Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

<span class="kicker">Planned Parenthood has killed 7 million children</span>Stop Coercing States to Fund Planned Parenthood

2017/02/16

In strong support of H.J. Res. 43, Rep. Smith delivered the following statement on the floor during debate in the House today:

Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished Chair, Mrs. Black, for her leadership on this resolution.

     Many Americans oppose giving tax dollars to Planned Parenthood, 56% according to a November 2016 poll.

     And with good reason.

     Subsidized by over $500 million taxpayers’ dollars each year, Planned Parenthood dismembers or chemically poisons a baby to death every two minutes—killing over 7 million innocent children since 1973.

     Planned Parenthood is “Child Abuse Incorporated.”  Undercover videos in 2015 exposed in numbing candor, several high-level Planned Parenthood leaders nonchalantly talking about procuring children’s organs for a price. They describe altering gruesome dismemberment procedures to preserve intact livers, hearts and lungs from freshly killed babies.

     All of this begs the question: Why are taxpayers giving half a billion dollars each year to Planned Parenthood?

     H.J. Res. 43 allows states to redirect funds away from abortion providers and does not reduce funds for the Title X program—those funds are just redirected to other health clinics that provide women’s health care and don’t engage in abortion.

     And yet, in mid-December, on his way out the door, former President Barack Obama finalized a rule that coerces states to fund Planned Parenthood with their Title X grant money.

     Prior to the Obama rule, 5 states had chosen to award their Title X funds to non-Planned Parenthood entities.

     These 5 states —Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ohio —account for nearly $16 million in annual Title X funding and serve over 279,000 individuals a year.

     Those states redirected these funds to other health clinics, including county health departments and federally qualified health centers.

     But under the Obama rule these state grant recipients are threatened with losing all Title X support if they do not comply.

     This is the definition of coercion —the Obama Administration essentially told states “you must use your family planning dollars to support abortion providers, or we will take away your family planning dollars.”

     The resolution before us today allows those states who have chosen to redirect their Title X dollars away from Planned Parenthood to be free to do so.

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Ending the Use of Child Soldiers

2017/02/16

In honor of the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, marked across the globe this past weekend, a bill designed to help stop the scourge of Child Soldiers was introduced today by U.S. Rep Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House panel on Africa.

     “No child should be forced or enticed to carry a gun or to kill.  No child should be used by fighting forces—or anyone—as a sex slave,” said Smith, author of the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which created the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. “The legislation I am introducing today would insure that the current Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 is implemented as intended by Congress—and that the U.S. is not complicit in partnering with child traffickers.”

     In the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) of 2008, Congress provided the Executive Branch the tools needed to identify countries where military or government-supported armed groups recruited or used children as soldiers in the preceding year. The State Department was then directed prohibit these governments from receiving certain U.S. taxpayer-funded military and weapons assistance, with a full or partial ‘national interest’ waiver allowed for extraordinary circumstances.

     Under the Obama Administration, the ‘national interest’ clause was used so extensively that the prohibition of aid has become nearly meaningless.  The previous Administration allowed more than $1 billion in military assistance to countries that used children as young as 10 years old as cannon fodder in the field—and/or as sex slaves by their commanding officers.  In 2016, only three of 10 countries designated as using child soldiers were fully denied funds, and these were the countries for which funds had not been designated originally. Since 2013, we have seen a spike in the use of child soldiers in some countries, especially South Sudan, which consistently receives full or partial waivers. Despite Afghanistan’s use of children, especially as sex slaves in forces fighting the Taliban, Afghanistan did not even make the list.

     “This law is good news for child sex slaves serving the Afghan National Police who will now be recognized and for the increasing number of children recruited to fight in South Sudan, a country which will now have less room for potential waivers,” said Smith. “The law will also require expanded reporting in the Trafficking in Persons Report as well as in a special report to Congress; taxpayers have a right to know whether their tax money is aiding child traffickers.”

     Smith’s bill, the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2017, will ensure the effective implementation of the CSPA by clarifying Congressional intent that the use of children in any government fighting force, even if the force is not technically a branch of the military, is unacceptable.  Smith’s bill will also limit the waivers the Administration can use and ensure that governments who knowingly involve children in armed conflict, as servants or as sex slaves are held accountable. It will also maximize Congressional oversight and public accountability of military and weapons assistance to countries using child soldiers.  

     Smith has been involved in the fight against the use of Child Soldiers for decades. In 2000 Smith spoke in support of H. Con Res. 348, Condemning the Use of Children as Soldiers before the House Committee on International Relations (now known as the House Committee on Foreign Affairs).  In 2006, he introduced H.R. 5966, The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2006, which was later embodied in the Child Soldier Prevention Act of 2008, P.L. 11-340.

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Smith Presented Inaugural Autism Award

2017/02/15

During the national advocacy summit of the Autism Society of America, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) received the very first “Ignite 4 Autism, Congressional Champion Award,” given in recognition of his past and ongoing commitment to individuals with autism and their families.

     “I want to thank the Autism Society of America for its work to highlight the needs of individuals with autism and their families, and its tireless work to implement federal policies that address these needs,” said Smith, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Coalition for Autism Research and Education and prime author of three major laws to provide federal funding for autism research and services. “I want to thank all present here today for your commitment to federal advocacy, as we use this occasion to focus and redouble our efforts. Congress must continue to pass common-sense legislation to continue—and expand—the critical investments we have already made, and we cannot do it without our incredible advocates.”

     In announcing the award, the Autism Society of America noted Smith’s commitment through his work as co-chair of the bicameral, bipartisan Autism Caucus and introduction of legislation such as Kevin and Avonte’s Law. Additionally, in June of last year, Smith helped ensure that the Rutger’s Boggs Center received a federal designation and a funding boost of $441,000 annually over the next five years to study identification, assessment and treatment of youth with a wide range of developmental disabilities, including autism.

     Smith, who authored the landmark Autism Cares Act (signed into public law in 2014), plans to reintroduce Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which passed the U.S. House last year by an overwhelming 346-66. The legislation will provide targeted support to communities for locally-based, proactive programs to prevent wandering and locate missing children or seniors who have wandered from safe environments.

     “This is an issue that hits home for me. It is estimated that 49 percent of the 1 in 68 children with autism have wandered,” said Smith. “This legislation is named in honor of two boys with autism, Kevin Curtis Wills and Avonte Oquendo, who both wandered from safety and tragically drowned.”

     Smith is currently awaiting the second in a series of GAO reports, requested in 2014. The reports will beef up the government’s commitment to help individuals with autism, making the transition from a school-based support system to adulthood by studying the demographics and needs and encouraging independent living, equal opportunity, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency. There are an estimated 50,000 young people on the autism spectrum matriculating to adulthood. 

     Founded in 1965 by 60 parents dedicated to improving outcomes for children living with autism, the Autism Society of America is a leading grassroots organization committed to creating a better world for each and every person on the autism spectrum.

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<span class="kicker">Smith-authored legislation to protect civilians introduced</span>Ethiopian Government Must Stop Rights Violations

2017/02/15

Joined by victims of torture at the hands of the Ethiopian government, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06), came together this afternoon to bring to light the actions of the oppressive government of President Mulatu Teshome.

     “For too long the government of Ethiopia has used violence, including the shooting of peaceful protestors, to snuff out any opposition,” said Smith, Chairman of the House Panel on Africa. “Simple conversations with the Ethiopian Government have proven to not be enough—the actions of the government have intensified rather than moderated.”

     “Feyisa Lilesa helped bring this issue to the international stage last year, but we must not let these violations fade from the public eye,” Smith continued, referencing the Ethiopian Olympic silver medalist who showed a symbol of solidarity with the Oromo people in the 2016 Olympics.

     The press conference coincided with the introduction of the bipartisan H. Res. 128, which offers an outline to bring Ethiopia back onto the path towards Democracy. This resolution is designed to promote democracy and good governance in Ethiopia and, among other key provisions, condemns the actions of the Government of Ethiopia and calls on the Secretary of State to improve the oversight and accountability of U.S. assistance in Ethiopia.

     “This week, my colleagues and I introduced a bipartisan House Resolution calling on the Government of Ethiopia to take clear and decisive steps to respect the human rights for all Ethiopians.  The United States has closely observed a pattern of abuse by the Ethiopian government’s security forces while denying too many of its citizens the basic freedoms guaranteed under the Ethiopian constitution,” said Coffman.

     Alongside Smith and Coffman was Seenaa Jimjimo, Tewondrose Tirfe and Guya Abaguya Deki, who have all seen the abuses of the Ethiopian Government first-hand.

     "Ethiopia's ruling regime wanted to control me and demanded that I join the ruling party," said Deki, describing his brutal treatment at the hands of the Ethiopian government. "When I refused, they dumped me in a jungle area with my wheelchair, believing hyenas would attack and kill me. But I survived. I am very grateful to Congressman Chris Smith for introducing this resolution on human rights in Ethiopia. I hope other Members of Congress will support it to stop torture and other horrible human rights abuses committed by the government of Ethiopia."

     "The ruling party of Ethiopia, TPLF, has been and continues to commit ethnic cleansing on the Amhara ethnic people in Wolkite and other regions of Ethiopia," said Tirfe. "This resolution puts the Ethiopian government on notice that their continued human rights violations of innocent civilians will not be tolerated."

     “We understand Ethiopian government is an ally to fight the war on terror, but the U.S. and West have an obligation to speak up when those values contradict the very essence that made America what it is in the first place,” said Jimjimo.

     “The Government of Ethiopia has been an active participant in the war on terror,” said Smith. “However their brutal repression has been shown to create the environment where international terrorists thrive and recruit. To truly stop violence abroad, Ethiopia must stop violence at home.”

     Smith has chaired three hearings on Ethiopia, the most recent of which looked into the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and was titled “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights.”

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Smith: Bring Back USDA Animal Data

2017/02/14

In response to removal of key documents regarding enforcement and oversight from the USDA’s website, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) joined with many of his House colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to President Trump, asking that the information be made available as quickly as possible. These documents, containing information on which organizations do not meet Animal Welfare Act (AWA) standards, are used by public citizens, advocacy groups, law enforcement and state governments.

     “When Congress passed the Animal Welfare Act, we did so to ensure that the public knows what groups and entities subject animals to abuse—and those that fail to meet even the most basic welfare standards,” said Smith, member of the Congressional Animal Welfare Caucus. “This information is critical in the fight against animal abuse—puppy mills, roadside zoos, horse soring and starvation.” Click Here to read the Letter.

     This USDA program, part of their Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service division and supported by tens of millions of dollars provided through the Congressional appropriations process, annually inspects about 9,000 licensed facilities across the country. Seven states, including New Jersey, prohibit the sale of dogs from breeding operations with a history of AWA violations, often known as ‘puppy mills.’ Without access to these inspection reports law enforcement efforts will be severely impeded in their search for these animal abusers.

     The Trump Administration has been in the process of updating the websites of the entire Executive Branch, resulting in several websites being taken down—at least temporarily. With only just over three weeks having passed since the inauguration, it is unclear which websites will be updated and brought back online, and which will be removed permanently.

     “With the amount of information provided online by a Presidential Administration in 2017, the transfer of websites from one Administration to another is a massive undertaking,” said Smith. “Despite the large lift, we urge the Trump Administration to provide all the resources needed to get the AWA information back up as quickly as possible.”

     Last Congress, Smith was a co-sponsor on several legislative measures designed to ensure that pets, livestock and other animals are treated appropriately. These co-sponsorships included the “Pet Safety and Protection Act” which would prohibit animal dealers who have failed to meet basic AWA standards from selling dogs and cats to researchers nationwide.

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<span class="kicker">Press Conference Set for Feb 15</span>Abuses of the Ethiopian Regime Topic of House Press Conference

2017/02/13

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO-06), two Ethiopian speakers and others will be holding a news conference on Wednesday, February 15 to express their views on what the Ethiopian and American governments should do to redress the increasingly tragic situation in Ethiopia. The conference will coincide with the introduction of a bipartisan resolution urging that action be taken to stem the denial of human rights and outright abuse of citizens by the Ethiopian government.

     “The human rights violations of the Ethiopian government have heightened concern within the international community and threatened the stability of this important East African nation,” said Smith. “This resolution draws attention to these violations and proposes actions by both the Government of Ethiopia and the Government of the United States to help Ethiopia find a path back to stability and democracy.”

Who:               Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Rep. Mike Coffman, Tewodrose Tirfe, Founding Member of Amhara Association of America, Seenaa Jimjimo, President of Coalition of Oromo Advocates for Human Rights and Democracy, others

What:              Press Conference on the upcoming House Resolution supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia

When:             Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Where:            House Triangle

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<span class="kicker">CERDEC Director: "Congressman Smith went to bat for us..."</span>Smith Cuts Ribbon on New Aviation Hangar on the Joint Base

2017/02/10

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today participated in the official opening of a new state-of-the-art aviation hangar to house a critical Army mission on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB-MDL).

     Joined by Rep. Thomas MacArthur (NJ-03), U.S>. Army Corps of Engineers Col. David Caldwell, Directors Henry J. Muller Jr. and Gary Blohm and senior leadership from across the base, the Communications Electronics Research Development Engineering Center (CERDEC) Flight Activity hangar will retain this mission in New Jersey and help advance our military’s aviation research and development, and quick-reaction capabilities.

     Smith, who has championed the project for a decade, noted that the CERDEC Flight Activity hangar is a state-of-the-art hub, designed to replace Hangar 5, a 1940s-era wooden structure that has been deteriorating, creating a threat to aircraft and equipment.

      Beginning in February of 2007, my staff and I undertook more than two dozen meetings and significant actions including meeting with then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, two Secretaries of the Army and the Assistant Secretary of Installations and Environment to ensure that: first, CERDEC remained at Lakehurst and not be relocated pursuant to the 2005 BRAC; and second, that a new state-of-the-art facility be funded to replace Hangar 5,” said Smith.

     The CERDEC Flight Activity is a vital tenet at the base and for our local community,” Smith continued. It is a prime example of a mission that has grown and can continue to grow as a result of a coordinated and concerted effort to highlight the talented workforce and other assets—including this new $50 million investment by the Army—that we have here.”

     Smith worked with Army officials at multiple levels and was able to secure a crucial commitment for the replacement hanger in the Future Years Defense Plan in 2008.

     The Hangar project’s military value was clear when it was specifically requested by the Army in the 2013 budget, in an account that was slashed by over $1 billion dollars from 2012.

     The project’s inclusion in the Army’s FY13 budget request was a testament to CERDEC’s record of providing cost-effective support to the warfighter with established capabilities and intellectual capital that cannot be replicated elsewhere,” said Smith. The work done in this hangar supports aviation research and development that is critical to continue advancing our C4ISR technologies and the quick-reaction capabilities that ensure our men and women in the field have the tools necessary to successfully complete their mission—and return home safe.”

     "Congressman Smith, we thank you for your unwavering support in making this a reality," said Caldwell, commander of the New York USACE District.

     The completion of the CERDEC Flight Activity continues the good news that the Joint Base has received this year. In January the air force announced that the Joint Base was selected to house the next generation of refueling tankers, the KC-46. The base’s current 32 KC-10s are continually targeted for retirement and will now be replaced.  The base also hosts eight KC-135 Stratotankers and 13 C-17 Globemaster III airlifters, and other planes and helicopters.

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<span class="kicker">Bipartisan coalition raises awareness about cardiovascular disease and the importance of related research, treatment and prevention</span>Reps. Smith, Beatty Named Co-Chairs of Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition

2017/02/09

Coinciding with American Heart Month, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) were named co-Chairs of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition for the 115th Congress.

     “The coalition has worked to craft and advance solutions in the fight against heart disease, stroke and other devastating cardiovascular diseases through securing funding for invaluable programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and effectively engaging with Members of Congress on the seriousness of heart and stroke issues,” said Smith (NJ-04), who served as the co-Chair of the Coalition in the last Congress.

     “I am pleased to welcome my colleague Rep. Joyce Beatty, who previously served on the board of the American Heart Association and as a member of Heart and Stroke Coalition in past congresses, as the new co-chair for the Coalition. As a stroke survivor herself, Rep. Beatty offers unique perspectives on heart disease and will bring important personal insights to the Coalition as we continue to work with the American Heart Association and our colleagues in the 115th Congress on behalf of Americans suffering from heart disease and their loved ones, who are often their caregivers” Smith continued.

     “As a stroke survivor, I understand the magnitude and life-changing effects heart disease and stroke have on more than 82 million Americans. When it comes to cardiovascular diseases, Democrats and Republicans agree that Congress can do more to address the number one killer of men and women. That is why I am honored to join my Congressional colleague, Congressman Smith, along with the Senate Co-Chairs, to work on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to improve the treatment, detection, and prevention of heart disease and stroke,” said Beatty (OH-03).

     Founded in 1996, the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition is a bipartisan group of more than 100 senators and representatives dedicated to advancing public policy aimed at fighting cardiovascular diseases. In addition to Smith and Beatty, Senators Michael Crapo (R-ID) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) serve as co-Chairs of the Coalition in the 115th Congress.

     “Our heartfelt congratulations to Rep. Beatty on her new leadership role with the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition! As a long-time friend of the association, she has worked for years with our affiliate and on the National Board, as well as helped to amplify our mission on Capitol Hill. Rep. Beatty truly understands the needs of individuals with cardiovascular disease. She will be in good company with the current co-Chair Rep. Chris Smith, who has had a long and distinguished record of standing up for heart and stroke patients on Capitol Hill,” said American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown. “We look forward to partnering with Reps. Smith and Beatty in support of the coalition’s important work to help educate members of Congress and their staff, advance public policy and ultimately save lives from cardiovascular disease – the no. 1 and most costly killer of Americans.”

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International Megan’s Law: One Year Later

2017/02/08

One year to the date of its enactment, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) reports that the International Megan’s Law is already having the intended effect of reducing the threat of child sex tourism.

     Smith, who authored the bill, met today with a delegation from Thailand who expressed deep gratitude for the enactment of the law. During the meeting, Ambassador Pisan Manawapat, joined by representatives from the Royal Thai Police force, indicated that in Thailand alone, over 160 convicted sex offenders were caught trying to enter the country. Worldwide reports indicate that 1,780 notifications of pedophile travel have been sent by 64 countries, with a particular emphasis on countries known to be primary destinations for child sex tourism.

     “This important legislation allows governments, in the U.S. and around the globe, to know when convicted pedophiles on sex-offender registries are traveling to other countries,” said Smith. “Information is power and the interest of protecting children remains at the core of both federal and state Megan’s Laws.”

     Smith noted that while much has been done; new sections of the law are still being implemented, further increasing the protections offered by this law. International Megan’s Law mandates that the State Department, in consultation with the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, establish a program for issuing a passport provision on a traveling sex offender with an offence against a child, preventing circumvention of the notification system by travelers who misreport which countries they visit. The State Department along with the Department of Homeland Security are coordinating to increasingly implement this provision, and full implementation of this system is expected within the next few months.

     According to a 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “Current Situation Results in Thousands of Passports Issued to Registered Sex Offenders,” at least 4,500 U.S. passports were issued to registered sex offenders in fiscal year 2008. The GAO emphasized that its numbers were probably understated due to the limitations of the data that it was able to access and analyze. Due to International Megan’s Law, destination countries will no longer be caught unaware by sex offenders who may be traveling for nefarious reasons.

     “The first year of International Megan’s Law has shown just how critical this legislation is for the protection of children here and abroad,” said Smith, a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “Child predators thrive on secrecy, a veil allowing them to commit atrocious crimes against children. While the sections of the law that have been put into force so far have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of children across the planet, we must ensure that the rest of this law is implemented without any further delay.”

     The law, like the domestic notifications laws before it, is named for Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old resident of Smith’s home town of Hamilton, N.J., who was sexually assaulted and killed in 1994 by a convicted, repeat sex offender living across the street and unknown to the residents in the neighborhood. Public outcry in response to the terrible crime and tireless work by Megan’s parents, Richard and Maureen Kanka, led to the New Jersey State Legislature passing the original Megan’s Law (NJSA 2C: 7-1 through 7-II) in 1994. The law required public notification of convicted sex offenders living in the community. Today all 50 states and all the territories have a Megan's Law, an important tool in preventing more children from becoming victims.

     In addition to the protections added to passports, International Megan’s Law:   

  • Streamlines and coordinates the work of the Angel Watch Center with the Sex Offender Targeting Center of the US Marshals Service so that the best information is getting to the right people in the shortest amount of time;
  • Makes it a crime, for the first time, for a sex offender to travel abroad without giving 21 days advance notice so that law enforcement has adequate time to vet the traveler and warn the destination country, if needed;
  • Requires federal agencies to properly collect notification response data to understand which countries are working with the U.S. on preventing re-offense by child predators;
  • Provides the authority for both the Angel Watch Center and the US Marshals Service to receive information from other countries about pedophiles intending to travel to the U.S.;
  • Clarifies the receipt and sharing within U.S. law enforcement of incoming notifications on known sex offenders traveling to the U.S.; and
  • Directs the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security, to seek agreements and use technical assistance with other countries so that the United States is notified in advance of incoming foreign sex offenders. 

     The new International Megan’s Law will work in conjunction with America’s landmark anti-human trafficking law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authored by Smith.

     Estimates from the International Labor Organization indicate that 1.8 million children are victims of commercial sexual exploitation around the world every year.

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<span class="kicker">Heart Disease the Leading Cause of Death Among Women</span>Smith: More Support Needed for Women's Heart Health

2017/02/07

At a Capitol Hill briefing this week promoting heart health for women, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Heart and Stroke, said, “increased awareness, education and federal resources have helped, but too many people still wrongfully see heart disease as a ‘man’s disease’—thereby missing key warning signs and grave risks for women.”

     Cardiovascular disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year,” said Smith, who has been a strong supporter of funding for the National Institutes of Health, programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention such as the WISEWOMAN and Million Heart programs, and a cosponsor of legislation such as the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine Act.

     While federal budgetary restrictions exist, with 398,035 women succumbing to this devastating disease annually, we must double our efforts to protect, and boost if possible, funding for heart disease and stroke programs. These programs are too important for women’s health,” said Smith, referring to the most recent statistics available from the American Heart Association. 

     Smith was the congressional headliner for the briefing hosted by the American Heart Association and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

     Entitled “Women and Heart Health: A Guide to Staying Heart Healthy,” the forum highlighted the need for increased awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the number one cause of death for women and for continued and increased federal support for research as well as programs aimed at surveillance and prevention. Other speakers featured at the event included a patient advocate, a cardiologist and a medical researcher from Johns Hopkin’s Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center.

     Awareness of risk factors for CVD was at the forefront of the briefing. 96% of heart attacks are attributable to nine risk factors that can be controlled or managed, such as hypertension, cholesterol and smoking. Maria Duca, MD, Co-Director of the Women’s Cardiology program for the Virtua Health System, spoke at length about risk factors specific to women, such as those related to pregnancy and menopause, as well as those shared with men.

     While CVD is the number one cause of death for women, and is more fatal for women than men, it is still often misdiagnosed in women; in fact, women are seven times more likely to have a heart attack that is misdiagnosed than men, as symptoms often present differently. Star Mirza, a CVD patient and WomenHeart Champion, spoke at the briefing about the years of heart palpitations, fainting and other symptoms she experienced before she was finally diagnosed with a heart rhythm condition.

     Smith has a long record of exposing the disparity in women’s heart health, including the lack of women in federally funded research.  In 1991, as the Chairman of the House panel on global health issues, Smith penned an op-ed in the Asbury Park Press entitled “Shutting women out: Misinformation is harming their medical care.” 

     We have more work to do,” Smith said, noting progress but pushing for greater success.  It’s important that we have women in representative numbers in federally funded studies so that we can understand how heart disease presents differently in women; if current diagnostic methods are effective in detecting CVD in women; and if women react similarly to men to different therapeutic treatments.” 

     Click here to read Smith’s floor remarks from 2016 recognizing American Heart Month in the Congressional Record.

     The Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition was founded in 1996 for the purpose of raising awareness of the seriousness of cardiovascular diseases and to act as a resource center for heart and stroke issues, including biomedical research, quality, the availability of care, health promotion and disease prevention. The coalition and its nearly 150 members also work to advance public policy aimed at fighting cardiovascular diseases.

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Chris Smith: Stop Coercing States to Fund Planned Parenthood

2017-02-17 14:33:10


Chris Smith Speaks on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

2017-01-24 20:52:17


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


Contact Information

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

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

Leonard Lance

NEW JERSEY's 7th DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen

NEW JERSEY's 11th DISTRICT

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