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Rep. Christopher “Chris” Smith’s 2017 Report Card

Representative from New Jersey's 4th District
Republican
Serving Jan 5, 1981 – Jan 3, 2021


These year-end statistics cover Smith’s record during the 2017 legislative year (Jan 3, 2017-Dec 31, 2017) and compare him to other representatives serving at the end of that period. Last updated on Jan 6, 2018.

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 New Jersey Delegation

5 of Smith’s bills and resolutions in 2017 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. 128: Supporting respect for human rights ...; H.Res. 421: Urging the Administration to develop ...; H.R. 390: Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency ...; H.R. 1911: Special Envoy to Monitor and ...; H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); House Republicans (88th percentile); All Representatives (87th percentile).


 

Got the most cosponsors on their bills compared to New Jersey Delegation

Smith’s bills and resolutions had 464 cosponsors in 2017. 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 (82nd percentile); House Republicans (91st percentile); All Representatives (89th percentile).


 

Held the 3rd most committee positions compared to House Republicans (tied with 1 other)

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 (97th percentile); House Republicans (98th percentile); All Representatives (98th percentile).


 

Cosponsored the 3rd fewest bills compared to New Jersey Delegation (tied with 1 other)

Smith cosponsored 151 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 (17th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (34th percentile); House Republicans (62nd percentile); All Representatives (37th percentile).


 

Introduced the 13th most bills compared to House Republicans (tied with 5 others)

Smith introduced 25 bills and resolutions in 2017. View Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (84th percentile); House Republicans (93rd percentile); All Representatives (91st percentile).


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 16th 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 151 bills that Smith cosponsored, 28% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (73rd percentile); House Republicans (93rd percentile); All Representatives (74th percentile).

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


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 15th most bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 4 others)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 13 of Smith’s 25 bills and resolutions had both a Democratic cosponsor and a Republican cosponsor in 2017.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (95th percentile); House Republicans (94th percentile); All Representatives (96th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 12th most bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 11 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 6 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.R. 7: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ...; H.R. 1911: Special Envoy to Monitor and ...; H.R. 2405: Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness ...; H.R. 3856: Hong Kong Human Rights and ...; H.R. 3960: Preserving Liu Xiaobo Legacy of ...; H.R. 4221: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); House Republicans (95th percentile); All Representatives (95th percentile).

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


 

Was 18th most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 10 others)

Smith missed 0.7% of votes (5 of 710 votes) in 2017. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); All Representatives (21st 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 their bills out of committee the 21st most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 5 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Smith introduced 7 bills in 2017 that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: H.Res. 128: Supporting respect for human rights ...; H.R. 7: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion ...; H.R. 390: Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency ...; H.R. 1415: End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act; H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention ...; H.R. 3655: To designate the facility of ...; H.Con.Res. 67: Urging the Government of the ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (93rd percentile); House Republicans (90th percentile); All Representatives (94th percentile).


 

Ranked the 29th 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 2017 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 (92nd percentile); House Republicans (89th percentile); All Representatives (93rd percentile).


 

Ranked 34th 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 2017 is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); House Republicans (14th percentile); All Representatives (52nd percentile).


 

Laws Enacted

Smith introduced 0 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in 2017. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law.

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


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Smith supported any of 21 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Smith 1 point, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Smith cosponsored H.Res. 630: Requiring each Member, officer, and ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (42nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (33rd percentile); House Republicans (36th percentile); All Representatives (28th 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 2017) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.