Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

<span class ="kicker">Asbury Park Press News Article on Smiths Lyme Disease Efforts; 'Big news for chronic Lyme disease sufferers'</span>'With the help of Rep. Chris Smith and a Wall advocate, the House passed breakthrough legislation on the hot-button issue'

2016/12/06

By Jerry Carino, APP Staff Writer -

For decades, Wall resident Pat Smith has implored the medical establishment to acknowledge the existence of chronic Lyme disease. On Wednesday, her quest took a big step forward.

The House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a comprehensive health care bill that would establish a national working group on Lyme disease. The 14-member panel would include physicians with experience in treating tick-borne diseases, Lyme patients and advocates for those suffering from the condition.

“This is really groundbreaking,” said Smith, president of national nonprofit Lyme Disease Association in Wall. “Prior to this we’ve never had anything at the federal level that permitted patients to be at the table with federal officials. It’s desperately needed.”

Lyme disease affects nearly 400,000 people per year in the U.S., most of whom live in the northeast. For many who are diagnosed promptly, the standard month-long course of antibiotics mitigates the illness. But detection is difficult, and for thousands of folks, the symptoms continue for months or years.

To date, the influential Infectious Diseases Society of America has declined to recognize chronic Lyme in its clinical practice guidelines. Chronic Lyme advocates say that omission has caused a domino effect of needless suffering.

RELATED: As Lyme controversy rages, 7 prevention tips

Representative Chris Smith (R-4th) has been pushing for a federal panel to address the issue since the early 1990s. The Senate is expected to pass the Cures Act, which got through the House by a vote of 392-26, in the coming days.

“Many have suffered for decades with this debilitating disease, only to be told that their illness does not exist,” Chris Smith said in a statement. “Enactment of the Cures package will move us one step closer to acknowledging and addressing the root problems of chronic Lyme.”

RELATED: Chris Smith on Lyme disease 'culture of denial'

The issue was first brought to Rep. Smith’s attention by Pat Smith. In the late 1980s Lyme disease afflicted two of her daughters, one of whom missed four years of school. For years, she and Chris Smith (no relation) worked in vain to get federal recognition of chronic Lyme.

“The continued dissemination of outdated guidelines . . . has contributed to medical community’s denial of chronic Lyme disease and the denial of coverage by insurance companies of treatments for chronic Lyme disease,” Smith told the Asbury Park Press in a wide-ranging interview on the subject in May.

New Jersey ranks second among all states in Lyme cases, with 4,855 reported in 2015. Since the condition is known to be under-reported because it can be difficult to detect, the actual number of cases in the Garden State is believed to be closer to 50,000.

“Having knowledgeable people at the table will put the focus on the research, and there is a huge amount of brand-new research that shows there are (Lyme) cells that are left over after regular treatment,” said Pat Smith, who was involved in drafting the language establishing the working group. “This may be the root of the problem.”

In addition, she said, the Cures Act “will cause these federal agencies to have to talk about all of this in public.”

For both Pat and Chris Smith, it marks a victory after prior attempts to create a national task force were rejected.

“My original legislation ensured the individuals impacted by federal policies would have a seat at the table when the decisions are made,” Chris Smith said. “It has taken many years and several drafts, but thankfully today’s Cures package includes similar language that will begin the process of addressing the great unmet needs in the Lyme community in an open and transparent manner.”

For more information on the Wall-based Lyme Disease Association, visit www.lymediseaseassociation.org.


This article was originally published by the Asbury Park Press on Page A3 of the Dec. 5, 2016  print edition, and online on Dec. 1, 2016. It can be viewed online at:
http://www.app.com/story/news/health/2016/12/01/big-news-chronic-lyme-disease-sufferers/94713520/?hootPostID=2a89f1136079142e4068ff2a5c2885ff



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Protecting Foreign Service Officers and All Americans Overseas

2016/12/05

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa and International Organizations, took to the House floor to deliver following speech in support of S. 1635, the “Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016”: 

     Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support for passage of S. 1635.

     A highly skilled group of Foreign Service Officers—about fifteen thousand strong—are deployed worldwide to promote peace, human rights, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad. 

     For most, posting overseas requires serious personal sacrifice. 

     For some, deployment entails serious danger—from disease, crime and terrorism.

     After the American embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi were attacked by terrorists in August of 1998, I chaired hearings on embassy security in my subcommittee and authored the Admiral James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Act for 2000 and 2001— to significantly boost embassy security including  reconfigured  embassies,  “setbacks” and additional diplomatic security personnel.  The bill—dubbed the Embassy Security Act—passed the House in 1999, never even got a vote in the Senate, but after much lobbying my bill was included in its entirety in the FY 2000 appropriations omnibus.

     In 2005 Congress enacted into law another bill I sponsored—the Department of State's Authorities (P.L. 109-140) that among other things boosted danger pay.

     Today, Senator Corker’s and Mr. Royce’s bill authorizes $4.8 billion for embassy security.  It continues the all-important work of ensuring the most effective security possible for our Foreign Service and Americans abroad by directing joint State/DOD contingency plans—including rapid deployment of armed forces—designation of high-risk, high-threat posts with adequate funding and training commensurate with the danger,  and utilization of “best value” contracting.

     S. 1635 provides numerous enhancements of personnel issues for our men and women in the Foreign Service—from promotion opportunities to updated cost-of-living adjustments to improved care for the children of Foreign Service officers with autism spectrum disorders.

     During markup, I sponsored an amendment that was approved that recognizes applied behavioral analysis (ABA) as proven evidence-based intervention for autistic children and that the Secretary of State should ensure coverage of and access to ABA for dependents with ASD of overseas employees.

     Mr. Speaker, our government contributes approximately 22% of the funding for UN operations – more than half a billion dollars annually. We have a duty to ensure that those funds are not only spent wisely, but also do not unwittingly support those peacekeepers who abuse the very people they are deployed to protect, which unfortunately happens all too often.

     Since the 1990s, allegations of rape and sexual abuse and exploitation have been made against foreign troops in UN peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, as well as others.  Such cases of abuse last year included the rape of a 12-year-old girl in the Central African Republic.

     I’ve chaired numerous hearing on this abuse of women and young girls—pushing zero tolerance for this cruelty and exploitation.

     S. 1635 strengthens oversight and accountability of UN peacekeeping personnel.

    S. 1635 bars troop or police contributing countries with poor records from participating in future peacekeeping operations—resulting in a loss of funds and prestige.

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<span class ="kicker">Dec. 3 Asbury Park Press letter to the editor on Smith autism bill***</span>'Bill would protect children with autism'

2016/12/02

The following is a letter to the editor by Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, the Executive Director of the advocacy group, Autism New Jersey based in Robbinsville, NJ:

As Congress reconvenes to finish the year, we urge our representatives in the House of Representatives and Senate to support the passage of Kevin and Avonte’s Law (H.R. 4919/S. 2614), which would allow Justice Department grants to help protect children with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and seniors with Alzheimer’s, who are prone to wandering.

This legislation would make grants available to law enforcement agencies and nonprofits to provide training to prevent wandering and implement lifesaving technology, such as law enforcement’s Project Lifesaver program, to find individuals who have wandered. Introduced by longtime autism community champion and founder/chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, this sensible legislation is of critical importance to the autism community in particular.

Wandering or elopement is one of the most concerning challenging behaviors for individuals with ASD. This behavior presents safety risks including drowning, getting struck by traffic, falling from a high place, dehydration, hypothermia, abduction and victimization. In recent years, accidental drowning after wandering or eloping accounted for 91 percent of total U.S. deaths reported in children with ASD ages 14 and younger. Due to the growing prevalence of autism in New Jersey and the potential dangers associated with elopement, training to prevent wandering and the widespread implementation of lifesaving technology is critical.

In November, there were two stories about how significant an issue this is for our community:

On Nov. 4, the Bergen County Sheriff's Office reported an 8-year-old boy with autism wandered off from his family in Overpeck County Park.  Shortly after he was reported missing, he was found in the Overpeck Creek by law enforcement after a bystander called 911.  He was, thankfully, revived and treated. The family had reported their son missing via Bergen County’s Project Lifesaver Program.

Just days later, a 4-year-old boy was pronounced dead after wandering from the family home and drowning in the family’s backyard swimming pool in Pennsville, Salem County.

Like the children for whom this legislation is named, these two New Jersey boys represent how important this legislation is to assist our community in preventing future tragedies – tragedies that are still all too common. Rep. Smith’s legislation is a step toward helping to ensure the safety of individuals with autism is protected, and we encourage our representative in Washington support its passage.

For more information about elopement, wandering and available resources, please contact Autism New Jersey’s Helpline at 800-4-AUTISM or download our free publication, “Elopement & Wandering: Your Guide to Safety Resources.”

Dr. Suzanne Buchanan
Executive Director
A
utism New Jersey

This letter to the editor ran in the print edition of the Asbury Park Press on page A9, as well as other newspapers in New Jersey. It can be found online at:
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/11/30/letter-bill-would-protect-children-autism/94689022/


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<span class="kicker">Hearing on China set for December 7</span>Dissidents Who Have Suffered for Human Rights in China: A Look Back and a Look Forward

2016/12/02

     Concrete improvements in human rights and the rule of law in China are directly linked to the security and prosperity of both the American and Chinese people. Advances in protecting human rights and curbing government violations of universal freedoms are essential components of economic development, mutual prosperity, domestic stability, and the type of trust and confidence necessary to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on a range of issues that will define the 21st century.

     As documented by the 2016 Annual Report of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), a deteriorating human rights situation in China poses distinct and ongoing challenges to U.S. foreign policy.  

     Chinese, Tibetans, and Uyghurs offer unique perspectives on why robust U.S. human rights diplomacy is a critical foreign policy priority. In advance of Human Rights Day (December 10, 2016), and the sixth anniversary of famed dissident Liu Xiaobo receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, witnesses will offer advice for the next Administration on human rights priorities and lessons learned about how to approach the Chinese government on “sensitive” issues such as the treatment of human rights lawyers and the rule of law, religious and press freedoms, and the protection of ethnic minorities. They will also detail why principled U.S. leadership is important to advance both American interests and the fundamental rights of the Chinese people.   

Who:               Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Witness:

·         Penpa Tsering

Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

·         Wei Jingsheng

Chairman, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition

·         Rebiya Kadeer:

President, the World Uyghur Congress

·         Chen Guangcheng

Chinese legal advocate; Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Catholic University's Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies

·         Bob Fu

Founder and President, ChinaAid

·         Yang Jianli

President, Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China

·         Xiaodan Wang

Falun Gong practioner and daughter of former political prisoner Zhiwen Wang

What:              House hearing on those who have suffered at the hands of the Chinese government

When:             Wednesday, December 7, 2016 2:00 PM

Where:            U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, Room HVC 210

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House Passes Defense Bill, Blocking TRICARE Cuts to Autism Therapy for Military Families

2016/12/02

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the $691 billion bill that directs critical U.S defense policy for 2017. Secured inside the bill is a targeted and critical amendment co-authored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) which will ensure military families with a child on the autism spectrum will continue to have access to a key intervention therapy. The Smith provision protects coverage of and access to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy—an evidence-based behavior intervention that is widely accepted among health care professionals as an effective therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

     “Military life is defined by frequent changes of residence and schools, and prolonged absences of a parent, which can be particularly difficult for children with autism,” said Smith, founder and co-Chair of the House Autism Caucus. “ABA therapy is a proven and effective intervention that brings about positive behavior change that can assist military children in coping with the unique challenges of military life, while also demonstrating positive long-term results.”

     In July 2014, TRICARE began the Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration, an initiative to cover ABA for TRICARE beneficiaries diagnosed with ASD. The demonstration, scheduled to end in December 2018, was initiated in order to expand access to coverage for beneficiaries.

     Late last year, however, TRICARE proposed a reduction in reimbursement rates for ABA, which may reduce the access military dependents have to ABA practitioners. As a response, in March 2016 Smith led a bipartisan effort of 40 Members of Congress and endorsed by a coalition of autism and military families advocacy organizations—Including the National Military Family Association (NMFA), Military Special Needs Network, the TRICARE for Kids Stakeholders Coalition, and Autism Speaks—in urging the Department of Defense (DOD) to halt the proposed reimbursement rate reductions. Ultimately however, in April 2016, TRICARE enacted the first round of reduced reimbursement rates for coverage. Particularly concerning is the effect the proposed reductions—of as much as 15 percent annually in reimbursement rates for ABA services—will have on communities where access is already limited.

     The amendment is included in the NDAA—which is expected to pass the Senate next week with the amendment intact—and will ensure that the reimbursement rates are not below their pre-April level through the remainder of the Demonstration project: “during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2018, the Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the reimbursement rates for providers of applied behavior analysis are not less than the rates that were in effect on March 31, 2016.”

     “ABA therapy improves a variety of skills by encouraging positive behaviors and discouraging negative behaviors and the NDAA will ensure the more than 26,000 military children with ASD do not lose access to these critical services,” Smith concluded.

     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..

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<span class ="kicker">Associated Press News Article on Smith-MacArthur Efforts to Bring Fairness to JB-MDL workers</span>'600 Joint Base employees to get raises'

2016/12/01

The Associated Press
Posted: Dec. 1, 2016 8:00 am

MCGUIRE AIR FORCE BASE, N.J. (AP) — Lawmakers say some 600 civilian employees at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst are getting pay raises next year.

U.S. Reps. Chris Smith and Tom MacArthur say the Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday issued rules to adjust the wages to reflect the higher cost of living in the New York metropolitan area instead of the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst is in Ocean County, which is part of the New York metro area. McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix are in Burlington County, which is part of the Philadelphia metro area.

The federal government had adjusted the salaries of white-collar employees at the base but had not done the same for blue-collar and other non-exempt employees.

The joint base in New Jersey's second-largest employer.

This article can be found online at various locations, including:
http://www.njherald.com/article/20161201/AP/312019858#

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<span class="kicker">Courier Post Reports on Smith Efforts for Jt. Base Workers:</span>'Pay hike for 600 at Joint Base'

2016/11/30

By Carol Comegno, Courier-Post Staff Writer - 

Hundreds of civilian employees will be getting a holiday present—an automatic raise in their pay scales to bring them in line with the higher federal scale of the New York region.

The shift to a higher compensation scale will benefit 600 federal Civil Service workers on the Army and Air Force sections of the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County on what used to be Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force Base. It will bring them to parity with employees at the naval air installation in the base's Lakehurst section in Ocean County, which is already on the New York locality pay scale as are all the white collar workers across the entire base.

In a joint statement, Reps. Chris Smith and Thomas MacArthur, both R-N.J., said the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will issue regulations Wednesday to effect the shift for wage grade (WG) system employees. The switch takes place Jan.1

“Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is one installation and the men and women who work there are part of one workforce,” said Smith, who represents half of the Joint Base and who authored the Joint Base Pay Parity Act that was never fully implemented. “It means the men and women of the Joint Base’s workforce will finally be paid equally and fairly."

The joint base is the largest employer in the state, second only to the state government, and contributes $6.9 billion annually to the regional economy.

This article was orginal published on Nov. 30 by the Courier Post and can be found at;
http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/local/south-jersey/2016/11/29/pay-hike-600-joint-base/94636958/

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<span class ="kicker">APP News Article on Smith-MacArthur Efforts for JB-MDL Workers</span>'600 Joint Base employees to get raises'

2016/11/30

By Erik Larsen of the Asbury Park Press -

An estimated 600 civilian employees are getting a raise.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management issued final regulations Wednesday that will adjust the wages of Joint Base staff so their pay takes into account the higher cost of living in the New York metropolitan area rather than the Philadelphia metropolitan area, according to a joint statement from U.S. Reps. Chris Smith and Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., who both advocated for the change.

Previously, the federal government had adjusted the salaries of white-collar employees at the base but had not done the same for blue-collar and other non-exempt employees who receive hourly wages instead of a fixed annual salary, the statement read.

A disparity occurred after the Joint Base was established as a single entity in 2009 from three different military installations — McGuire Air Force Base and Fort Dix in Burlington County and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst in Ocean County. Ocean County is considered part of the New York metro area while Burlington County is part of the Philadelphia metro area.

Today, the Joint Base is the second-largest single employer in New Jersey after the state government itself.  The base pumps about $6.9 billion each year into the regional economy, according to the statement.

The scheduled pay increase is expected to take effect in the first pay period of 2017, starting on Jan. 8, the statement read.

“OPM’s announcement is a big win for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and our local community," Smith said in the statement. "The elimination of this outdated, pre-BRAC policy (Base Realignment and Closure) means the men and women of the Joint Base’s workforce will finally be paid equally and fairly."

The congressman represents about half of the Joint Base. Smith is also the author of the the Joint Base Pay Parity Act, which was aimed at making such a change.

MacArthur, who represents the other half of the base, said in the statement: "Over the last two years, I have seen first-hand the importance of ensuring pay parity for wage-grade workers at the base. I have actively advocated for this proposal along with my colleague Chris Smith, and it brings me great joy to know that hard working families in South Jersey will finally earn the pay they deserve."

This article originally was published by the Asbury Park Press on Nov. 30, 20116 at:
http://www.app.com/story/news/military/2016/11/30/600-joint-base-employees-get-raises/94671208/

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<span class ="kicker">House Approves 21st Century Cures Act</span>Congressman Smith supports ‘once-in-a-generation’ opportunity to bring treatments to patients in need

2016/11/30

The House of Representatives is expected today to pass the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation negotiated with the Senate to reform and streamline the federal research and treatment approval process, incentivize the development of live-saving cures, and bring many other needed improvements to the delivery of health care in the US.

   Among its many specific provisions, the bill includes significant reforms to our fractured mental health systems, and major provisions to help patients with Lyme disease by establishing a national, patient-centric working group championed by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) and others for many years.

  “We have seen that despite the tremendous advances in research that are unlocking the mysteries behind some of the most debilitating diseases, cures and treatments remain stymied by institutional biases and outdated and bureaucratic procedures at NIH and FDA,” said Smith, co-chairman of numerous bipartisan health caucuses including those on Autism, Alzheimer's, Lyme disease, and Heart and Stroke. “With enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act we will provide the catalyst that puts more treatments—and more affordable treatments—in the hands of patients and families who now have limited, if any, options.”

Breakthrough Lyme Disease Working Group:

   Speaking during the debate in the House of Representatives today, Smith reminded his colleagues that as far back as 1992 he brought together medical officials at NIH and CDC with Lyme Disease Association President Pat Smith and other advocates from New Jersey who highlighted the alarming increasing prevalence of Lyme.  Smith later introduced the first bill to bring patients and their advocates into the process—as well as doctors, researchers and on-the-ground officials from state and county health organizations—by creating an interagency Task Force.

   “My original legislation ensured the individuals impacted by federal policies would have a seat at the table when the decisions are made,” said Smith. “It has taken many years, and several drafts but thankfully today’s Cures package includes similar language that will begin the process of addressing the great unmet needs in the Lyme community in an open and transparent manner. 

   "I am thankful to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Chairman Fred Upton and Lyme community leaders, like Pat Smith of LDA for their tenacity and commitment in getting this done”

   Specifically, the Cures package will create a Working Group comprised of federal and non-federal members tasked with reporting to Congress on scientific advances, research questions, surveillance activities and emerging strains in species of pathogenic organisms.

   The members must also represent a “diversity of views,” bringing hope to American’s suffering from chronic Lyme, Smith noted.  “Many have suffered for decades with this debilitating disease, only to be told that their illness does not exist.  Enactment of the Cures package will move us one step closer to acknowledging and addressing the root problems of chronic Lyme,” he said.  The CDC estimates that there were over 380,000 cases of Lyme disease in the US last year, with more than 48,000 cases in New Jersey, which consistently ranks among the top five hardest hit states.

Mental Health Reform:

   It is estimated that one in five Americans has experienced a mental health issue, but only 44 percent of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20 percent of children and adolescents receive needed treatment. Of the estimated 10 million Americans living with serious mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression, almost 70 percent remain untreated.

   “Currently, even though the federal government operates more than 100 programs intended to address mental illness and spends roughly $130 billion on research and services, there are rising rates of substance abuse and many families struggle to obtain help for their loved ones,” Smith said. “The Cures package includes a better plan—one that takes a holistic approach and helps address the deficiencies in our system.”

   The overall Cures package, which now moves to the Senate for consideration, will boost funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), promote interagency data collection and sharing, and reform the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to bring new therapies and treatments to market sooner. It is designed to accelerate the full cycle of discovery, development and delivery of new treatments and cures for patients in need.

  Currently, of the estimated 10,000 known diseases, only 500 have effective treatments or cures and an estimated 95 percent of rare disease have no FDA approved treatment. NIH estimates it now takes 14 years and $2 billion dollars to develop a new drug. As a remedy, the Cures Act will:

  • Create "Innovation Accounts" to provide for dedicated funding for NIH and FDA Cures-related activities;

  • Require NIH to develop and issue a six-year strategic plan to ensure biomedical research investments match the needs of patients;

  • Provide $4.8 billion for NIH—the world's premier biomedical research organization—to boost our investment in life-enhancing research that not only mitigates the impact debilitating diseases have on individuals, families and caregivers, but saves money in the long run, as care and services become less expensive and more accessible;

  • Incentivize the development of drugs for pediatric diseases and reform the FDA approval process for new and innovative medical devices;

  • Modernize clinical trials to better facilitate the sharing of information and increase representation of underrepresented communities;

  • Create a National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System to build the infrastructure necessary to advance data collection regarding neurological diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases; and

  • Provide $1 billion to fund the recently-enacted Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and improve our opioid abuse response.

For the most up-to-date version of this release, please click here:

http://chrissmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399936

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Winners of the 2016 NJ-04 Congressional App Challenge Announced

2016/11/30

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today announced the winners of the Fourth Congressional District’s 2016 Congressional App Challenge (CAC), a competition for U.S. students across the nation.

     “The App Challenge encourages school students to become active in STEM fields, computer science and programming by creating and exhibiting their software applications,” said Smith. “This challenge is an important step to inspire creativity, career skills and teamwork, which can help participating students to be poised for high-tech jobs of the future.”

    The winning students are from Communications High School in Wall Township. Their  app, called “RecoLecture” allows teachers to record and securely share lectures with students who have been invited and enrolled in the teacher’s class, retaining full copyright and ownership of the recordings.  The winners’ prize is a $400 credit for Amazon Web Service to be be split between the four students. The winning students are: Connor Bruneau, of Spring Lake, Kevin Dixson, of Manasquan, Steven Topper, of Oakhurst (Ocean Township) and Armando LaMastra, of Holmdel.

     Additionally, four students from Point Pleasant Borough High School in Point Pleasant Boro will receive Honorable Mentions for their app, “Point Pleasant School District Application.” The app is a way for students and parents to be updated on a multitude of information related to the school. This includes school announcements, lunch information, grades, safety and many other features. Students that received Honorable Mentions are all from Point Pleasant Borough: Jane DeRensis, Jake Ippolito, Haley Hanrahan  and Devin Moeller. They will each receive congressional certificates.

     The Challenge submission period closed Nov. 2, 2016. Students competed as individuals or in teams of up to four. A panel of local judges reviewed all entrants and select one winner from the Fourth District, plus honorable mentions. The winning apps from across the country will be featured on a display in the Capitol building. The national competition was launched in 2015, and this year was the first NJ-04 competition.

     The CAC was created in part to highlight how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills are essential for economic growth and innovation, and also because the U.S. has been falling behind on these fronts. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations. According to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as three million high-skilled tech workers by 2018.

     “Urging young men and women to enter the STEM fields is critical to the future of our nation and necessary for the development of a 21st century, high-skilled workforce that can compete in today’s global economy,” Smith continued. “I thank the students and judges for participating in the competition, and congratulate the winners.”

     The Internet Education Foundation serves as the operational “sponsor” of the CAC. For more information, please visit: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/compete-2016/submission-process-and-rules/

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Rep. Chris Smith: Support Working Group on Tick-borne Disease

2016-12-01 16:10:17


Rep. Chris Smith: Iran Sanctions Extension Act is a Must Pass

2016-11-16 19:29:03


Update by Rep. Smith: We expect passage on Kevin and Avonte's Law

2016-10-03 17:21:59


Rep. Chris Smith on Obama Veto: Don't choose Saudi King over 9/11 Victims

2016-09-28 20:29:35


Rep. Smith urges support for our 'Jersey Girls' and other 9/11 families

2016-09-09 18:26:34


House Passes Smith's Bill to Give Gold Star Families a Voice

2016-09-06 20:44:55


Rep. Smith opening statement on the Goldman Report

2016-07-14 20:23:01


Rep. Chris Smith: Brazil a textbook case for sanctions

2016-07-14 19:30:46


Rep. Chris Smith: Bindu Philips' Kids Should Come Home

2016-07-14 19:03:31


Rep. Smith on the Conscience Protection Act

2016-07-13 17:35:57


President Obama's epic failure of diplomacy in Vietnam

2016-06-22 19:20:17


Less than 1% of Iraqis & Syrians resettled in US are Christian

2016-06-22 18:20:53


Religious Freedom deserves protection everywhere for everyone- no exceptions

2016-06-17 21:25:35


Rep. Chris Smith on Jobs for Individuals with Autism and Special Needs

2016-05-19 21:48:57


Rep. Chris Smith at the passage of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act

2016-05-16 22:54:37


Rep. Chris Smith on America's Human Rights Leadership in Asia

2016-04-28 16:34:27


Rep. Chris Smith Takes Aim at Global Hunger

2016-04-13 13:44:56


Chris Smith on BBC World News: ISIS Genocide Against Christians and Yazidis

2016-03-21 19:34:19


Rep. Chris Smith condemning organ harvesting from prisoners in China

2016-03-16 20:29:00


Chris Smith on stopping President Obama's handover of Guantanamo Bay

2016-03-16 20:18:10


Contact Information

2373 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3765
Fax 202-225-7768
chrissmith.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Foreign Affairs

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.


Serving With

Frank LoBiondo

NEW JERSEY's 2nd DISTRICT

Tom MacArthur

NEW JERSEY's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Garrett

NEW JERSEY's 5th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen

NEW JERSEY's 11th DISTRICT

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