Two Smith Laws Signed Into Law On The Same Day

In Dec 2013, left-behind parents, Captain Paul Toland whose daughter was kidnapped in Japan; Bindu Philips of Plainsboro, N.J., whose two sons were abducted to India, and David Goldman whose son was abducted to Brazil and returned after a five year ordeal, joined Rep. Chris Smith in calling for passage of legislation, dubbed the Goldman Act (HR 3212) to help families who have been victimized by international abductions

In Dec 2013, left-behind parents, Captain Paul Toland whose daughter was kidnapped in Japan; Bindu Philips of Plainsboro, N.J., whose two sons were abducted to India, and David Goldman whose son was abducted to Brazil and returned after a five year ordeal, joined Rep. Chris Smith in calling for passage of legislation, dubbed the Goldman Act (HR 3212) to help families who have been victimized by international abductions

It is rare for most congressmen to get one of there bills signed into law. Frank Pallone, for example, has only had 6 bills, two naming post offices, become law in his entire 26 year career in congress.

Congressman Chris Smith is #4 of all members of the 435 member House of Representatives in getting their bills through both houses and signed by the president.  On Friday, two more of Smith’s bills became the law of the land. Families and children are better off because of Smith’s new laws.

Between ordering airstrikes in Iraq and flying off to vacation in Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, President Obama signed two separate bills sponsored by Smith. One to help prevent international child abduction and return American children now held overseas, and the other targeting $1.3 billion in federal funds to assist families touched by autism.

The Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction and Return Act (H.R. 3212) and the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research and Support (CARES) Act (H.R. 4631) both became law on Friday.

“What a momentous day for thousands of families across America,” said Smith. “While different in scope, these new laws have one, overriding common theme: making the federal government work better for children and families.

“Yesterday, if you were a parent whose American child was abducted to a foreign land, the State Department took a step back and quickly outlined the limitations on what it would do to help,” Smith said.

“With the enactment of the ‘Goldman Act’ that policy changes. The State Department gets new tools to effectively engage the fight and work several fronts to get our children back,” Smith said.

“The Goldman Act works to right the terrible wrong of international child abduction, end the enormous pain and suffering endured by separated children and parents, and force the federal government to act to bring abducted children home,” Smith said. “Left behind parents will now have tangible support and backing from their federal government.”

Smith’s Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research and Support Act, The Autism CARES Act, builds on Smith’s long established record of assisting the now 1-68 children who have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Congressman Chris Smith with Bobbie and Billy Gallagher at the SEARCH Day Program School, Ocean Township.  March, 2014

Congressman Chris Smith with Bobbie and Billy Gallagher at the SEARCH Day Program School, Ocean Township. March, 2014

“The Autism CARES Act authorizes $1.3 billion over five years to continue the critical pipeline of federal research dollars that are working to identify best practices for early intervention, treatment and care for families touched by autism,” said Smith who has authored previous legislation that has helped form the base line of federal autism programs.

“And the new law, for the first time, tasks the federal government with examining and anticipating needs for autistic adolescents who are ‘aging out’ of their school-based support and transitioning into adulthood,” he said.

Last month Smith held a congressional hearing that delved into successful corporate programs designed to employ persons with ASD worldwide. He said every year 50,000 youths in the U.S. with autism enter into adulthood and communities that are unprepared to meet their need.  The federal government can and must play a role in identifying new ways to assist people with ASD in our communities.

Smith said both laws were inspired by the love, work and tenacity of local parents fighting for their children.

The child abduction law is named after David Goldman and his son Sean of Monmouth County, N.J. who were separated for over five years after an international abduction to Brazil. Smith traveled to Brazil with David Goldman twice to help bring Sean home in 2009. Goldman now works to help other left behind parents reunite with their children.

“We finally have a national law that has some teeth in it to prevent future abductions and also get immediate action for victim families,” said David Goldman. “Just as it had been in my case, many of these families have been suffering  for years  fighting to be reunited with their abducted American children.  This is a terrific result of bipartisan work.  The enactment of this law has been long overdue and is a life boat for these families.”

Regarding the Autism CARES Act, Smith credited Bobbie and Billy Gallagher of Ocean County, N.J.—the parents of two small children with autism who visited his office 17 years ago. Using their own extensive research, the Gallaghers demonstrated how far behind the federal research agencies were in their understanding and work on autism.

“The Gallaghers are pioneers in the effort to find better treatment and interventions for children with autism. Together with other parents they have been tenacious in their efforts to see this bill passed into law,” Smith said.

“The laws we have today to help families with autism would not be on the books were it not for them,” he said.

 

Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Two Smith Laws Signed Into Law On The Same Day”

  1. Michael Viola said at 8:38 am on August 11th, 2014:

    Dear Congressman Smith,

    I enjoyed meeting you and discussing your efforts at the County Fair late last month.

    I urge you to continue to lead and to hold the executive accountable by maintaining fiscal discipline. As an example, if central American leadership wants our help in fighting drug cartels, include many more DEA agents in the aid package. If the executive wants funds for stronger borders and legal immigration, allow the funds for specific actions with metrics needed to show progress. No longer accept ‘nebulus’ language, set clear and measurable objectives to continue the flow of money or cut it off if the objectives are not attained.

    Thank you for fighting for your constituents and for the USA!

    Respectfully,

    Michael Viola

  2. mlaffey said at 11:37 am on August 11th, 2014:

    While helping children with autism is a laudable goal it is not the job of the federal government to do it. Our founding Fathers envisioned a severely limited federal government. It was not designed to address every problem or every need. In fact it was designed to address a very limited number of needs. You might say that this particular cause is so worthy it deserves an exception. The problem is that the exception has become the rule. We will never get our fiscal house in order until we get back to the original purpose of the federal government.

  3. DEM said at 6:36 pm on August 11th, 2014:

    But yet Smith voted for the Ryan Budget that cuts funding for Autism programs.

  4. Two Smith Laws Signed Into Law On The Same Day | The Save Jersey Blog said at 9:48 pm on August 11th, 2014:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings […]