiff

2:29:46 to 2:30:06( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: to help us on international organized crime rings, protect the dignity of the constitution as well. i do not expect that mr. lungren will be here, so i would yield back to the gentleman. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i know if mr. lungren were here he'd make some unnecessarily ungracious remarks in my

Adam B. Schiff

2:29:50 to 2:36:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Adam B. Schiff

Adam B. Schiff

2:30:28 to 2:30:49( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: of those voting having responded in the are suspended and the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. schiff: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pa h.r. 1727 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of

Adam B. Schiff

2:30:50 to 2:31:10( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1727, a bill to establish a national criminal arsonist and criminal bomber registry program and establish guidelines and incentives for states, territories and tribes to participate in such programs. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, and the gentleman from texas, mr.oe, each will

Adam B. Schiff

2:31:11 to 2:31:31( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revis remarks and include extraneous material on thbill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. schiff: and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.

Adam B. Schiff

2:31:32 to 2:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: mr. schiff: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the managing arson through criminal history act, the match act, and i'm very proud to join congresswoman boneow mack in sponsoring this legislation and to my colleague from california who has led the charge on this for several years now, i want to congratulate you on your perseverance. this you, i think, will be a very important powerful tool in

Adam B. Schiff

2:31:53 to 2:32:13( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: bringing arsonists to justice. our collaboration on this issue stems from a painful understanding of the desk station that arson can cause -- devastation that arson has caused and can cause in both of our districts. as we debate this bill today, firefighters are still mopping up the last vestiges of the station fire which has burned thousands and thousands of acres

Adam B. Schiff

2:32:14 to 2:32:35( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: in thing an less forest over the past month and resulted in the tragic death of two firefighters. the fire was deliberately set and the perpetrator is still at rge. the bill before us today would create a nationwide registry of arsonistto help fire investigators find arsonists and prevent additional fires. because arsonists commit their

Adam B. Schiff

2:32:36 to 2:32:57( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: crimes in secret, arson is among the most difficult of crimes to investigate. according to f.b.i. statistics, only about 18% of arsons from 2008 have been cleared by an arrest. in the we of a fire, investigators are faced with the daunting challenge of pie together evidence from the scorched tract of land or a house.

Adam B. Schiff

2:32:58 to 2:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: the station fire, for example, is a 250-square-mile crime scene. investigators have isolated where they believe the blaze originated but there have been no arrests thus far despite the offer of a $150,000 reward. i know from first-hand experience the difficulty of an arson investigation.

Adam B. Schiff

2:33:19 to 2:33:39( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: when i was an assistant u.s. attorney in los angeles in the late 1980's and early 1990's i prosecuted an individual who started fires in the forest. the arsonist followed a pattern. he used a distinct incendiary device made from a cigarette with matches taped around it. he would drive through the forest, throw the cigarette with

Adam B. Schiff

2:33:40 to 2:34:00( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: the matches taped around it into the brush, the cigarette would burn down to the matches, ignite the matches which would nite the brush. the cigarette was like a slow fuse. by the time the brush caught on fire, he was far away from the point of origin of the fire. catching someone like that who doesn't have a traditional motive to set fire or commit a

Adam B. Schiff

2:34:01 to 2:34:21( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: crime is extremely challenging. eventually using video surveillance, law enforcement made an arrest. we discovered in the course of the inveigation that the suspect had a history of setting fires using the same distinct incendiary device made from a cigarette with matches taped around it. we didn't discover that information in an electronic

Adam B. Schiff

2:34:22 to 2:34:43( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: database or even in the suspect's criminal record. the information was eventually found before the trial stored in a box in one of his former parole officer's basement. if we had a national arsonist registry at the time we would have known of convicted arsonist who lived in the region. we would have known th us op rand aye.

Adam B. Schiff

2:34:44 to 2:35:04( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: we m him from setting fires. keeping records in your basement is not a sound investigative law enforcement strategy. the national arsonist registry created through the match act is. the match act would create a national registry of arsonists that is similar but more right now.

Adam B. Schiff

2:35:05 to 2:35:25( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: curren including california, main such registries but they're very limited. arsonists can and do cross state lines to start fires. they don't necessarily obtain updated information about the arsonist's current address, where they go to school and a myriad of other pieces of information that could be useful to investigators. under the match act, a convicted

Adam B. Schiff

2:35:26 to 2:35:46( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: arsonist would be required to register with a state in which they reside and provide updated biographical information along with a photograph and information on the cars they own. no information in this registry would be publicly available. the information would only be accessible to law enforcement and fire investigators. last year the congressional

Adam B. Schiff

2:35:47 to 2:36:07( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: budget office scored the cost of implementing the act at $17 million over five years. that is if we fully fund the the costs to states in setting up the problem. given the millions and millions we spend fighting wildfires and the billions, literally billions, in property damage due to arson, this is reasonable

Adam B. Schiff

2:36:08 to 2:36:26( Edit History Discussion )

Adam B. Schiff: investment to save lives in the future. the house passed this legislation overwhelmingly in 2007 but unfortunately it was never enacted, it didn't clear the senate. as my constituents can attest, though, the problem of ason is not going away and so we press

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