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Rep. Christopher “Chris” Smith’s 2018 Report Card

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


These statistics cover Smith’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other representatives also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

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.

 

Ranked most conservative compared to New Jersey Delegation

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 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Smith’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (69th percentile); House Republicans (21st percentile); All Representatives (57th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the most bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 35 of Smith’s 47 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Smith caucused with in the 115th Congress.

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


 

Cosponsored the 3rd fewest bills compared to New Jersey Delegation

Smith cosponsored 256 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 (37th percentile); House Republicans (71st percentile); All Representatives (43rd percentile).


 

Held the 3rd most committee positions compared to House Republicans (tied with 3 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 (98th percentile).


 

Got the 9th most cosponsors on their bills compared to House Republicans

Smith’s bills and resolutions had 896 cosponsors in the 115th 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 (91st percentile); House Republicans (96th percentile); All Representatives (95th percentile).


 

Got bicameral support on the 8th most bills compared to House Republicans (tied with 5 others)

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 8 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 ...; H.R. 5878: National Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases ...; H.R. 5900: National Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (92nd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); House Republicans (95th percentile); All Representatives (94th percentile).

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


 

Ranked the 13th 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 115th 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 (94th percentile); House Republicans (95th percentile); All Representatives (97th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 11th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 5 others)

12 of Smith’s bills and resolutions in the 115th 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. 128: Supporting respect for human rights ...; H.Res. 421: Urging the Administration to develop ...; H.Res. 777: Strongly reaffirming support for the ...; H.R. 390: Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief ...; H.R. 1911: Special Envoy to Monitor and ...; H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention ...; H.R. 3960: Preserving Liu Xiaobo Legacy of ...; H.R. 4221: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...; H.R. 5129: Global Food Security Reauthorization Act ...; H.R. 5621: Vietnam Human Rights Act; H.R. 6207: Democratic Republic of the Congo ...; H.R. 6651: PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018

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


 

Introduced the 14th most bills compared to All Representatives (tied with 1 other)

Smith introduced 47 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

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


 

Wrote the 13th most laws compared to All Representatives (tied with 9 others)

Smith introduced 5 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th 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. 390: Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief ...; H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention ...; H.R. 3655: To designate the facility of ...; H.R. 4221: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...; H.R. 6651: PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (92nd percentile); House Republicans (92nd percentile); All Representatives (95th 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.


 

Was 19th most present in votes compared to Serving 10+ Years (tied with 1 other)

Smith missed 0.7% of votes (9 of 1,210 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Smith’s Profile »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (17th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (10th percentile); All Representatives (14th 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.


 

Joined bipartisan bills the 21st 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 256 bills that Smith cosponsored, 28% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Republican. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (33rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); House Republicans (91st percentile); All Representatives (73rd percentile).

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


 

Got their bills out of committee the 26th most often compared to All Representatives (tied with 4 others)

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Smith introduced 12 bills in the 115th Congress 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 Relief ...; H.R. 1415: End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act; H.R. 1911: Special Envoy to Monitor and ...; H.R. 2200: Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention ...; H.R. 3655: To designate the facility of ...; H.R. 4221: Kevin and Avonte’s Law of ...; H.R. 5129: Global Food Security Reauthorization Act ...; H.R. 6207: Democratic Republic of the Congo ...; H.R. 6651: PEPFAR Extension Act of 2018; H.Con.Res. 67: Urging the Government of the ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (83rd percentile); Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); House Republicans (88th percentile); All Representatives (93rd percentile).


 

Government Transparency

GovTrack looked at whether Smith supported any of 32 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the House that we identified in this session. We gave Smith 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Smith cosponsored H.R. 24: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of ...; H.Res. 630: Requiring each Member, officer, and ...

Compare to all New Jersey Delegation (67th percentile); Serving 10+ Years (45th percentile); House Republicans (47th percentile); All Representatives (43rd 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 115th Congress) 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.