Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

<span class="kicker">Hearing on Rwanda set for Sept. 27</span>Rwandan Democracy Topic of House Hearing

2017/09/21

On Wednesday, September 27th, Chairman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chair of the House panel on Africa, will be holding a hearing to investigate democracy and human rights in Rwanda. Testifying at the hearing will be a State Department official as well as notable experts on the African country.

    “Rwanda has been a valuable contributor to peacekeeping in Africa and is the sixth largest troop and police contributor to United Nations missions,” said Smith, who has held four hearings on Rwanda. “However, questions have increased about the status of human rights and rule of law inside Rwanda and its efforts to silence critics living abroad.  This hearing will examine the future of democracy and rule of law in Rwanda in light of persistent criticism of its government’s behavior at home and on the international stage.”

Who:              
Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; other members of the Committee

Witness:         
Panel I
The Honorable Donald Yamamoto
Acting Assistant Secretary
Bureau of African Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Panel II
Mr. David Himbara
Coordinator for Canada
Democracy in Rwanda Now

Major Robert Higiro, Rwanda Defense Force, Retired
Coordinator for the United States
Democracy in Rwanda Now

Mr. Mike Jobbins
Manager
Africa Programs
Search for Common Ground

What:             
House hearing on democracy in Rwanda

When:            
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 2:00 PM

Where:           
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2200 (second floor)

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Smith Helps Break Ground on Count Basie Expansion

2017/09/20

Today, alongside local and international leaders in the arts, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) helped break ground on a $23 million expansion of the historic Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. 

     “Music and the arts not only entertain us and make us laugh and even cry, but inspire, uplift, challenge and touch us deep within our souls,” said Smith. “The arts help to define our culture and transform our lives, and artists make us a better society. The Basie is becoming the region’s top performing arts center, and this near doubling in size will further nurture the talent, education and dreams of aspiring young artists.”

     The project will encompass much of a city block and make it one of the region’s largest centers dedicated to performing arts and arts education. Expansion plans for the facility include a glass-walled lobby, a modern upgrade for the theatre’s backstage area, a multi-use venue for up and coming artists and new space for area arts nonprofits, partner programs and the theatre’s ever-growing Performing Arts Academy.

     The Count Basie Theatre has an economic impact of over $17 million per year on the surrounding area, and it is estimated that after the completion of this project, the economic impact will grow to over $30 million.

     Maureen and Steven Van Zandt, who were the honorary co-Chairs of the expansion project attended the ground breaking event. Basie officials also announced a major $2 million gift from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation which will allow for the creation of an arts and education building, which will house studios, classrooms and administrative offices for its growing arts education programs, as well as a second performance venue.

     Dedicated to fostering powerful, inclusive artistic experiences and creative exchange of ideas, the non-profit Count Basie Theatre’s primary mission is to inspire, educate and entertain through its distinct and engaging cultural and artistic offerings that reflect the diversity of the region.

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Senate Companion to Smith’s Nonprofit Fairness Act Provides Bicameral Opportunity

2017/09/19

Today, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) welcomed the introduction of a Senate companion bill to his bipartisan “Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017” (H.R. 2405). The legislation will put houses of worship that have been shut out of receiving federal assistance after a disaster on an even playing field with other private non-profit organizations seeking disaster assistance.

     The Senate companion bill was introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and James Lankford (R-OK). When the legislation was first introduced in 2013—just months after Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey, New York and other Northeast regions—the House passed it in a decisive 354-72 vote. Unfortunately for these victims, at the time the Senate refused to take the bill up for a vote.

     “Following the devastation of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the flooding in Louisiana last year and the indiscriminate desolation by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma we have seen, time and time again, that faith communities are among the first to open their doors to the needs of their communities, even as they themselves suffered incredible destruction,” said Smith, who introduced the 2017 version of this legislation in May of this year. “They deserve equal treatment when it comes to federal aid.”

     President Trump has indicated support for houses of worship, ensuring that they are not excluded from federal support. On September 8th the President tweeted: “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).

     “The discriminatory policy of excluding houses of worship from disaster relief is not prescribed in any law,” said Smith. “The previous Administration simply refused to help them. We have an opportunity to change this through future federal disaster assistance programs.”

     “I would like to thank my colleagues in the Senate for working to help ensure quick passage of this legislation,”

    There are several noteworthy precedents for federal aid to damaged houses of worship. For example, after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, Congress overruled FEMA’s refusal to provide assistance to the damaged churches and in 2002, after an earthquake in Seattle, the Justice Department intervened to order FEMA to assist religious organizations damaged by the quake. Currently, other nonprofits that provide educational, enrichment, social and community building activities—like houses of worship do—are already eligible for FEMA grant funds.

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Smith Bills Take Aim at Two Unjust Policies Uncovered in Superstorm Sandy

2017/09/14

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is leading the charge, for a second time, to reform two federal disaster relief and recovery programs, one that discriminates against faith-based organizations and another that forces individual victims to take on new debt while boxing them out of possible federal grants. These flaws surfaced during the Superstorm Sandy recovery effort and both fixes are now gaining support as Congress prepares a larger recovery package for victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

     “Superstorm Sandy taught us tough lessons—in the preparation for a storm and its aftermath, it showed us some significant flaws in our federal assistance programs,” said Smith, whose constituents in coastal areas in Monmouth and Ocean counties were hit hard by the Superstorm Sandy in 2012. “The Equity for Disaster Victims Act of 2017 (H.R. 3674) and the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017 (H.R. 2405) address injustices in our disaster recovery programs and both bills are desperately needed,” he said. 

     Smith’s original bill, the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 592), passed the House of Representatives just months after Superstorm Sandy hit New Jersey in a decisive 354-72 vote. Sadly, the Senate failed to act on the legislation.

Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017

     The Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act of 2017 (H.R. 2405) is bipartisan legislation that would put houses of worship on an even playing field with other private non-profit organizations seeking disaster assistance. In the last 8 years, here have been many nonprofit religious organizations, churches, synagogues and other religious centers that were completely shut out of getting federal assistance despite damage they sustained and the essential services they provide in the wake of a disaster.  

     “Faith-based organizations are hit just as hard as other private non-profits when natural disasters strike,” Smith said. “They don’t need or want special treatment—but to be totally excluded from recovery programs is unjust and unfair. It’s ironic that houses of worship are among the first to open their doors and serve victims of natural disasters—but also the first to be turned away from disaster assistance.

     FEMA’s past discriminatory policy of excluding houses of worship from disaster relief is not prescribed by any law. The Obama Administration just refused to help them. It’s discrimination and the policy must change.”

     Smith’s new bill, cosponsored by lead Democrat Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) and a dozen bipartisan Members, stipulates that FEMA provides disaster relief assistance using criteria that are neutral with regard to religion. Any funds granted to houses of worship would be allocated in accordance with FEMA’s standard policies and procedures for other private nonprofit facilities in the wake of a natural disaster.

     Last week, lawmakers were encouraged by messaging from President Trump. On September 8th, the President tweeted: “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).

The Equity for Disaster Victims Act of 2017

     Smith’s second bill, The Equity for Disaster Victims Act of 2017 (H.R. 3674), would reform the federal government’s disaster relief programs to allow homeowners, small businesses and nonprofits that accepted Small Business Administration (SBA) loans following Sandy to receive federal grants for which they would otherwise be eligible except for the fact that they had accepted a federal loan. Smith’s bill would require that the grant money be used to repay the loan, thereby enabling victims to avoid further debt while allowing them to benefit from the same grants—usually run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development—that others who delayed their application later received. 

     Homeowners who were encouraged—and in many cases pressured—to move quickly and apply for loans through the SBA only to learn later that such loans make them ineligible for subsequent grant programs,” Smith explained. The current misguided rule is designed to eliminate a duplication of benefits, but instead it punishes those who follow federal advice and rewards those who procrastinate.  My bill restores fairness to the equation and enables victims to qualify on equal footing for grant programs that are by nature available later in the process.”

     In July of 2015, Smith testified before the House Committee on Small Business and urged SBA and HUD to provide an equitable solution. He told the committee of a New Jersey family who applied for and received an SBA home disaster loan after their homes were destroyed by Sandy.

     After liquidating their retirement savings and incurring a substantial tax penalty as a result, the family applied for relief through New Jersey’s Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) Program. The family was shocked to learn of their ineligibility for a grant award solely due to their acceptance of the SBA loan—a consequence that they were never informed of during the loan process. Others in a similar predicament were also denied grants.

     To qualify for the SBA loans, victims tap other assets, company pension plans, IRAs, college saving accounts—all to take on new debt so they can rebuild,” said Smith. Allowing them access to grants to help pay back that debt helps them get back on their feet and ensures that they are not penalized for working diligently towards recovery.”

     Smith noted that not only is the policy unfair, but it is not clearly explained to people desperate after a disaster. Homeowners, from the Jersey Shore to the Gulf Coast and everywhere in between, need to know of their potential preclusion from further assistance when considering home disaster loans,” Smith said. “Post-Superstorm Sandy, these loans were the primary option offered to homeowners needing to rebuild. Those who accept home disaster loans should not be precluded from future HUD assistance just because such assistance is not yet available.”

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<span class ="kicker">Smith Chairs Congressional Hearing on Liberia’s Upcoming Election</span>Future of Democracy in Liberia Topic of House Hearing w State Dept., USAID, Human Rights Groups

2017/09/13

The departure from office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, who has distinguished herself from many other African leaders by not pushing for an unconstitutional third term, was the focus of a congressional hearing held by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who cautioned that all the possible directions the country may take once elections are held this October must be examined closely.

Liberia, a country established in the 1800s by freed slaves from the United States, has a special place in U.S. foreign policy toward Africa. After seeing democratic progress under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her two terms in office, the U.S. must consider the prospects for further consolidation of democracy and governance by a new Administration, said Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

SLIDE SHOW - Pictured above are Chairman Smith, other Members of Congress and witnesses from the State Dept., USAID and several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who testified at Smith's hearing. 

  “Our government has a significant investment in Liberia on several fronts,” said Chairman Smith. “The future direction of this country is important to the United States. Therefore, we have a stake in the next Liberian government building on advances made in democracy and governance under the current government and must continue to provide assistance to that end and insist on no backsliding as we see in far too many countries in Africa today.” Click here to read Smith’s opening statement. Click here to watch his opening statement.

Witnesses from the Administration included Donald Yamamoto, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Cheryl Anderson, Acting Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

  “This election is critical, not just for what the transition represents but because it will give Liberians the opportunity to elect a President well-equipped to lead the country towards a peaceful and prosperous future,” said Yamamoto. “Despite how far Liberia has come, many challenges remain that will fall to President Sirleaf’s successor to address.” Click here to read his full testimony.

  “As a new government is formed following the upcoming elections, the United States will look to build strategically on the current strong relationship and identify opportunities to enhance transparency, strengthen checks and balances, and to support Liberians both inside and outside of government institutions,” said Anderson. “This includes our work with the nation’s next generation of democratic leaders.” Click here to read her full testimony.

  Also testifying were Dave Peterson, Senior Director of Africa Programs at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and Aurelia Curtis, Founder and Executive Director of Weeks Educational and Social Advocacy Project; Rushdi Nackerdien , Regional Director for Africa, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and; Christopher Fomunyoh, Ph.D., Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa National Democratic Institute (NDI).


  “I can testify to the determination Liberians have demonstrated for democracy at the ballot box,” said Peterson of NED. “According to the Afrobarometer, 83 percent of Liberians support democratic elections.” Click here to read Peterson’s testimony.

  “The civil war has left entrenched resentments and divisions along tribal and political lines, evident in the Diaspora and ever-present in current campaign rhetoric,” said Curtis, who said her own father was among those who walked for days to escape warring Factions after his home was taken over by rebel forces. Even after he found his way out of Liberia and into the United States, he continued to suffer the recollection of atrocities. “There is no quick solution to problems resulting from more than one hundred years of dysfunction in government and social practices.” Click here to read Curtis testimony.

  “Based on voter turnout from past presidential and general elections in 2005 and 2011, a turnout (in round one) of up to 80 percent is anticipated, compared to a turnout of about 60 percent for the United States’ 2016 elections,” said Nackerdien of IFES. “However, if there is torrential rain in many areas of the country on Election Day, it will have a direct impact on the willingness and ability of Liberians to reach their polling stations (sometimes up to 10 kilometers away, through difficult terrain).” Click here to read Nackerdien’s testimony.

  “Prospective voters view the polls as a catalyst for the improvement of their well-being that could further nourish the country’s rebirth or renewal,” said Fomunyoh of NDI. “They are fearful of renewed conflict, economic decline, and physical insecurity, should the elections fail.” Click here to read Fomunyoh’s testimony.

  According to the Liberian Embassy, U.S.-Liberian relations date back to the founding of Liberia in 1822 by former slaves and free-born blacks from the United States, under the auspices of the American Colonization Society (ACS). The ACS, a philanthropic organization, was chartered to find a new home in Africa for freed men and women of color in the U.S. Included among the founders of the ACS were Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, Daniel Webster, Francis Scott Key and Bushrod Washington, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and nephew of George Washington. Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, is named after Monroe.

  On July 26, 1847, Liberia declared her independence, and became Africa’s first republic. Ten of Liberia’s 23 presidents were American born. Liberia championed liberation of the African Continent away from colonial rule to self determination.

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<span class ="kicker">Smith Speaks at 9/11 Remembrance</span>9/11 Memorial Ceremony Held in Colts Neck, NJ

2017/09/11

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ04) and other officials commemorated the terrorist attacks 16 years ago today against targets in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that killed nearly 3,000 people including hundreds of New Jersey residents.

  In addition to Smith and other officials, also speaking at a Colts Neck, N.J. commemoration was Theresa Furmato Velardi, whose father, Paul James Furmato, was a sales trader and a Vice-President at Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center. She recounted that fateful day when she lost her father and her family was changed forever. She was six years old.

  “I remember waking up morning after morning watching my mother fight back her tears and try her best to raise three children on her own,” Velardi said. “I remember waking up every day after the Twin Towers crashed wondering, ‘does this mean Dad is really never coming home?’ I remember being a Girl Scout in Colts Neck and having to skip Father-Daughter Dances because my father was murdered. I remember hoping and praying, even years later, that my Dad would come walking through the door one day and that this was all a really horrible dream. But it wasn’t a dream,” she said. “You never forget the feeling of losing a father. You never forget the pain, the devastation, or the confusion. And it wasn’t just my family. Families from around the country lost loved ones.”

  Smith recounted the bravery of New Jersey’s own Todd Beamer and other passengers who attacked the terrorists on board Flight 93 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field to preclude another jet from being used as a missile, and other unforgettable moments of the infamous day.

  “Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing,” said Smith, who himself was in Washington chairing a Veteran’s Affairs Committee hearing. “No one remembers the shock, horror and numbing sorrow more, however, than the families and close friends of the victims.”

  “Who can forget the courageous first responders running up the stairs of burning buildings—with total disregard for their own safety—saving some at the expense of their own lives?” said Smith, who recounted his own fears from that day when for several hours he couldn’t reach his brother—an American Airlines 757 Captain who often piloted Flight 11 from Logan to LA, the flight that crashed into the North Tower.

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<span class ="kicker">APP News Article on Fight Against Lyme</span>'A Colts Neck family's uphill fight against chronic Lyme disease'

2017/09/10

BY JERRY CARINO, APP STAFF WRITER -

At various junctures, Brielle was diagnosed with autism and diabetes. Twice, Robyn Reznik said, her daughter was referred to a child psychologist. But moms have good instincts and Robyn, who is a psychotherapist, kept searching for answers until she found someone who connected the dots.

It turns out Brielle has chronic Lyme disease, a condition that much of the medical establishment generally declines to acknowledge.

Rep. Chris Smith on Lyme disease 'culture of denial'

“If you have a child with Lyme disease, trying to find somebody to treat it is so, so difficult,” Reznik said. “I’ve never seen such discrimination against an illness.”

She’s not alone. The fight to recognize long-term Lyme, waged for years by advocates like the Wall-based Lyme Disease Association (LDA), is on the brink of a breakthrough. In December, Congress established a working group to examine the issue.

For now, suffering continues.

“People will often ask me to recommend a hospital to go to. There aren’t any,” said LDA president Pat Smith, who raised two children stricken by chronic Lyme. “None of them want to do anything about Lyme.”

Brielle’s story, which the Asbury Park Press verified with two different doctors and documentation of lab results, serves as a cautionary tale and — maybe — a sign of light at the tunnel’s end.

Brielle Reznik (right) is comforted by her sister Arielle. (Photo: Robyn Reznik)

'He saved Brielle's life'

Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people per year in the U.S., and New Jersey ranks second behind Pennsylvania in the number of reported cases. 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. So sufferers are left to find a “Lyme-friendly” doctor, which is not easy.

Lyme disease update: new controversy, tick prevention tips, NJ danger spots

“Doctors disagree about the long-term treatment,” said Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, a Ramsey-based pediatric neurologist who diagnosed Brielle. “That’s largely because we have lousy tests for it.”

Brielle Reznik in February (Photo: Robyn Reznik)

The tick that bit Brielle, Trifilleti concluded, unleashed not only Lyme but Bartonella (a common Lyme co-infection) and PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome). He prescribed a long-term dose of oral antibiotics, which yielded only marginal results. So in August, he put her on 30 days of intravenous antibiotics.

“It’s made a huge difference,” Robyn Reznik said. “On day two she put her own pair of shoes on, which she had never done before.”

Brielle, who is now 5 years old, has a PICC line in her left arm. Each day, Robyn administers IV antibiotics. The treatment takes about an hour. Last week Trifiletti prescribed a second 30-day cycle, with the hope of getting the young lady attending kindergarten by mid-October.

“With the IV, she has made a complete turnaround,” Trifiletti said. “A kid like this 10 years ago would have been called autistic and would have been treated just with symptomatic medication. So this is a completely different way to look at a child who has problems like this.” 

Reznik puts it more bluntly.

“He saved Brielle’s life,” she said.

Brielle Reznik (Photo: Tanya Breen)

A story worth telling

The backyard at the Reznik home in Colts Neck features plenty of trees. Newly invigorated, Brielle loves playing back there with her younger sister Arielle (see video of them at the top of this story). Their parents take precautions, spraying them with tick repellent and checking their skin for bugs.

With its high concentration of woods and people, Monmouth County is a hotbed for Lyme. In New Jersey, only Morris County reported more cases in 2015. Yet Robyn Reznik said her dealings with local doctors and hospitals left her feeling like she was crazy for mentioning the condition.

“It’s gotten to the point where longtime Lyme patients, if they go into the hospital for something, many of them do not even bring their Lyme up,” the LDA’s Smith said. “This is sad and probably very dangerous. You can sort of understand it when a disease comes out; there is so much confusion that nobody knows what to do about it. But for heaven’s sake, this disease has been around for 43 years.”

Smith hopes Congress, whose interest was initiated by Rep. Chris Smith, can turn the page with a formal recognition of chronic Lyme. In the meantime, Reznik pays out of pocket for Brielle’s IV antibiotics. It’s $600 per month for the medication. Her insurer, she said, “told me by that by their standards, she doesn’t have Lyme disease.”

According to the Lyme Disease Association, 30 percent of Lyme patients are children. There are a lot of Brielles out there. That’s why Reznik is telling her story.

“I don’t want other parents to go through what we went through,” she said. “No one should have to go through that.”

The Lyme Disease Association’s annual conference takes place Sept. 23-24 in Philadelphia. It’s open to health professionals, researchers and the general public. For more information visit www.lymediseaseassociation.org.


This story was published by the Asbury Park Press on Sept. 11, 2017 and can be read online at:
 http://www.app.com/story/news/health/2017/09/07/colts-neck-familys-uphill-fight-against-chronic-lyme-disease/636603001/
 
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<span class="kicker">Hearing on Liberia set for September 13th</span>Democracy in Liberia Topic of House Hearing

2017/09/08

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the current President of Liberia, has taken small but important steps in the advancement of democracy and governance during her two terms leading the country, including separating herself from other African leaders by not pushing for an unconstitutional third term. This hearing will analyze the possible directions the country may take once her replacement is sworn into office.

 “Liberia, a country established in the 1800s by freed slaves from the United States, has a special place in U.S. foreign policy toward Africa,” said Smith. “After seeing democratic progress under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during her two terms in office, this hearing will examine the prospects for further consolidation of democracy and governance by the incoming Administration.”

Who:              
Chairman Smith (NJ-04), Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; other members of the Committee

Witness:         
Panel I
The Honorable Donald Yamamoto
Acting Assistant Secretary
Bureau of African Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Ms. Cheryl Anderson
Acting Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Africa
U.S. Agency for International Development

Panel II
Mr. Dave Peterson

Senior Director
Africa Programs
National Endowment for Democracy

Ms. Aurelia Curtis
Founder and Executive Director
Weeks Educational and Social Advocacy Project

Rushdi Nackerdien
Regional Director for Africa
International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Ph.D.
Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa
National Democratic Institute

What:             
House hearing on Liberian democracy

When:            
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 2:00 PM

Where:           
Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2172 (first floor)

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Response to Pres. Trump's Announcement on DACA

2017/09/05

In response to President Trump's announcement on DACA, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) released the following statement:

     "I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion with my colleagues in the House and Senate to craft a humane legislative solution to protect individuals brought to the U.S. as children and at the same time advancing important reforms in our broken immigration system." Read More

<span class ="kicker">Coast Star News Article on New Seagirt Projects</span>'Ribbon is cut for new National Guard facility'

2017/09/02

By COAST STAR GROUP STAFF

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith joined Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, The Adjutant General, New Jersey National Guard on Thursday in cutting the ribbon at the New Jersey Army National Guard’s Regional Training Institute.

The $32.1million, 86,000 square-foot facility includes an administration and classroom building with 10 classrooms and a library, an auditorium with seating for 225 personnel and a student housing building.

The new facility will provide soldiers the necessary classroom and related training space and billeting accommodations for year-round training and other uses.

The New Jersey Army National Guard’s Regional Training Institute is operated by the 254th Regiment [Combat Arms] as part of the One Army School System in the northeast. The institute instruction to active duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers from throughout the U.S. and Europe. It predominately receives soldiers from New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania, due to its location to those states. The primary mission support is to the units in New Jersey.

The above is an online excerpt and can be found online at:
https://starnewsgroup.com/2017/08/18/ribbon-is-cut-for-new-national-guard-facility/

The full story with photos ran on page A36 on Aug. 24, 2017. It can be seen here.

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Smith pushes bill to sanction Iran, Russia, and North Korea

2017-07-25 19:29:05


Child Abduction is Child Abuse: Rep. Smith calls for real enforcement of the Goldman Act

2017-04-06 18:04:12


Rep. Chris Smith opens a hearing on Africa's Quiet Famine

2017-03-28 20:47:13


Rep. Chris Smith chairs hearing on Anti-Semitism Across Borders

2017-03-22 16:13:14


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


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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