As the former chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the author of more than a dozen laws to modernize, expand and improve the services provided by the Veterans Administration (VA), I see the need to review and evaluate existing programs to ensure that they align with the promise a grateful nation makes to those who wear and have worn the uniforms of the United States military. As President Lincoln so eloquently said at the end of the Civil War: “Let us strive…to care for him who shall have borne the battle…” a phrase later adopted as the motto of the VA.
That is why I co-sponsored and twice voted for the “Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act.” This bipartisan legislation is named in honor of the late Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran whose story is not unfamiliar to many who have attempted to navigate the VA’s bureaucracy to receive the care they have earned. Clay Hunt was one of the many veterans who experience some form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their service, yet he did not receive adequate mental health care in the VA system and took his own life at the age of 28.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Africa and Human Rights, responded to the controversy about a remark concerning homosexual rights and human rights that he made during a hearing last week on combating violence inflicted by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigera with a statement issued to MoreMonmouthMusings:
“All governments have a duty to protect everyone and I am unequivocally opposed to acts of violence against anyone,” Smith said, “All individuals, including LGBT persons, should be treated with respect and compassion.”
N.J. Congressman Chris Smith, (R-4th District, left, concludes a meeting with staff members, legal assistant, Cate Bendetti center, and Foreign Affairs Council Akkison Hollabaugh, right, before heading to the Capitol Building. Washington, DC. Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation to extend Megan’s Law beyond American borders. The bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), would require the U.S. to tell other countries when convicted sex offenders are traveling there. It would also try to set up reciprocal notification systems so the U.S. is… Read the rest of this entry »
If Republican Congressmen Chris Smith and Tom MacArthur vote for John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be the Speaker of the 114th Congress then they will both be breaking two foundational campaign promises: the first to defeat Obamacare and the second to end Obama’s policy of Executive Amnesty for Illegal Aliens. If they break either campaign promise both are certain face a mutiny at home by voters in two years.
On the issues of Amnesty and Obamacare, Speaker John Boehner has given Obama’s policies the Congressional stamp of approval. In the $1.1 trillion dollar spending bill that Boehner fought for and passed in December 2014, there were provisions that provided short term funding of Obama’s amnesty program.
Prior to the Republican Congress’s financial support, Obama was on shaky legal ground; however by providing funding for Executive Amnesty Boehner breathed new life into Obama’s strategy. The U.S. Supreme Court in Youngstown, a case dealing with the executive seizure of private property in the absence of congressional approval, established that, “Presidential authority is strongest when acting with the expressed or implied consent of Congress.” Through Boehner Congress has shown consent.
TRENTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency should stop demanding that Hurricane Sandy victims pay back money they mistakenly received from the government, members of the New Jersey congressional delegation said in a letter released today. Both U.S. senators and 10 of the state’s 12 U.S. representatives signed a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate asking… Read the rest of this entry »
LAKEHURST — When President Obama visits Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Monday to thank American service members, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith wants the Commander in Chief to use the time to also reconsider plans phase out certain refueling aircraft. In a letter sent Friday to Obama, Smith (R-4th Dist.) said the “misguided proposal” of phasing out KC-10… Read the rest of this entry »
Congressman Chris Smith, chairman of the global human rights subcommittee in the House of Representatives and co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on China, held a hearing on Thursday entitled, ““Is Academic Freedom Threatened by China’s Influence on U.S. Universities?”
At issue is a growing number of Chinese educational partnerships started by U.S. universities and colleges, including exchange programs and satellite campuses in China and China’s recent Confucius Institutes in the U.S.
The collection brings together works created by over 450 New Jersey students and includes more than 60 life-size human forms which illustrate students’ artistic responses to learning about the genocide, the silence of the world, and the importance of becoming involved, concerned citizens.
“These are powerful expressions by young people who are concerned about a genocide that unfolded while the world watched,” said Smith, a longtime human rights advocate in Congress and chairman of the House Africa and global human rights subcommittee. “The pieces in this exhibition remind us that each of the hundreds of thousands of victims in Rwanda was an individual, worthy of dignity, whose precious life was cut short, who the world should have done more to save. If we cannot do more to prevent genocides in the future, ‘Never again’ will only be lip service. When so many innocent lives are at stake, we must do more. While remembering a genocide often invokes feelings of horror, this exhibition reminds us that hope is also crucial. We must have the hope that we can defeat the evil that is at the root of genocides and we must follow it with the will to act.”
A September 2014 report by an independent government watchdog confirmed that Obamacare is replete with abortion on demand and that it is often nearly impossible for consumers to determine whether the plan they are considering includes elective abortion. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailed that over 1,000 Obamacare plans sold for 2014 include abortion on… Read the rest of this entry »
Congressman Chris Smith, Richard Walker Jr, Ocean Twp Ptlman Steven Walker and Ptlman Chris Stenger
Richard A. Walker, Jr of Neptune City earned a Bronze Star and other medals in Vietnam nearly 45 years ago, but never received them…until yesterday.
Congressman Chris Smith presented Walker with his honors, The Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal; the National Defense Service Medal; the Vietnam Service Medal & Bronze Star Attachment; the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, and; the Sharpshooter Badge & Rifle Bar, yesterday in the congressman’s Freehold office. Walker’s son, Ocean Township Police Officer Steven Walker and his friend Officer Chris Stenger, an ex-Marine and combat veteran of Afghanistan were on hand for the ceremony.