|Address|| Black Rock|
Bridgeport, Connecticut , United States
|| October 18, 1945
Dec 17, 2017 12:53am
Christian Science -
|Info||Christopher Shays is "a demonstrated budget-cutter with a heart and an independent-minded reformer." |
The Hartford Courant
Compared by the New York Times to Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Kennedy, Christopher is a leader among moderates in the Republican Party. He advocates fiscally conservative and socially moderate views both in Congress and on the national stage, and is a frequent guest on political talk shows, including Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Crossfire, Hardball and Hannity and Colmes.
Christopher's fiscal responsibility consistently wins the highest rankings from the Concord Coalition, National Taxpayers Union and Citizens Against Government Waste.
Recently referred to as a "wily veteran" by President George W. Bush, Christopher is known as a hard-working advocate for reform, making Congress more accountable and responsive to the people it serves.
Christopher was the driving force behind the Congressional Accountability Act, which requires Congress to live by the laws it sets for the rest of the country. It was the first bill passed by the new Republican Congress in 1995 and soon after was signed into law by President Clinton. "If a law is right for the private sector," Christopher noted, "it is right for Congress." Christopher helped pass two other key reform measures that year: a ban on gifts to members of Congress, and greater disclosure of lobbyist activities.
He is a leader of the coalition supporting campaign finance reform, working with Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA), Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) and others to enact a ban on soft money and a prohibition on campaign ads masquerading as "issue" ads in federal races. President Bush signed H.R. 2356, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, into law on March 27, and Christopher is working with partners in reform and a talented legal team to vigorously defend the legislation against challenges in court.
A nationally recognized environmentalist, Christopher has been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club for his strong support of Clean Water and Endangered Species legislation, as well as his aggressive stand in favor of strict new Clean Air regulations. "Congressman Christopher Shays' early leadership has been important in protecting Americans from the health hazards of polluted air," said then Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner. In 1997, Congress passed legislation Christopher authored that will return urban brownfields -- older industrial sites -- to productive use through a mix of seed money for local governments and tax credits for private developers.
Christopher serves as the Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, which oversees the Departments of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs. In this role Christopher is working to reduce the threat of chemical and biological weapons and prepare our emergency response teams to handle potential terrorist attacks; improve pay and living conditions for American soldiers; decrease the serious back-log of security clearance investigations; and improve financial and inventory management in the Pentagon.
The subcommittee allows Christopher to build on his success as chair of the Human Resources Subcommittee, where he forced the Department of Defense to acknowledge American soldiers were exposed to chemical weapons during the Gulf War, and passed legislation to ensure our veterans are adequately diagnosed, treated and compensated for the consequences of their exposure. "Gulf War veterans have no better friend in Congress than Christopher Shays," said the National Gulf War Resource Center. As Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Human Resources, he held hearings on Medicare and health care fraud, which led to passage of the law making health care fraud a federal offense.
Christopher was born in Darien, Connecticut to Peggy and the late Bud Shays in 1945, the youngest of four boys. He was a grade school student, reading about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln, when he first became excited by the idea of entering public service. After finishing his studies at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, he married his high school sweetheart, Betsi, and the two served together in the Peace Corps in Fiji from 1968 to 1970.
Christopher was first elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1974, the year the Watergate scandal entered the American consciousness and confidence in our political system was at a low. He was one of only 35 Republicans to win a seat that year to the 151-member State House. As a state representative, Christopher spoke out against abuses in the state probate system, and was sent to jail by a judge for criticizing corruption in the court system. In 1987, he won a special election to the U.S. Congress after the death of Rep. Stewart McKinney, another independent-minded Republican and advocate for America's cities.
A teacher for 25 years, Betsi returned to the Peace Corps in 1998 where she currently directs the Center for Field Assistance and Applied Research. Christopher and Betsi live in Bridgeport, Connecticut and commute to Washington. Their daughter Jeramy is a recent college graduate.
||Public Policy Polling
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