Congressman Chris Smith has been awarded distinguished honors twice in the past month for his willingness to reach across the aisle in order to get things done.
On June 9, 2020, Smith was recognized with the Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during a virtual celebration marking their inaugural recognition of congressional leaders.
The Chamber describes the new award as follows:
America’s elected leaders should be men and women of conviction and principle who are also able to find common ground with those with whom they disagree. Since the days of Jefferson and Hamilton, America has benefited from leaders who found ways to work together despite their differences.
The new Jefferson-Hamilton Award for Bipartisanship recognizes those members of Congress who in their actions have demonstrated a willingness to work across the aisle in support of common objectives.
“I am pleased to be listed in the top five percent,” said Smith, who scored a 96 out of 100 on the USCOC rating. “I have long felt that bipartisanship is about respect for other people even when there are fundamental disagreements. 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.”
On May 12, 2020, Smith was ranked in the top 10 (number 6) of the 435 Members of the House of Representatives on by The Lugar Center-McCourt School Bipartisan Index .
“Today, our interdependencies are more obvious and urgent than ever,” said Maria Cancian, dean of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy. “While hyper-partisanship continues in Congress, our latest Bipartisan Index–– a nonpartisan and data-driven tool––points to a crosscurrent of cooperation among lawmakers. This offers hope, as our future depends on our ability to work together across the aisle and across differences for the common good.”
Smith has the second most bills enacted into law among all of the sitting 435 members of the House. He 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.
His 47 laws include 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, and the 2019 Autism CARES Act.