Four Legislative Awards Given to Smith in Two Days
For his continued legislative action, US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) received three different awards just this week from the American Ireland Fund, the Republic of Hungary, the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Humane Society of the United States.For his continued legislative action, US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) received four different awards just this week from the American Ireland Fund, the Republic of Hungary, the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Humane Society of the United States.
Smith was awarded the “Distinguished Leadership Award” by the American Ireland Fund. In nominating him for the award, Lisa Massimino, Washington Director of the renowned advocacy organization Human Rights First, stated, “He put the issue of human rights in Northern Ireland on the map in the United States Congress.” Smith chaired the first ever hearing on human rights in Northern Ireland and has chaired a dozen hearings overall on peace and reconciliation over the past decade. Most recently, Smith has teamed-up with fellow Congressional Autism Caucus Co-chair Rep. Mike Doyle to establish a bilateral autism coalition with parliamentarians in Northern Ireland.
In recognition for his efforts to help foster democracy and expand the free practice of minority rights in Hungary, and his longstanding work to combat human trafficking around the world, the Republic of Hungary bestowed upon Smith the high honor of the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit during a ceremony at the Hungarian Embassy. All three of the United States’ laws on human trafficking (Trafficking Victims Protection Acts of 200, 2003 and 2005) have been written by Congressman Smith and have helped transform the way that governments and the private sector respond to this issue of modern day slavery.
Smith also received an award of appreciation from officials of the North American Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The Museum is scheduled to open in 2010 in Warsaw, Poland, and will commemorate the 1000-year history of that country’s Jewish community. Representatives from the Museum including President and CEO Stephen D. Solender, Chairman Sigmund A. Rolat, Deputy Director Ewa Wierzynska joined Undersecretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland Ewa Junczyk Ziomecka in thanking Smith for his active and longstanding opposition to anti-Semitism, and for his introduction of legislation (HR 3320) authorizing funding to assist the development of the museum’s permanent collection. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 407-13 on November 14, 2007 and now awaits consideration in the Senate.
The Humane Society of the United States honored Smith once again with the “Humane Champion” award for receiving a better-than-perfect 100+% score on the Humane Scorecard and taking the lead on animal welfare issues in 2007. Smith, who has received this recognition several times in the past, was applauded for his votes and legislative action last year including supporting new penalties for animal fighting, providing added protection to polar bears, and supporting a federal ban on inhumane practices of horse slaughter. Additionally, last year, Smith again lead a letter co-signed by 159 representatives seeking added funds to improve enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and federal animal fighting law, as well as for new programs to address the needs of animals in disasters and student loan forgiveness for veterinarians that encourages new vets to work in underserved areas.
“It is an honor to work with such dedicated organizations and governments. As I have in the past, I will continue to advocate on behalf of these and other critical issues in Congress,” said Smith.