The State Department 2016 Actions Report, detailing the Obama Administration’s efforts on behalf of abducted American children, was released today showing a continuation of the Administration's failed “words-only” strategy to return kids who have been abducted by a parent to another country—often in clear violation of valid U.S. court orders.
“Congress unanimously adopted the Goldman Act to push a reluctant Administration to turn words into action—action that will bring home abducted American children,” said Rep. Chris Smith, who authored the Sean and David Goldman Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-150) to provide government support and assistance to kidnapped children and their left behind parents. “Inexplicably, the report released this week shows that the State Department has again refused to use the Goldman Act tools of limited sanctions.”
Between 2008 and 2015, nearly 10,000 children have been abducted overseas by a parent and almost always cut off from contact with the left behind American parent. Studies have shown these children are at grave risk of serious emotional and psychological problems, and may experience a number of symptoms including anxiety, eating problems, nightmares, mood swings, sleep disturbances, aggressive behavior, resentment, guilt, and fearfulness. Far from simply a custody dispute, international child abduction is a violation of both the left behind parent’s and child’s basic human rights.
“Heart-broken parents have begged the State Department to put real pressure on countries refusing to return American children,” said Smith. “Many of these parents have won in foreign court only to have the foreign government refuse to enforce the rulings year after year after year—and still the State Department responds with nothing but more meetings and more letters.”
“The Goldman Act delineates specific actions the Administration should use to help bring our children home. The indifference is mind-boggling,” said the senior human rights lawmaker who has chaired nine hearings on the topic of international child abduction.
More than 13 long-term cases have been pending in Brazil, which has not returned a single child since Sean Goldman was returned to New Jersey in 2009. Devon Davenport has won all 24 appeals of the last seven years to bring his daughter home from Brazil—Brazil will not return his daughter.
More than 100 abducted American children are currently being held in India, including those abducted by parents convicted of domestic violence in the United States. Bindu Philips has been fighting for 8 years for India to return her sons, Albert and Alfred, to no avail. Although Prime Minister Modi indicated he would assist her, no assistance has yet been forthcoming. One child, a little girl, died this year in India before she could be returned to her father in the United States.
James Cook, who testified before Smith’s Human Rights panel in July, won his case in Japanese courts to have his children returned, and yet Japan has allowed continued parental alienation of his children, utterly failing to enforce the return order. More than 42 cases of abduction in Japan totaling more than 50 American children have been dragging on without any progress for more than 5 years.
Édeanna Barbirou was forced to leave Tunisia again this year without her son, Eslam, whose custody has been granted to her by 5 different Tunisian courts over the last 5 years, but Tunisia refuses to enforce the return order, finding excuse after excuse not to return her son.
“The countries holding American children in these cases must be held accountable in fact, not just in word,” said Smith, who modeled the sanctions in the Goldman Act after those in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. “We sanction countries for trafficking their own people; it is truly unbelievable that the State Department will not use the same tools to save American children.”
The State Department chose in 2015 to continue only with talk and not to take any of the escalating steps prescribed by the Goldman Act, including:
· delay or cancellation of one or more bilateral working, official, or state visits with any country;
· withdrawal, limitation, or suspension of U.S. development assistance, security assistance or foreign assistance to the central government of a country relating to economic support; or
· formal extradition of an individual who is engaged in abduction and who has been formally accused of, charged with, or convicted of an extraditable offense.
“Less than one-third of abducted American children come home every year,” said Smith. “It is time for the State Department to employ the Goldman Act strategy and make a positive difference in the lives of these children.”
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) has asked the Navy to reconsider its recent controversial housing proposal for Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County that would expand the rental of public private venture (PPV) housing at the base to non-Department of Defense-affiliated civilians.
“The proposal is fraught with security concerns, as well serious challenges to local systems, and it is in fact deja vu all over again—despite the fact that security at our bases has proven to be even more challenging in the last several years,” said Smith in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Navy Dennis McGinn. “Given that our nation has been exposed to numerous national security threats in the homeland since the original signing of the PPV lease—including the planned attack by the Fort Dix Five—it is evident that this type of housing venture is no longer practical and in fact a security risk here at Earle. Furthermore, recent terrorist activity and bombings just miles from NWS Earle demonstrate that security is indeed of paramount concern in this suburban and rural area.”
Smith, who represents Earle and the surrounding communities, helped lead the fight to successfully persuade the Navy to abandon an earlier proposal to open 300 units at Laurelwood Housing to unscreened and unaffiliated civilians. After a four year confrontation with the local community that was deeply divisive, the Navy reached a settlement with the developer to purchase and demolish the surplus housing in 2010.
In requesting a meeting with the Navy, Smith said the current agreement, which seeks to opens dozens of housing units to non-affiliated renters, raises nearly identical questions of how rental applicants will be—or even can be—properly vetted so that the munitions station—as well as its neighboring communities—are protected and secure. Only 81 percent of these homes have been occupied in the last six years. As a result, housing partner Northeast Housing LLC, a wholly-owned corporation of Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC), has recently ramped up efforts to attract non-affiliated civilians to occupy the remaining approximately 20 housing units.
“I urge you and your team to revisit the plan to open the housing on the base and work with me and other local officials with the hope of finding an alternative solution that enables the Navy to meet its obligation to BBC without threatening the safety of the base, our military personnel and the surrounding area,” Smith wrote to McGinn. “Additionally, I hope you will partner with me to determine why more affiliated personnel are not taking advantage of the vacant homes on the installation, and work to make the base housing and installation environment more competitive.”
Nearly 100 people filled a NJ Transit boardroom this morning, to protest a proposed power line project in Monmouth County.
JCP&L is asking NJ transit to grant it an easement along their right-of-way that borders the North Jersey Coast Line. On that small stretch of land, the utility company wants to put up more than 100 massive power poles, reaching up to 200-feet high, carrying high voltage transmission lines that would run alongside NJ Transit tracks from Matawan to Red Bank.
Click here or on image below to watch Congressman Smith speak at the event.
There are nearly 5,000 homes within 1,500 feet of the proposed lines. The poles would also be directly overhead highly traveled NJ Transit trains.
NJ Transit board members say they were not satisfied with the lack of information provided by a representative from JCP&L and would need to know more about the $110 million project before it moves forward.This segment aired on News 12 NJ from Oct. 14-17 and can be read and video watched at:
For more than two hours Thursday, a large group of Monmouth County residents and elected officials opposed to Jersey Central Power & Light’s controversial $111 million transmission line took their fight to NJ Transit.
“Please don’t sell us out,” said Middletown resident Bernice Curto, breaking into tears. “I am pleading with you to say 'no' to hosting this project on your narrow right-of-way and say 'no' soon in order to alleviate any more anguish and suffering in your commuter towns.”
JCP&L needs an OK from NJ Transit to proceed. The Morristown-based utility wants to use the agency’s right of way along a 10-mile stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line between Aberdeen and Red Bank for a 230,000-volt transmission line. Called the Monmouth County Reliability Project, it would connect a substation in Aberdeen with one in Red Bank, going through Hazlet, Holmdel and Middletown.
“This project poses many, many risks for NJ Transit, but only one benefit – whatever number is written on the check that JCP&L is holding out,” said Rachael Kanapka, president of Residents Against Giant Electric, a residents' group fighting the project. “Please don’t put a price tag on the safety of your customers and employees, your reputation and your mission.”
Kanapka said NJ Transit’s board of directors has plenty to worry about, such as the potential negative effect on train schedules by the line's construction and the possibility of service delays when the transmission line needs maintenance. How will the power line and monopoles impact NJ Transit’s plans to extend platforms at train stations, she asked. What happens if a power line or monopole falls on the railway's electric lines, she said.
At the same time, the project will run through a densely populated area with 4,390 homes within 1,500 feet of the railroad tracks, Kanapka said. It also will run next to the backyards of many homes. Opponents worry about a decline in property values and the potential for health risks caused by electromagnetic fields from the high voltage line.
"In our research, we did not find any other example of a new transmission line being constructed in an area as densely populated as ours, on so narrow a corridor, for so long a distance, running directly above an active major metropolitan commuter rail line," Kanapka said. "Your right of way was not designed for this. It was designed in 1875 for a railway. It was not designed to host a railway plus a high voltage transmission line."
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said NJ Transit prides itself on being a "good neighbor."
"Most importantly, and out of an abundance of caution, I ask you to reject the JCP&L project because of potential health hazards to children due to daily exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields," Smith said. "Some may argue that there is little or no adverse health link to exposure and may produce select studies that suggest that. But there is statistically relevant evidence including studies that suggests otherwise."
Mark Jones, JCP&L's vice president of external affairs, told the NJ Transit directors that the Monmouth County Reliability Project "will strengthen and modernize the electric grid for 214,000 Monmouth County customers."
PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, identified the need for a third transmission line into Red Bank substation to continue to "provide dependable electric service," Jones said. "More specifically, the project will address a violation of national electric reliability standards."
The line is safe, as proposed levels of magnetic fields from the line are similar to those associated with wood pole distribution lines and electric wiring and appliances in homes, he said. The utility considered 17 potential routes, including highways, local roads and other rights of way. "The proposed route was chosen because it uses lands already designated for public use and minimizes social, environmental and financial impacts compared to alternative routes," Jones said.
Bruce Meisel, the board's vice chairman, told the 75 or so RAGE members who attended the meeting that he will take a tour of the right-of-way to see their concerns. "There is no substitute to actually seeing it and eyeballing it," he said.
He chastised JCP&L for not having specific details, for instance about outages caused by transmission line failures to the Red Bank substation, at the ready.
In December 2008, JCP&L experienced a problem with those lines, impacting power to 173,000 customers. In August 2010, both lines were knocked out as a result of an equipment issue, causing an outage to 181,000 customers.
"You can't just stand here and talk about generalities," Meisel told Jones. "If you want us to consider your point of view, you really need to give us more facts to go on."This article ran in the Friday, Oct. 14 print edition Asbury Park Press and can be found online at:
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today announced a new U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program designed to assist small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, aquaculture businesses and most private nonprofit organizations located throughout the 4th Congressional District. SBA introduced this loan as a result of the severe freeze, excessive heat and drought that impacted central New Jersey from April 1st through September 19th of this year.
“For small business owners who have suffered through extreme conditions these past several months the SBA loan could be a lifeline,” said Smith, who represents parts of Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, which are included in this program. “I encourage each and every business that would qualify for this loan to apply before the deadline, June 5, 2017.”
According to the SBA, loans of up to $2 million will be available, with interest rates as low as 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses. Terms will be up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. Inquiries regarding the SBA loan program should be directed to the Monmouth County office located at 112 Village Center Drive, Raintree Town Center, 2nd floor, (732) 780-3035, or the Hamilton Office, 4573 South Broad Street, Hamilton, (609) 585-7878.
At a meeting of Autism leaders from around the world, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Autism Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, emphasized that perseverance is needed for legislators and advocates from all countries to address this prevalent disorder and galvanize change.
“The House committee of jurisdiction emphatically told me that ‘no disease specific’ legislation would be voted on,” said Smith, speaking on his struggle to provide resources and research for autism in the year 2000. “We persisted—grassroots autism advocates, Moms and Dads—and ultimately succeeded in making my autism bill, the ASSURE Act, title one of the Children’s Health Act of 2000, which became law.”
In 2005, Smith and autism activists again faced opposition: “as the autism law was about to expire, we faced the same argument—but Autism Speaks waged an incredible battle to save, and expand, the law.”
Autism Spectrum Disorder affects a person’s social communication and interactions. Autism is seen in 1 of every 68 American children, with an even higher prevalence seen in New Jersey, where it is found in 1 of every 41 children. While current reports show a much smaller percentage globally, a Harvard study indicated that as better diagnosis procedures are put in place around the developing world the diagnosis rate will rise rapidly.
Smith also noted the extreme importance of nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child’s life, from conception until around the 2nd birthday. One item of particular note is the introduction of folic acid supplements in the three months before or during the first month of pregnancy. In a study sponsored by the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, or IACC, mothers who took the supplement saw a massive—40 percent—reduction in the risk of autism.
Smith is the author of three laws designed to expand research into Autism, the most recent being the “Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014.” He has also chaired two hearings on Autism around the world, including “The Global Challenge of Autism” in 2014. The importance of Autism research was brought to his attention in 1997 when Bobbie and Billy Gallagher, parents of two autistic children, expressed their concerns to him about a possible autism cluster in Brick, N.J..
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) testified today before the New Jersey Transit Corporation Board of Directors in an effort to convince the agency to reject the Jersey Central Power & Light Co (JCP&L) application to utilize the transit agency’s right-of-way for the proposed “Monmouth County Reliability Project.” JCP&L has proposed the 10-mile-long transmission line be placed through residential neighborhoods along NJT’s North Jersey Coast line, creating an undue burden for large numbers of people in five Monmouth County municipalities.
"Some may argue that there is little or no adverse health link to exposure to the electromagnetic fields created by these high-voltage lines, and may produce select studies that suggest that," said Smith, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee on global health in his expert testimony. "But there is statistically relevant evidence--including studies--that suggest otherwise."
Smith cited statistics from one of the several studies: “A massive French study that included all 2,779 cases of childhood acute leukemia in France over 2002-2007 and 30,000 contemporaneous population controls concluded that there were increased odds for childhood acute leukemia occurrence living within 50 meters of high voltage power lines.”
"Over my 36 years as a member of congress, I’ve been the prime author of several major Public Laws including research and services for persons with autism, assisting veterans with the Persian Gulf mystery illness, and a major amendment to help atomic veterans and their surviving widows and children,” Smith continued. “Each of those legislative initiatives had or has one thing in common—overcoming a culture of denial of the science." Click Here to read Smith’s full testimony.
Smith explains that the so-called Monmouth County Reliability Project would create an unnecessary, lifestyle-shattering and dangerous 230-kilovolt transmission line near homes, parks, schools and places of worship in Aberdeen, Hazlet, Holmdel, Middletown and Red Bank. Reports have indicated that the transmission lines, which could be built on poles as tall as 210 feet at some points, would emit powerful electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Findings do not prove but indicate that EMFs may create an increased rate of cancer, including childhood leukemia, with the World Health Organization classifying it as "possibly carcinogenic," and indicating that it is "sufficiently strong enough" to cause a concern.
"If NJ Transit accepts JCP&L's proposal, home values will decline significantly, causing serious economic hardship for communities that are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy," said Smith. "Testimony at a 2012 congressional hearing found that in Chino Hills California, property values plummeted overnight by 17%--or more--when a project nearly identical to JCP&L's became a reality. Anyone who desires to sell or must sell due to a myriad of factors--including change of job or retirement--may not only suffer a steep loss but may have difficulty even finding a buyer."
Smith has been helping to lead the charge to stop these harmful lines since June of this year. Over the summer, Smith walked the proposed route and met with those who lived there, including a citizen’s advocacy group dedicated to stopping the line known as RAGE (Residents Against Giant Electric), to hear firsthand how the powerline would disrupt their lives, safety and property. He believes that, given the possible health risks and strong opposition of the community, an abundance of caution must be exercised before any similar plan is put into place.
Applications for the federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) offered by the federal government will be accepted beginning Tuesday, Oct.11, 2016, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) announced today. The application period for the FY 2016 AFG Program will close on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 at 5 p.m. EST.
“The AFG program is one of the best federal grants to help protect our firefighters and emergency medical service responders as they do their jobs protecting the community, including people, homes, businesses and public property,” said Smith, a long-time member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus who helped create the equipment grant program in 2000. “I encourage every fire company and first aid squad to consider applying for this grant before the deadline.”
Under the AFG program, millions of dollars have come to New Jersey firefighters and EMS for such equipment as radios, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), turn out gear (firefighting suits, boots and helmet), and even vehicles such as ladders, pumpers and ambulances.
“A number of local fire companies and EMS have received grants over the years, but I would like to see even more,” Smith said. “If a past application was rejected, or if other grants have been received, fire companies and EMS should consider trying again this open grant period. They can contact my office if they need assistance. We have been able to overcome some hurdles for applicants in the past. But the key first step is to not miss the deadline.”
The grant comes through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants Operations and Safety Grant Program. It is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.
The purpose of AFG is to award grants directly to fire departments and non-affiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations (EMS) to protect both the health and safety of the public and first-responder personnel. A competitive process—overseen by fire service subject matter experts—awards grants to applicants whose requests are aligned with the priorities of the AFG Program. For more about the FY 2016 AFG Program please visit http://www.fema.gov/assistance-firefighters-grant, or contact the AFG Program Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generally, for towns of less than 20,000, there is a 5 percent applicant match. For towns of over 20,000 residents (but less than one million) there is a 20 percent applicant match.
Interested organizations are eligible to submit up to three applications under the following categories for FY2016: Operations and Safety for professional training, wellness and fitness programs equipment, personal protective equipment, modifications to facilities, and supplies that support firefighting and non-affiliated EMS operations and safety; Vehicle Acquisition for: pumpers, aerials, brush trucks, tankers/tenders, rescue vehicles, ambulances; and Regional Grants in which multiple organizations serving more than one local jurisdiction would benefit directly from the activities requested with grant funds.
Congress created the program to upgrade capabilities of local firefighters to respond to fires and fire-related hazards, such as vehicular accidents. Since 2001, the AFG has provided over $6 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training. During the most recently awarded fiscal year FY2015 grants, the AFG awarded over $300 million to first-responder organizations that need support to improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. Inquiries regarding the AFG program should be directed to the Monmouth County office located at 112 Village Center Drive, Raintree Towne Center, 2nd floor, (732) 780-3035, or the Hamilton Office, 4573 South Broad Street, Hamilton, at (609) 585-7878.
An anti-Semitic protester in Berlin with a pro-Nazi tattoo on his arm. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Reps. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Steve Israel (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) joined by Republicans Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), the co-chairs of the U.S. House of Representatives bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism, introduced the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2016 to tackle the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.
The bill, which builds on previous legislation passed in 2015 calling on greater U.S. cooperation with Europe on anti-Semitism, asks for the “continued and enhanced reporting on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, safety and security of European Jewish Communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European entities to combat anti-Semitism.”
“It’s shocking that in the 21st century, anti-Semitism is gaining strength across Europe,” the taskforce co-chairs said in a statement. “From taunts and threats on the street, to violent attacks in schools and synagogues, to governments amplifying anti-Semitic voices and messages, such as leaders in Hungary giving a prestigious state award to anti-Semitic writer Zsolt Bayer, many European Jews are being forced to reconsider whether there is still a future for them in their countries.
“This is unacceptable, and we will continue to call on leaders across Europe to speak out against this growing problem, strengthen partnerships with Jewish communities to help them develop safety standards, and foster cultures that respect diversity and inclusion of all minority groups, including Jews.”
This article was published online at:
In late August Ridgeway was been awarded a Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) award for $455,910 to purchase a replacement pumper.
"This federal grant will help improve fire protection in Manchester Township for many years,” said Smith, a long-time member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, who wrote to FEMA to support the grant. “Ridgeway members have been getting by on a three-decade old truck—which they bought used and have certainly gotten a lot of use from. Unfortunately, it costs thousands of dollars to maintain every year. A new pumper will serve the residents of Manchester for years to come. Ridgeway is an-all volunteer firehouse on a limited budget and purchasing a major apparatus is difficult if not impossible without some federal assistance.”
According to Chief Michael Trimarchi, the company’s existing 1987 pumper costs as much as $20,000 to maintain every year.
In 2014, Ridgeway, with Smith’s support, was awarded a $210,455 grant to replace low-pressure SCBA gear with new face pieces and high-pressure bottles. The new equipment replaced older sets that were out of compliance and unreliable. The turn-out gear, comprised of the fire suits, boots and helmets, was over 20 years old when it was replaced.
“I would like to take this time to thank Chris Smith for all of his support, as well as Mayor Ken Palmer, the township and FEMA,” said Chief Trimarchi, of Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company . “These funds that were awarded to purchase a new fire truck are going to be a great help. This truck will be replacing an old 1987 pumper. As our town grows, now I will feel comfortable putting my firemen’s lives on the line knowing we will have the best equipment available.”
The award comes through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants Operations and Safety Grant Program. It is administered by FEMA in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The purpose of AFG is to award grants directly to fire departments and non-affiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations (EMS) to protect both the health and safety of the public, and first-responder personnel as well. A competitive process overseen by fire service subject matter experts awards grants to applicants whose requests are aligned with the priorities of the AFG Program. For more about the FY 2015 AFG Program visit http://www.fema.gov/assistance-firefighters-
“I was pleased to work with Chief Trimarchi and reach out to FEMA to support both grant applications and help bring updated equipment to Ridgeway volunteer firefighters,” Smith said.
This is round 12—expected to be among the last rounds to be awarded this year—of the competitive FY 2015 fire grant announcements. Smith voted to create the equipment grant program in 2000. “Congress created the program to upgrade capabilities of local firefighters to respond to fires and fire-related hazards, such as vehicular accidents,” Smith said.
Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. The Ocean County office is located at 405 Route 539, Plumsted, 08514. The phone number is (609) 286-2571.
2373 Rayburn HOB
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Elected in 1980, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Robbinsville, N.J.) is currently in his 17th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey. Smith, 60, currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. In 2011-2012 he chaired both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He also serves as “Special Representative” on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and as an executive member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Committee (two terms) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Africa.
Smith has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses (working groups) including the Pro-life (31 years), Autism (15 years), Alzheimer’s (13 years), Lyme Disease (nineyears), Spina Bifida (nine years), Human Trafficking (nine years), Refugees (nine years), and Combating Anti-Semitism caucuses, and serves on caucuses on Bosnia, Uganda and Vietnam.
According to the independent watchdog organization Govtrack, as of January 2014 Smith ranks fourth among all 435 Members of the House over the last two decades in the number of laws authored.
He is the author of America’s three landmark anti-human trafficking laws including The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a comprehensive law designed to prevent modern-day slavery, protect victims, and enhance civil and criminal penalties against traffickers, as well as more than a dozen veterans health, education and homeless benefits laws, and laws to boost embassy security, promote democracy, religious freedom, and health care.
Smith is the author of the $265 million Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 which established a nationwide program for ethical research and treatment using umbilical cord blood and bone marrow cells. That landmark law was reauthorized in September 2010 for another five years.
In October 2011, Smith’s bill, HR 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011, was signed into law (Public Law PL112-32), a follow-up to his Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research, and Epidemiology Act (ASSURE) of 2000.
A lifelong New Jerseyan, Congressman Smith graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in business administration. Prior to being elected to Congress, he helped run a small business– his family’s wholesale sporting goods corporation. He is also the former Executive Director of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee.
The congressman is married to his wife of 35 years, Marie, and they have four grown children.
Only the 1st step… I'm working w/ Natl. Guard & Reserve Caucus to waive these unjust recoupments permanently &… https://t.co/Xq2uxtBwKn
Today, we honor the men & women serving our nation overseas and pray that all American servicemembers return home safe. #DayOfTheDeployed
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