Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2000, 7th term.

Born: June 22, 1960, Framingham, MA

Home: Burbank

Education: Stanford U., B.A. 1982; Harvard U., J.D. 1985

Professional Career: Prosecutor, U.S. Atty. Gen. Ofc., L.A., CA 1987-93; Practicing atty., 1986-87, 1995-96.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Jewish

Family: married (Eve) , 2 children

Adam Schiff, a Democrat elected in 2000, is an active legislator on defense, foreign policy and intellectual property issues. He is more of a fiscal moderate than most Southern California Democrats, and repeatedly has called for Congress to play a role in the executive branch's important national-security actions.

Schiff’s father was a traveling salesman and later owned a lumberyard. Schiff grew up throughout the country, eventually graduating from high school in Northern California. He went on to Stanford University and Harvard Law School. From 1987 to 1993, he worked in the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. He ran for the California Assembly and lost three times. But in 1996, he was elected to the state Senate. In his first two years, he authored dozens of measures that Republican Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law, including a bill guaranteeing up-to-date textbooks in classrooms and another reforming the child support system. Schiff also taught political science at Glendale Community College.

Schiff ran for the House in the first election following the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and the issue became a factor in a number of races in 2000. Schiff challenged incumbent Republican James Rogan, who was a leader in the Judiciary Committee’s deliberations and a persuasive voice for the case against Clinton, which centered on the president’s affair with a White House intern. Rogan had won reelection in 1998 by just 51%-46%, and Clinton pal and entertainment mogul David Geffen was promising to raise millions of dollars to oppose him. The Schiff-Rogan race became a fundraising marathon, and was then the most expensive House race on record. The candidates raised more than $10 million combined, and much more was spent independently by Clinton’s supporters as well as his detractors.

The candidates also disagreed on health care, abortion rights, gun control, and taxes. Rogan branded his opponent as a traditional tax-and-spend liberal, who would “run naked through the Treasury, spending everything he can.” Schiff attacked Rogan for calling abortion a Holocaust for the African-American community. Schiff won by an unexpectedly large 53%-44% vote, and has been easily reelected since.

In the House, Schiff joined the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate to conservative Democrats and has sometimes worked across party lines. But he also has been a party activist, contributing to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s efforts by co-chairing a mentoring program for prime candidates.

Schiff has an interest in intellectual property issues and serves as co-chairman of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus. He joined Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas in sponsoring a bill in November 2011 to provide law enforcement and copyright holders with new tools to target websites based offshore that offer pirated music, movies, and other counterfeit goods. He was instrumental in bipartisan legislation that made identity theft a crime. And on a bill to implement recommendations of the 9/11 commission, he was the only Democrat voting with Judiciary Committee Republicans on added immigration restrictions. The final bill included his provisions to establish tougher penalties for developing a “dirty bomb,” and to give new tools to law enforcement to crack down on weapons of mass destruction.

Schiff stirred complaints from liberal constituents when he supported the resolution approving the use of force in Iraq in 2002 and for voting for the USA Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism law giving law enforcement broad new powers. When the Justice Department’s failed gun-tracking operation known as “Fast and Furious” became a political controversy in 2011, he called for implementing tougher penalties on straw-purchase gun buyers as an alternative to Republican demands for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation. After the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, Schiff pushed Holder to help state and local law enforcement agencies acquire body-worn cameras.

As the co-founder of a Democratic study group on national security and with seats on both the Intelligence and Appropriations committees, Schiff has focused on legislation to secure nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere to keep them out of the hands of terrorists. In 2010, Schiff got a bill into law directing the Homeland Security Department to develop better ways to “fingerprint” nuclear material.

His contribution to congressional ethics reform was a bill, passed by the House in 2007, preventing lawmakers from placing their spouses on campaign payrolls. After the Supreme Court in 2012 overturned a Montana law barring corporate spending in state elections, he worked with Harvard constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe to introduce a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the authority to impose limitations on independent campaign expenditures.

In the foreign affairs realm, Schiff has pressed for recognition of the Armenian genocide as the responsibility of the Ottoman Empire, a move Turkey adamantly opposes. His resolution was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in 2007, but he agreed to postpone further action after a strong reaction from Turkey. In December 2012, he was among the Democrats springing to the defense of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice against Republican criticism that she had misled the public about terrorist attacks in Libya and Egypt.

One of Schiff's concerns is that major national security actions should not be left solely to a president's discretion. He introduced a bill in 2013 to to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which Congress passed after the Sept. 11 attacks, as of January 2015. He said it "was never intended to authorize a war without end, and it now poorly defines those who pose a threat to our country." He later offered an amendment based on the measure to the fiscal 2014 defense appropriations bill, but it was defeated 185-236 after Republicans said it was dangerous to set a specific timeline for replacing it.

When the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) began capturing large swaths of territory in the Middle East in 2014, Schiff sought to call attention to the threat of Americans and Europeans carrying out attacks at home. "As with so much else in the post-9/11 era, the United States and its democratic allies must balance security and freedom as we seek to prevent our citizens from becoming radicalized and turning on us," he wrote in a Los Angeles Register op-ed column. Later, when Obama outlined a plan to deal with ISIS, Schiff became heavily involved in efforts to have Congress authorize the president's actions. “It’s hard to explain the relative silence of my libertarian colleagues at a time when the president is about to announce a war effort that may take years,” Schiff told The Washington Post. “There have been only a couple of libertarian voices in Congress, mostly in the Senate, raising the issue of Congress’ role in declaring war and authorizing the use of military force.” A year earlier, he also pressed for lawmakers to have a role in the administration's look at surveillance and privacy in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency's domestic snooping.

Schiff was among the House Democrats who had little use for the Republican push to investigate the terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. In May 2014, he told Fox News that a select committee set up on the matter was "a colossal waste of time" and that his party should boycott it -- something that House leaders subsequently refused to do. And he said in 2013 that any Republican investigation of the Internal Revenue Service should extend back to George W. Bush's administration.

Schiff’s wife is named Eve, a fact that led him to note in his official online congressional biography, “Yes, it’s true.” He became hooked on competing in triathlons in 2010 and, since finishing his first one in less than three hours, has entered numerous others across the country.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4176

(202) 225-5828

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2411
Washington, DC 20515-0528

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4176

(202) 225-5828

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2411
Washington, DC 20515-0528

DISTRICT OFFICE

(818) 450-2900

(818) 450-2928

245 East Olive Avenue Room 200
Burbank, CA 91502

DISTRICT OFFICE

(818) 450-2900

(818) 450-2928

245 East Olive Avenue Room 200
Burbank, CA 91502

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(818) 841-2828

150 East Olive Avenue Suite 208
Burbank, CA 91502

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

777 South Figueroa Street Suite 4050
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Agriculture

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Pamela Marcello
District Representative

Arts

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Banking

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Budget

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Campaign

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Commerce

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Communication

Patrick Boland
Communications Director

boland@mail.house.gov
202 225-4176

Congress

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Patrick Boland
Communications Director

boland@mail.house.gov
202 225-4176

Crime

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Disaster

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Economics

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Education

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Energy

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Family

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Finance

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Govt Ops

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Grants

Pamela Marcello
District Representative

Health

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Homeland Security

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Housing

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Human Rights

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Immigration

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Insurance

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Intelligence

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Internet

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Judiciary

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Labor

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Medicare

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Minorities

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Native Americans

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Public Works

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Rules

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Seniors

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Social Security

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Tax

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Technology

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Telecommunications

Jeff Lowenstein
Chief of Staff

Trade

Allison Lewis
Legislative Aide

Transportation

Joe Jankiewicz
Senior Policy Advisor

Veterans

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Welfare

Courtney Fogwell
Senior Legislative Assistant

Women

Dao Nguyen
Senior Policy Advisor

dao.nguyen@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4176

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Adam Schiff
Votes: 188,703
Percent: 76.49%
Phil Jennerjahn
Votes: 58,008
Percent: 23.51%
2012 PRIMARY
Adam Schiff
Votes: 42,797
Percent: 59.0%
Phil Jennerjahn
Votes: 12,633
Percent: 17.41%
Jenny Worman
Votes: 5,978
Percent: 8.24%
Garen Mailyan
Votes: 3,749
Percent: 5.17%
2010 GENERAL
Adam Schiff
Votes: 104,374
Percent: 64.78%
John Colbert
Votes: 51,534
Percent: 31.98%
2010 PRIMARY
Adam Schiff
Votes: 31,832
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Adam Schiff
Votes: 146,198
Percent: 68.91%
Charles Hahn
Votes: 56,727
Percent: 26.74%
2008 PRIMARY
Adam Schiff
Votes: 24,486
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (65%), 2008 (69%), 2006 (63%), 2004 (65%), 2002 (63%), 2000 (53%)

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