Remarks of Rep. Chris Smith at the 2023 NJ GOP Leadership Summit 2023 NJ GOP Statewide Leadership Summit Excerpts of remarks by Rep. Chris Smith (R-Manchester) Harrah’s Hotel, Atlantic City—March 11, 2023 In an effort to hold the Chinese Communist Party to account for its massive COVID-19 deception starting with the virus ‘origin’ and the CCP’s malign influence over the World Health Organization, yesterday the House joined the Senate and voted 419 to zero to force the Biden Administration to declassify all intel relating to the origin of COVID–19. We shall see whether or not the Director of National Intelligence conveys all of the information within 90 days as required by the legislation. This week, I reintroduced my bill that waives the foreign immunities clause to empower American victims to sue the Chinese Communist Party in federal court to compel discovery and recover damages suffered from COVID. When I offered the identical legislation last year, every Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee voted yes, every Democrat—including Andy Kim, Tom Malinowski and Albio Sires—voted no. So, I’m trying again. America is at a tipping point. According to the polls, more than 6 out of 10 Americans believe that the United States is heading in the wrong direction. But the fact that the Biden Administration is doing a terrible job and leading us in the wrong direction just isn’t enough to ensure change. Shockingly, the Rasmussum poll for March 10th had Biden’s favorability at 50% to 49 % against. We have to win the future. It’s up to us. Elections at every level are won the old-fashioned way—a solid vision for the future, integrity, hard work and persistence and enough campaign funds to persuade an electorate that is bombarded with false and misleading advertising. Like you, I have never seen as many radical attacks on our cherished values and fundamental beliefs as now. The Biden/Harris Administration continues to shock and dismay and disappoint. They trivialize the extremely harsh economic impact of inflation—which they created. On Thursday, Biden proposed a $6.8 trillion budget that includes one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history—some $5.5 trillion in new taxes. The Republican takeover of the House—albeit by the slimmest majority—has put a tourniquet on much of Biden’s legislative far-left agenda. But if we don’t win big in 2024—House, Senate and White House—trillions in ruinous tax hikes and more runaway spending will quickly become the norm. Meanwhile, every week, the Biden White House churns out radical left executive orders and rules that have the force of law. They claim with a straight face that they support law enforcement despite the fact they aggressively push to end qualified immunity. They claim that the border is secure when it is not—causing the greatest multiyear surge in illegal crossings and an explosion of deadly fentanyl. Build the wall. They aggressively promote abortion on demand until birth and insist that taxpayer’s foot the bill. I’m the prime author of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. They undermine parent’s rights. As Republicans, we’ve introduced the Parents Bill of Rights which ensures that: Parents have the right to know what their children are being taught. Parents have the right to be heard. Parents have the right to see the school budget and spending. Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy. Parents have the right to keep their children safe. Every day, The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mocks the Biden Administration for its weakness—powerfully underscored once again when Biden permitted a massive spy balloon to fly 11 miles high directly above America’s most sensitive military installations. The Biden White House takes no responsibility for their mistakes. None. And most of the media just looks the other way and enables and excuses. Biden’s egregiously flawed—and deadly—withdrawal from Afghanistan has made America, and the world less safe. Every dictator took notice. America’s ability to deter aggression and conflict has been dealt a serious blow. Earlier this week, Tom Kean and I heard testimony from an amazing group of heroic women and men who continue to rescue Americans and our allies left behind in Afghanistan. One witness, Marine Sgt. Vargas Andrews who was severely disabled at the gate by a suicide bomber during the egregiously flawed exodus from Afghanistan said “no one was held accountable. No-one to this day.” Biden is transforming our beloved country in ways none of us could have imagined. Clearly, everything—I mean everything—is riding on 2024. Finally, right off our shore, the whales are sending us a tragic message that demands transparency and accountability—both of which have been sorely missing from Governor Murphy’s plan to exploit New Jersey’s coast as the prime location for the offshore wind industry in the U.S. There is well-founded concern for serious—even catastrophic—damage to marine ecosystems leading to the destruction of the NJ’s fishing and tourism businesses if thousands of wind turbines are installed off the New Jersey coast. Thus far, sound surveys and the underwater noise generated by acoustic vessels have occurred, but next steps include construction including pile driving that creates high intensity underwater noise. What impact will this construction have on whales, dolphins and other mammals and on fragile fish habitats and marine survival? As part of a full-court press for answers, I’ve introduced legislation to require the U.S. Government Accountability Office investigate the sufficiency of the environmental review processes for offshore wind projects. Without serious, aggressive and independent analysis on the impact of these off shore wind projects they must be paused. Wind turbines are not once installed and done. They only last on the average 20-25 years before having to be decommissioned and likely removed. A month ago, an article in Bloomberg with the headline: Wind Turbines Taller than the Statue of Liberty are Falling Over…Breakdowns of towers and blades have bedeviled manufactures in the US and Europe, noted that Orsted A/S, the world’s largest developer of offshore wind farms, asked authorities in April to stop maritime traffic near some if its sites after blades fell from one of its turbines off the coast of Denmark…”and that “There’s no publicly available industrywide data on turbine failures…” Jeff Van Drew has been fighting Orsted for years. No elected officeholder including President Biden or Governor Murphy—or any bureaucrat—should advance such a sweeping, potentially dangerous policy without meaningful input from the people or by bypassing local officials as happened to benefit Orsted. We want the truth. We demand to be heard and our deep concerns addressed—not trivialized, mocked or dismissed. The people of New Jersey deserve better.