Pascrell on the Removal of Rep. Chris Smith from Post as Chariman of House Veterans Affairs Committee
PATERSON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ, 8th) today issued the following statement concerning the removal of New Jersey Rep. Christopher Smith from his post as Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
"This is a serious blow to veterans in New Jersey and throughout the nation. As a prolific author of legislation that has improved the lives of veterans, Chris Smith has been a dedicated leader and staunch ally of those who bravely served our nation. His years of experience, compassion and independence will be missed. This is partisanship at its worst and is no way to start the 109th Congress. At a time of war, firing the chief advocate for veterans is the wrong signal to send to our fighting men and women. Tom DeLay and the House Republican leadership should be ashamed."
"Chris Smith is needed as Chairman of the Committee on Veteran Affairs. For the Republican Leadership in the House of the people to arbitrarily remove Congressman Smith as Chairman is an outright abomination. Because Chris is his own person and speaks out on issues he should be commended."
"Chris Smith's record on fighting to reach out to those who have put their lives on the line for our country is exceptional. He has demonstrated over and over again that our basic rights and freedoms must be guaranteed by legitimate government. I join with my fellow veterans in expressing disgust with the Republican leadership."