Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

NEW JERSEY's 4th DISTRICT

<span class="kicker">Congressman Repeats call for a special U.S. envoy for region </span>Chairman Smith Comments on Burundi Violence

2015/05/22

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement concerning on-going political violence in the central African nation of Burundi: 

 

All sides should uphold principles of non-violence and respect for the rule of law,” Smith said. “It is important that the United States remain engaged in seeking the restoration of peace. I again call upon the Administration to name a special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes Region, which includes Burundi. That this important position for such a volatile region remains unfilled three months after Ambassador Russell Feingold announced that he was stepping down signals a disengagement when lives are at stake. I find that very worrisome.”

 

The small-landlocked nation erupted into violence last week when army soldiers sought to force President Pierre Nkurunziza to step down following his announcement that he intended to run again for President despite constitutionally-mandated term limits. Thus far an estimated 100,000 people have fled their homes, fearing that violence would escalate into inter-communal violence of the sort that wracked the nation in the 1990s. Following the failed gambit, the situation remains tense, with violence occurring on both sides. Burundian faith-based leaders have called for peace, a call Smith strongly supports.

 

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<span class="kicker">Rep. Smith chairs congressonal hearing on human rights abuses</span>U.S. State Dept., Assigned Assassin, Ex-Rwandan Presidential Aide Among Witnesses to Testify on Reports of Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda

2015/05/20

Recent reports of ongoing human rights abuses in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in 1994—the worst genocide in modern history—were the central focus of a congressional hearing Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the Africa and global human rights subcommittee.

The U.S. State Department’s Africa Bureau, its Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Bureau, and other witnesses, including Human Rights Watch, discussed the fact that despite that the Government of Rwanda’s cooperation with international efforts in some areas and solid economic gains, there are serious questions about human rights abuses by the government.

Smith noted at a congressional hearing entitled “Developments in Rwanda” that President Paul Kagame, of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), was once hailed as one of “Africa’s new leaders” by U.S. foreign policy leaders in the 1990s, but now there are credible reports of human rights abuses by government agents inside and outside Rwanda.

Kagame has been considered a hero on the international stage, and has long been immune to public criticism,” Smith said. “However, human rights reports about abuses in Rwanda have grown over the years. The most recent State Department human rights report about Rwanda accuses the government of ‘targeting of political opponents and human rights advocates for harassment, arrest and abuse.’ Many observers note the constraints on freedom of expression that criminalizes public criticism of the RPF and its policies, as well as outlawing public discussion of ethnic issues.”  Click here to read Chairman Smith’s opening statement.

Steven Feldstein, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, noted that Rwanda’s economic progress since the 1994 genocide has been accompanied by an equal effort to diminish human rights.

Alongside Rwanda’s remarkable development progress, there have been equally consistent efforts to reduce space for independent voices and to diminish the ability of the media, opposition groups, and civil society to operate,” Feldstein said. “This space matters. It is essential not only for democratic progress, but for cementing Rwanda’s impressive economic and development gains.”

Feldman noted “there are reports of targeted killings, and an increasing number of reports of disappearances and harassment of civil society groups and opposition parties.” Click here to read Feldstein’s statement

Robert P. Jackson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, said that Rwanda’s record on building democratic institutions and ensuring full respect for human rights is questionable. Restrictions on press freedoms in Rwanda “continue to be a serious concern,” he said.

In recent years domestic human rights organizations have found it increasingly difficult to monitor and report on human rights violations and abuses. Among international human rights organizations, only Human Rights Watch maintains a permanent presence in Rwanda,” Jackson said. “Its staff report surveillance and occasional harassment by government officials and security services.” Click here to read Jackson’s statement

Also testifying from Democracy in Rwanda Now was David Himbara, former aide to the President of Rwanda who, between 2006 and January 2010, held several positions in the President’s office, including head of strategy, and Chairman of the Rwandan Development Board, which promotes investment, exports, and development.

By 2009, however, I had decided to leave Rwanda after witnessing a series of abuses, including physical beating of public servants by the President,” Himbara said. He specifically asked that Congress seek to reverse the decision made by the Broadcasting Board of Governors to close down Voice of America’s (VOA) Central Africa Branch by 2017.

VOA currently broadcasts into Rwanda in the Kinyarwanda language, and therefore is the only truly independent media voice reaching the people of Rwanda, particularly now that the Rwandan government shut down BBC broadcasting services,” Himbara said. “In an environment of press censorship and repression, it would be a huge mistake for the United States to end these broadcasts and deny the Rwandan people their only source of objective news and analysis.” Click here to read Himbara’s statement.

Former Rwandan Maj. Robert Higiro spent two decades in the Rwandan Patriotic Army and served two tours as a peacekeeper with the African Union and United Nations missions in Darfur, Sudan. He said the Director of Military Intelligence offered him $1 million to carry out the assassinations of Rwandans outside the country.

We discussed the weapon, the modalities of payment and other financial incentives if the assassinations were successful,” said Higaro. “I feared for my life so I fled South Africa for Uganda and then crossed over into Kenya. I am now living as a refugee in Belgium. I am today—like other dissidents—a wanted man in Rwanda and on a hit list abroad.” Click here to read Higiro’s statement

 Sarah Margon, Human Rights Watch Washington Director, cautioned that Rwanda is a country of dual realities.

Visitors are impressed with the façade, the apparent security,” Margon said. “The streets are lean, the traffic lights work, economic growth is strong, and tourism is high. In many ways this is a smokescreen: many Rwandans live in fear, not only because of the legacy of the genocide, but because the current government the only one since the end of the genocide in 1994 runs the country with a tight grip on power. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) dominates all aspects of political and public life. It won the last parliamentary elections (2013) with more than 76 percent of the vote, and President Paul Kagame won the last presidential elections (2010) with 93 percent of the vote. The absence of political space means opposition parties cannot operate in a meaningful way. This is not new it has been a constant feature of RPF rule since the end of 1994.” Click here to read Margon’s statement

Also testifying was Willis Shalita, photojournalist and blogger, who at some points seemed to dismiss some human rights issues as allegations, not facts. Click here to read Shalita’s statement.

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Smith: FEMA Begins Flood Insurance Claim Review for Sandy Victims

2015/05/18

“Reopening these claims gives Sandy victims the due consideration and comprehensive review they have justly deserved from the start,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) launch of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Sandy Claims Review Process.

    “We have pressed FEMA to thoroughly test the process and properly train its caseworkers to ensure that policyholders are treated fairly in this new appeal,” said Smith. “The administration has clearly failed these victims in the past, and that cannot happen again.”

     
Beginning today, NFIP policyholders who filed a claim for damage resulting from Superstorm Sandy may request a review if they believe their claim was underpaid. FEMA letters will be sent over a four-week period by ZIP code, and policyholders whose claim involved an engineering report should expect their letter to be sent this week. Please click here for more detailed information on the process.

     “This claims review process is open to all NFIP policyholders who filed a claim as a result of Superstorm Sandy,” Smith said. “By simply submitting a new request to FEMA online or by phone—even prior to receiving a letter—Sandy victims can opt for a review. All applicants can submit any evidence of an underpayment to their assigned caseworker—a certified NFIP flood adjuster—and each applicant will also have the option of a neutral, third-party review of the caseworker’s final recommendation.”

     
“FEMA has assured us that this process will resolve any underpayments to policyholders in an efficient and timely manner. I will be closely monitoring its progress to ensure that the administration delivers on its promises, and I encourage anyone seeking assistance to contact me,” said Smith.

     Smith led a NJ delegation meeting with FEMA’s Brad Kieserman, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance, in March to address charges of fraud and underpayments of flood insurance claims to Sandy victims and discuss the reopening of such claims. Kieserman pledged to establish a robust and thorough claims process to review all potential Sandy-related underpayments.

Smith, the Dean of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, was joined in the March meeting by Reps. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), and Scott Garrett (NJ-05), as well staff representing other Members of the delegation.

    Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. The Monmouth County office is located at 112 Village Center Drive, Raintree Towne Center, 2nd floor. The phone number is (732) 780-3035. The Ocean County office is located at the crossroads of Route 539 and Route 537 in Plumsted, and constituents can call the office at (609) 286-2571.

 

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<span class="kicker">Smith holds hearing on child sex trafficking</span>Rescuing Sex Trafficking Victims, Int'l Megan's Law Topics of House Hearing

2015/05/14

    Members of an anti-human trafficking organization testified about their recent rescues of child sex slaves in Columbia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Thailand and other countries at a House human rights hearing held today by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees global human rights issues. They were joined by anti-human trafficking advocates from Mexico, including a young survivor of child sex trafficking.

    Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) was a focus of the hearing chaired by Smith, author of the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a law which created the Office on Trafficking of Persons and mandates the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP). He has also authored the International Megan’s Law Bill (HR 515), legislation to fight child sex trafficking by notifying destination countries when convicted pedophiles plan to travel.

    “We know that organized crime, street gangs, and pimps around the world have expanded into sex trafficking at an alarming rate,” Smith said. “It is an extremely lucrative undertaking: a trafficker can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off just one victim.  Unlike drugs or weapons, a human being can be held captive and sold into sexual slavery over and over again.

    “International Megan’s Law seeks to protect children from sex tourism by notifying destination countries when convicted pedophiles plan to travel,” Smith said. “And to protect American children, the bill encourages the President to use bilateral agreements and assistance to establish reciprocal notification—so that we will know when convicted child-sex offenders are coming here.” Click here to read Smith’s opening remarks.

    The hearing, entitled “A Pathway to Freedom: Rescue and Refuge for Sex Trafficking Victims,” heard from Utah Attorney General, Sean Reyes, as the lead-off witness. He played a central role in the dangerous sting operation in October 2014 in Columbia. The AG was reported to have posed as part of a group of Columbian cartel investors setting up an island child sex hotel off the coast of Cartagena. His testimony was followed by Tim Ballard, former U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent who founded and runs OUR. Click here to read witnesses testimony.

    Reyes endorsed Smith’s proposed International Megan’s Law, a bill named after a girl killed in Smith’s district by a convicted child sex offender, and urged the Senate to pass it, noting the House has already passed it three times.

    “International Megan’s Law makes sense,” Reyes said. “Codifying a requirement to alert law enforcement authorities in destination countries will allow our law enforcement partners worldwide to be more vigilant when known American child sex offenders are entering their countries, sometimes for legitimate travel, but too often for repeat offenses of child crimes, sex parties and tours. It will also provide law enforcement at the federal/state/local level in the United States a much better chance to prevent domestic crimes when convicted child sexual abusers from other countries enter U.S. territory.  

    “I urge the Senate and anyone listening to this hearing to support passage of this law and others aimed at curbing and eventually ending child sex trafficking.” Click here to read Reyes statement.

    Ballard said as an DHS agent, he once worked on a case of child sex slaves in Colombia, but was unable to act.

    “I did my due diligence and knew where the children were, but was told that I could not engage because it wasn’t going to end in a U.S. Courtroom,” Ballard said. “Time after time- constantly being told, ‘No,’ the frustration slowly grew. I wanted to attack this problem from a different angle, so I left the U.S. government and created Operation Underground Railroad last year.”

    Ballard said advancing International Megan’s Law is an opportunity to connect law enforcement agencies around the world by arming them with actionable intelligence they can use to prevent child sex crimes from occurring.

    “In this country we proudly work under Megan’s Law, as a means to encourage states to protect children by identifying and monitoring the whereabouts of child sex offenders,” Ballard said. “As a society we have accepted the fact that convicted child sex offenders pose a greater risk to children than others in society. And so we make their presence known. Why would we not offer this same mechanism to our friends overseas?” Click here to read Ballard’s testimony.

    Also testifying were Karla Jacinto Romero, 22, a survivor of human trafficking now an advocate with the Commission United vs. Trafficking, and by Rosi Orozco, President of the Commission United vs. Trafficking and a former member of the Mexican House of Representatives.

    “Today I am thankful to be able to stand before you a reintegrated woman,” said Romero. “I am 22, and for the last 5 years, my life has been dedicated to raising my voice to anyone willing to hear that we exist, that there are thousands of little girls and boys in my country being used for the pleasure of those who only live for their own desires, economic gain and exertion of power. It is up to us, both governments and non government organizations to work together to prevent this crime, punish those who commit them, to look and rescue for those who are already caught in the web, and to provide the care necessary for their healing and reintegration to a healthy society.” Click here to read Romero’s statement.

    Former Mexican congresswoman Orozco worked to establish a 2012 law to prevent human trafficking and to assist victims.

    “In truth, my passion is to work directly with the beautiful girls that have suffered and been rescued from this horrific crime,” Orozco said. “I have personally worked with more than 200 victims, shared their stories, and witnessed their struggles as they look to rebuild their lives and heal from the worst pain that can be inflicted on a human being: the loss of their freedom and dignity. More than anything, they need all of us to be willing to fight for them, and they deserve to be heard.” Click here to read her testimony

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<span class="kicker">Congressman Smith Speaks Out on HR 36:</span>Protect Pain Capable Unborn Children from the Violence of Abortion

2015/05/13

Excerpts of remarks by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) during debate on H.R. 36, "The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," follow:  

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<span class="kicker">Smith Hearing Eyes Rescues of Trafficking Victims</span>Daring Rescues of Children & Young Adult Victims Conducted by Private Group Topic of House Hearing Thursday

2015/05/12

Key players in the recent rescues of child sex slaves in Columbia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Thailand and other countries will testify about their bold—if extremely risky—missions to a House human rights panel on Capitol Hill Thursday.

     Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) will be the focus of a hearing planned by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees global human rights issues, and author of the landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act, a law which created the Office on Trafficking of Persons and mandates the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP).

    “A Pathway to Freedom: Rescue and Refuge for Sex Trafficking Victims,” is the title of the hearing to be held before the House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee on global human rights.

    The Utah Attorney General, who will be the lead-off witness at the hearing, played a central role in the dangerous sting operation in October  2014. The AG was reported to have posed as part of a group of Columbian cartel investors setting up an island child sex hotel off the coast of Cartagena. This spring, seven traffickers were arrested and 29 victims freed in the Dominican Republic due to an OUR operation.  

         Who:                           Members of the House global human rights subcommittee, and witnesses:

  • The Honorable Sean Reyes, Attorney General,  State of Utah

  • Tim Ballard, former CIA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security employee,  Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Operation Underground Railroad

    When:                         Thursday, May 14, @ 2:30 p.m.

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

    “Our  government runs highly-effective sting operations abroad to catch U.S. pedophile sex tourists and rescue victims where there is a nexus to the United States, but often can’t conduct rescue operations or run investigations that fall outside U.S. government jurisdiction,” said Chairman Smith. “Sometimes stepping into this gap are non-governmental rescue operations staffed by former Navy Seals, ex-CIA agents and the occasional sitting member of state government. This hearing will explore the ways the U.S. government and specialized non-governmental actors can coordinate and learn from each to accomplish the goals of rescuing trafficking victims and helping them recover and restore their lives.”

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<span class="kicker">Asbury Park Press Article on Smith Sandy Announcement</span>'FEMA makes major Sandy claims review announcement'

2015/05/09

Letters explaining the claims review process will start going out May 18 to policyholders who believe they were stiffed by their flood insurance companies after superstorm Sandy.a

According to a news release from Congressman Chris Smith's office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which underwrites nearly all flood insurance coverage in the U.S., will begin sending these letters in batches by ZIP code within two weeks, . The recipients will have 90 days from the date of the notice to contact FEMA by phone or email to begin the review process.

This is the first tangible step in a an unprecedented reexamination of as many as 142,000 flood claims filed by homeowners after Sandy.

The review was ordered by FEMA after evidence emerged of a potentially widespread scheme to fundamentally change the engineering reports that insurance companies rely on to determine if a structural damage claim is paid out. Reports that blamed the post-Sandy damage on earth movement or house settling were often used to deny coverage.

Possible fraud aside, homeowners on the Shore and elsewhere have complained that they were lowballed by their insurers.

How this process will actually unfold began filtering out Wednesday evening after a meeting between FEMA leadership and members of New Jersey's U.S. House contingent. FEMA updated nonprofits and policyholder advocates during a conference call Thursday morning.

FEMA's Monty LeMaire, speaking to the nonprofit community, explained the steps:

  • The letters will contain a toll-free number for people to call to add their names to the list. There will also be an online option. FEMA told the Asbury Park Press Thursday that the letter was still being written.
  • The phone call will consist of a series of questions that verify basic facts about the claim in question and should take 15 to 20 minutes. The letter will instruct the policyholders on what information to have available for the conversation.
  • An outside firm — which FEMA said has not yet been hired — will take that information and begin working with a policyholder to maximize their claim. LeMaire was very clear when he said that although FEMA would be paying for their services, these claims adjusters would be working for the benefit of the homeowner.
  • A neutral third-party will make determinations on fair payment.
The entire process — from the opt-in letter to resolution of the claim — should take about 90 days, LaMaire said.

"That's worst-case scenario," he said. "I actually anticipate us handling these much quicker."

This article, excerpted above, appeared in the print edition of the Asbury Park Press on May 8, 2015. The full article as published, is located  at:
 http://www.app.com/story/news/local/monmouth-county/sandy-recovery/2015/05/07/sandy-fema-claims-letters/70939654/

 

 

 

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House to Vote Next Week to Protect Pain-Capable Children from Abortion

2015/05/08

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, made the following comments regarding the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act now scheduled to be brought to the House floor for a vote next week.

 

    “I am very grateful that today House Republican Leadership has announced that the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) will be considered by the House next week,” said Smith. “The timing could not be more fitting. Next week marks the second anniversary of the conviction of the infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell–who was sentenced to life in prison for killing one of his patients—Mrs. Karnamaya Mongar—and three babies who were born alive after attempted abortions.

 

    “There are Kermit Gosnells all over America, inflicting not only violence, cruelty and death on very young children, but excruciating pain as well. Some abortionists may have cleaner sheets than Gosnell did and better sterilized equipment and better trained accomplices, but what they do and what Gosnell did for four decades–kill babies and hurt women–is the same.

 

    “The brutal irony of the Gosnell conviction is that if he had killed those three babies before they had been delivered, their painful deaths would have been completely legal.  Next week, the House will vote to protect unborn children from painful late abortion.”


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Jackson First Aid Squad Awarded $117K Grant

2015/05/07

Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) announced today that the Jackson First Aid Squad has received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) award for over $117,000 to purchase emergency response gear, such as helmets, eye protection, protective coats, pants and boots.

    "This FEMA grant will help protect first aid personnel as they respond to help those in need in Jackson Township and beyond,” said Smith, a long-time member of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus who helped create the grant program in 2000, which is also open to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). “EMS crews need the proper equipment to protect themselves in emergency environments. Jackson is an all-volunteer company and its members need this funding to more safely respond to their emergency calls.”

    The funds will be used for the purchase of sets of turnout gear for the all-volunteer Jackson First Aid Squad, which has about 80 members, who provide coverage—at least two ambulances at all times—from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days a week.

    The award, for $117,064, comes through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants Operations and Safety Grant Program. It is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The purpose of AFG is to award grants directly to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations to protect both the health and safety of the public, and first-responder personnel as well. A competitive process overseen by fire service subject matter experts awards grants to applicants whose requests are aligned with the priorities of the AFG Program. For more about the FY 2014 AFG Program please visithttp://www.fema.gov/assistance-firefighters-grant.

    Chief Alfred Couceiro said members, who respond to 2,300 calls per year, currently don’t wear the type of protective gear the grant will provide.

    “This is an enormous opportunity for us,” Couceiro said. “We need to keep our members safe, and this grant gives us the funding necessary to do that properly. Every one of our members will be protected to the level recommended by national standards.”

    This is round 3 of the competitive FY 2014 fire grant announcements. Congress created the program to upgrade capabilities of local firefighters and EMS personnel to respond to fires and fire-related hazards, such as vehicular accidents.

    Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. The Monmouth County office is located at 112 Village Center Drive, Raintree Towne Center, 2nd floor in Freehold. The phone number is (732) 780-3035. The Ocean County office, reachable at (609) 286-2571,  is located at the crossroads of Route 539 and Route 537 in Plumsted.

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Smith: FEMA Set to Launch Review of NFIP Claims from Superstorm Sandy

2015/05/06

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) released the following statement in response to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) congressional briefing on the implementation of the Sandy Claims Review Process:

 

    “Sandy victims insured through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will finally be given the due consideration and comprehensive analysis they have been entitled to all along.  These hard-fought-for reforms announced today incorporate critical safeguards that we have advocated for in our discussions with FEMA to ensure a process that works for New Jersey residents,” said Smith.

 

    “The revised plan includes a full review of each claim one-by-one with fresh eyes, the use of the homeowner’s evidence of an underpayment as the basis for a final determination, and the option of a third party neutral review. These changes are designed to protect victims from systemic underpayments and fraudulent operators. I will continue to work with my colleagues in our Delegation to ensure the administration delivers for Sandy victims.”

 

    “Each policyholder who wishes to have their claim reviewed will be assigned a caseworker—a certified NFIP flood adjuster—who will walk them through the process,” continued Smith. “FEMA has assured us that these caseworkers have been handpicked based on experience and have undergone thorough training to ensure that policyholders get every dime they deserve. In addition, if policyholders choose to have the final determination reviewed by the neutral third party, FEMA says it will give great deference to that review.”

 

    FEMA plans to begin sending letters on May 18th to NFIP policyholders who filed Sandy-related claims. Letters will be sent in batches by ZIP code over several weeks, and policyholders will be given 90 days from the date of the notice to contact FEMA by phone or online to begin the review process. 

 

    “Resolving these claims will allow us to establish an equitable system moving forward that properly evaluates all evidence and offers no incentives to push down or deflate fair payments to policyholders,” said Smith. “I encourage anyone seeking assistance with this process to contact me.”

 

    Smith led a NJ delegation meeting with FEMA’s Brad Kieserman, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance, in March to address charges of fraud and underpayments of flood insurance claims to Sandy victims and discuss the reopening of such claims. Kieserman pledged to establish a robust and thorough claims process to review all potential Sandy-related underpayments.

 

    Smith, the Dean of the New Jersey Congressional Delegation, was joined in the March meeting by Reps. Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11), and Scott Garrett (NJ-05), as well staff representing other Members of the delegation.

 

    Congressman Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District in the House of Representatives, has offices in Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties. The Monmouth County office is located at 112 Village Center Drive, Raintree Towne Center, 2nd floor. The phone number is (732) 780-3035. The Ocean County office is located at the crossroads of Route 539 and Route 537 in Plumsted, and constituents can call the office at (609) 286-2571.

 

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2015-04-17 15:23:22


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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