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Rep. Christopher “Chris” Smith’s 2016 Report Card

Representative from New Jersey's 4th District
Republican
Serving Jan 5, 1981 – Jan 3, 2019


These special statistics cover Smith’s record during the 114th Congress (Jan 6, 2015-Jan 3, 2017) and compare him to other representatives also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Aug 24, 2017. The statistics were updated on Jan 20, 2017 and Aug 24, 2017 to improve how we counted enacted laws. Originally published on Jan 7, 2017.

A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of Smith’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what activities you think are important.

Keep in mind that there are many important aspects of being a legislator besides what can be measured, such as constituent services and performing oversight of the executive branch, which aren’t reflected here.

 

Got influential cosponsors the most often compared to All Representatives

20 of Smith’s bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.

Those bills were: H.Res. 310: Expressing the sense of the ...; H.Res. 354: Expressing the sense of the ...; H.Res. 780: Urging respect for the constitution ...; H.Res. 821: Urging the Government of Gabon ...; H.Res. 861: Supporting respect for human rights ...; H.R. 7: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ...; H.R. 514: Human Trafficking Prioritization Act; H.R. 515: International Megan’s Law to Prevent ...; H.R. 1103: Increasing American Jobs Through Greater ...; H.R. 1159: Hong Kong Human Rights and ...; H.R. 1559: Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education ...; H.R. 1567: Global Food Security Act of ...; H.R. 1782: Cuba Human Rights Act of ...; H.R. 2140: Vietnam Human Rights Act of ...; H.R. 3243: To amend title XI of ...; H.R. 3515: Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act of ...; H.R. 3596: Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring ...; H.R. 4919: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...; H.R. 5774: Equity for Disaster Victims Act ...; H.Con.Res. 121: Expressing the sense of the ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (99th percentile); House Republicans (100th percentile); All Representatives (100th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the most bills compared to All Representatives

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 30 of Smith’s 44 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in the 114th Congress.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (99th percentile); House Republicans (100th percentile); All Representatives (100th percentile).


 

Got the most cosponsors on their bills compared to House Republicans

Smith’s bills and resolutions had 1,242 cosponsors in the 114th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); House Republicans (100th percentile); All Representatives (99th percentile).


 

Wrote the 3rd most laws compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

Smith introduced 7 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 114th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: H.R. 515: International Megan’s Law to Prevent ...; H.R. 1150: Frank R. Wolf International Religious ...; H.R. 1567: Global Food Security Act of ...; H.R. 2820: Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research ...; H.R. 3596: Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring ...; H.R. 4511: Gold Star Families Voices Act; H.R. 6482: Frank R. Wolf International Religious ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); House Republicans (98th percentile); All Representatives (99th percentile).

The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Ranked the 4th top leader compared to All Representatives

Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 114th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (99th percentile); House Republicans (98th percentile); All Representatives (99th percentile).


 

Introduced the 5th most bills compared to House Republicans

Smith introduced 44 bills and resolutions in the 114th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); House Republicans (98th percentile); All Representatives (97th percentile).


 

Held the 4th most committee positions compared to House Republicans (tied with 4 others)

Smith held a leadership position on 1 committee and 1 subcommittee, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); House Republicans (97th percentile); All Representatives (97th percentile).


 

Got their bills out of committee the 16th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Smith introduced 9 bills in the 114th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.Res. 354: Expressing the sense of the ...; H.Res. 780: Urging respect for the constitution ...; H.Res. 821: Urging the Government of Gabon ...; H.R. 1150: Frank R. Wolf International Religious ...; H.R. 1567: Global Food Security Act of ...; H.R. 1797: End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act; H.R. 2820: Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research ...; H.R. 4511: Gold Star Families Voices Act; H.Con.Res. 121: Expressing the sense of the ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (94th percentile); House Republicans (92nd percentile); All Representatives (95th percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 19th most often compared to House Republicans

In this era of partisanship, it is encouraging to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. Of the 239 bills that Smith cosponsored, 25% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); House Republicans (92nd percentile); All Representatives (64th percentile).

Only Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who cosponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Ranked 29th most liberal compared to House Republicans

Our unique ideology analysis assigns a score to Members of Congress according to their legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other Members of Congress.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 114th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (75th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (63rd percentile); House Republicans (11th percentile); All Representatives (50th percentile).


 

Was 42nd most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 7 others)

Smith missed 1.4% of votes (19 of 1,325 votes) in the 114th Congress. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (23rd percentile); All Representatives (33rd percentile).

The Speaker of the House is not included in this statistic because according to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings, and the delegates from the five island territories and the District of Columbia are also not included because they were not elligible to vote in any roll call votes.


 

Got bicameral support on the 65th most bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 15 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 5 of Smith’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the Senate. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Those bills were: H.Res. 310: Expressing the sense of the ...; H.R. 7: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ...; H.R. 1559: Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education ...; H.R. 2870: Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act ...; H.R. 4919: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (80th percentile); House Republicans (82nd percentile); All Representatives (82nd percentile).

Companion bills are those that are identified as “identical” by Congress’s Congressional Research Service.


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Smith supported any of 40 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Smith 0 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (0th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (0th percentile); House Republicans (0th percentile); All Representatives (0th percentile).


 

Bills Cosponsored

Smith cosponsored 239 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); House Republicans (54th percentile); All Representatives (37th percentile).


Additional Notes

The Speaker’s Votes: Missed votes are not computed for the Speaker of the House. According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings.” In practice this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes but is not considered absent.

Leadership/Ideology: The leadership and ideology scores are not displayed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, or, for ideology, for Members of Congress that have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable leadership and ideology statistics.

Missing Bills: We exclude bills from some statistics where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill because the bill’s text was replaced in whole with unrelated provisions (i.e. it became a vehicle for passage of unrelated provisions).

Ranking Members (RkMembs): The chair of a committee is always selected from the political party that holds the most seats in the chamber, called the “majority party”. The “ranking member” (sometimes “RkMembs”) is the title given to the senior-most member of the committee not in the majority party.

Freshmen/Sophomores: Freshmen and sophomores are Members of Congress whose first term (in the same chamber at the end of the 114th Congress) was the 114th Congress (freshmen) or 113th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.