WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4) was recognized "as one of the most bipartisan Members of Congress" with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCOC) inaugural “Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship" its virtual “Governing with Distinction Ceremony” held Tuesday.
The Jefferson-Hamilton Award is presented to the 20 top members of Congress, apportioned by party, based on the number of bills a Member cosponsors introduced by a Member of the opposite party.
“I have long felt that bipartisanship is about respect for other people even when there are fundamental disagreements," said Smith, who scored a 96 out of 100 on the USCOC rating putting him in the top five percent of congressional members. "Bipartisanship is not an end unto itself, but can be a practical, good faith way of understanding different views in order to achieve fair, equitable and sustainable solutions to problems.
"More often than not, bipartisanship helps build support and consensus for effective policies. I have looked to find areas of agreement for my entire time in the people’s House. Then I work with like-minded colleagues to get the job done, to get a bill over the finish line," added Smith.
The Chamber said the awards are intended to emphasize bipartisanship and leadership, and “recognize those members of Congress who in their actions have demonstrated a willingness to work across the aisle in support of common objectives.”
Chamber vice president Jack Howard said that with the country facing unprecedented challenges—including a global pandemic, an economic crisis that has put 40 million Americans out of work, and as well inequality and injustice in society—the country stands at a crossroads and needs to get to work building consensus and solving the great challenges facing the nation.
“Many are looking to our nation’s government and elected leaders for answers during this time,” Howard said. “We need pragmatic political leaders who have the courage to solve huge business and economic growth issues through common sense solutions built from a durable political center, not ideological corners.”
Smith, who has the second most bills enacted into law than among all of the sitting 435 members of the House, is known for working on other side of the aisle to pass laws to protect the vulnerable, especially women and children, veterans and others in need. He has written key federal laws such as the nation’s landmark Human Trafficking Victims Protection Act, The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act, International Megan’s Law, more than a dozen veteran laws, including the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act, the 2019 Autism CARES Act, and other laws.
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