Rep. Chris Smith On Why He Seeks Re-Election To Congress In NJ 4

Carly Baldwin
·9 min read

This fall, it's not just Trump vs. Biden. It's also Democrat Stephanie Schmid vs. Republican Chris Smith in the battle to be the congressperson for New Jersey's fourth congressional district.

Congressman Smith currently holds the seat; he has represented New Jersey's Fourth District for 20 terms, since 1981.

Schmid is his Democratic challenger this year.

The fourth congressional district covers nearly all of Monmouth County, including towns such as Holmdel, part of Middletown, Colts Neck, Rumson, Manalapan, Freehold, Red Bank and Wall Township. The fourth district also reaches into Jackson and Lakewood in Ocean County and Hamilton and Robbinsville in Mercer County.

Patch asked both Smith and Schimd the same set of questions, and here are Smith's answers (here are Schmid's https://patch.com/new-jersey/m...):

Your Name: Chris Smith
Age (as of Election Day): 67
Town of Residence: Hamilton Township
Congressional seat sought: New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District
Party Affiliation: Republican
Family: Married with four grown children, six grandchildren
Education: B.A. in Business Administration College of New Jersey (Trenton State College), Comparative politics study Worchester College in England.
Occupation: Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, since 1980 (40 years)
Campaign Website: smith4nj.com

The following is what Smith wrote:

Words are inadequate to convey my deep thanks for the honor to serve the people of the 4th district in the U.S. Congress.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote.

Because I truly believe in the duty to assist and care for others, I pour myself into the job every single day.

I continue to rank second among all 435 members of Congress in turning bills into law that make an enormous difference in the lives of people, including 14 laws to assist our veterans, five laws to combat the cruelty of human trafficking, three laws to help individuals with autism, two laws to promote religious freedom, two laws to unleash the miraculous healing power of umbilical cord and bone marrow stem cells, human rights and much, much more.

As co-chair of the Alzheimer Caucus, I’ve worked in a bipartisan way to quadruple funding for Alzheimer’s research to find a cure or a disease-modifying therapeutic by 2025.

Both as a lawmaker and tenacious advocate for my constituents, I’ve worked hard to help more than 92,000 individuals — ninety-two thousand — to solve problems with Medicare, health insurance, military affairs, unemployment compensation, social security, veterans benefits, the IRS, education, consumer affairs, FEMA aid after catastrophic events like Superstorm Sandy and more.

With COVID-19 came a unique set of challenges, and my staff and I worked around the clock — often late into the night — to successfully procure medicines for extremely sick patients in our local hospitals, quicker test results, personal protective equipment like gloves and masks and unemployment benefits.

Some of those assisted went public in local newspapers and asked that their story be told:

Liz said: “COVID devastated my family. But in the darkest time of our lives, Chris Smith was there for us. He helped us get all the care and medications we needed. Even when the medical doctors gave up, he didn’t…”

Dan said: “My brother, Kevin, was on a ventilator for 111 days. His life was hanging in the balance, and we were desperate. So we called Chris Smith. He cut through the red tape and saved my brother’s life. Kevin would not have survived had it not been for Chris Smith. I call him my guardian angel…”

In fighting the coronavirus pandemic, I have supported all five coronavirus relief laws, which included stimulus payments, unemployment benefits and SBA loans/grants to sustain New Jersey’s small businesses and help pay workers. I also helped secure funds specifically for New Jersey hospitals, the state and local governments, testing and vaccine research through CARES Act.

Combating COVID-19 is the single most pressing issue facing our district, state and nation affecting personal and financial health and well-being.

Containing the outbreak, finding the best and most efficacious therapeutics, and a safe and effective vaccine must remain among our nation’s top priorities along with safely reopening our economy.

I voted for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide nutritional assistance for seniors, women, children and low-income families, and expanded family/medical leave. I am the only Republican cosponsor of the Family Act, legislation to create paid family medical leave and I have a strong record of pushing pay equity legislation.

I am also committed to protecting accessible and affordable quality healthcare and coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In endorsing my bid for reelection, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security said:

“You earned the endorsement of the National Committee because you understand and support the critical roles that Social Security and Medicare play in the retirement and health security of our nation’s older citizens and their families … You are a trailblazer in Congress promoting enhanced federal funding for Alzheimer’s research and treatment programs in an effort to one day find a cure … You also recognize that protections for those with pre-existing conditions are essential and you have fought against efforts to repeal these protections …”

This Congress I voted for the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions, legislation to specifically protect patients with pre-existing conditions and reject junk insurance plans that drive up premium costs for Americans who are older, sicker or have pre-existing conditions.

I will continue to work for public safety and strong, well-funded highly trained law enforcement personnel. The New Jersey Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the NJ State Troopers Association have all endorsed my reelection to Congress.

I also authored 14 veterans' laws on healthcare, a major higher-ed funding boost in the Montgomery GI bill, and service-connected benefits expansion and more. My law, the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act established the first federal, coordinated program to combat homelessness and offer housing and shelter for vets needing assistance. When my bill became law there were nearly 300,000 veterans homeless on any given night. With my law, we have been able to reduce that number to approximately 37,000 — still unconscionably high — but progress.

I worked for almost a decade to establish the Brick outpatient health clinic in Ocean County and was the driving force behind the establishment of the VA clinic in Monmouth County.

I am unalterably opposed to offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling that would put our pristine New Jersey coast and ocean waters at grave risk. The National Wildlife Federation endorsed my reelection and said: “Throughout his time on the Hill, Rep. Chris Smith has emerged as a champion for ensuring clean water, restoring wildlife habitat, and bolstering the resilience of coastal communities to hurricanes and other severe weather.”

I led the effort to save Navy Lakehurst when it was slated for closure and assisted in rescuing both Ft. Dix and McGuire from closure as well. Today, the Joint Base thrives and is the second largest employer in the state.

I voted against restricting the state and local tax deduction (SALT) to $10,000 and cosponsored legislation to restore the SALT deduction taken from New Jersey residents.

I co-chair several congressional working groups on issues such as Lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Autism Heart and Stroke, Pro-Life, combating anti-Antisemitism and human trafficking.

This year Congress finally passed and the president signed legislation I authored in the House, the Tick Act, to create a national policy to prevent, detect and treat Lyme Disease. In Washington I will continue to fight for those suffering from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

I am the author of three major laws to address autism, including the most recent, the Autism CARES Act, a $1.8 billion, five-year authorization package to fund federal research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) and local programs for detection, early intervention and treatment of autism including new initiatives for those who are “age-out” of traditional school-based support and will need assistance with employment, housing, healthcare and independent living.

Oct. 28 marks 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, the comprehensive, historic law that I authored to aggressively combat sex and labor trafficking both within the United States and around the world. The TVPA created a new, well-funded whole-of government domestic and international strategy and established numerous new programs to Protect victims, Prosecute traffickers and to the extent possible, Prevent human trafficking in the first place.

Of significance, my law also included the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), doubling VAWA funding to $3.3 billion over five years for women’s shelters, rehab programs, housing and other initiatives for battered and abused women. Over the years, I’ve authored four additional laws to combat human trafficking, including in 2003, 2005, 2016, and 2019.

On several occasions, I’ve turned lessons learned from constituent case work into new federal laws. Two of the most known are the International Megan’s Law — to protect children from pedophiles who look to travel to exploit children and The Sean and David Goldman (from Holmdel) International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, to help bring home U.S. children who have been abducted overseas. Each law is making a significant difference, but children are still being exploited and we can do more.

In its most recent non-partisan study, The Lugar Center along with Georgetown University, named me in the top one percent of most bipartisan lawmakers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded me this year with its inaugural Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship for forging “common sense solutions built from a durable political center."

Here are Schmid's answers: Stephanie Schmid On Why She's Running For Congress In NJ 4

And here is Patch's profile of the NJ 4 Congress race: 4th NJ Congressional District: Schmid Challenges Smith

This article originally appeared on the Middletown Patch