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Bullet policy · Mar 01, 2021

Science Committees Announce Leadership

Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with jurisdiction over science have announced the leadership for their subcommittees.

On February 19, 2021, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced the new structure and leadership of its subcommittees.

  • Freshman Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), former governor of Colorado who previously worked as a petroleum geologist, will chair the new Space and Science Subcommittee and another freshman Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) will serve as Ranking Member. The panel will oversee the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
  • Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who previously led the subcommittee overseeing NASA, will now serve as Ranking Member and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation.
  • The Subcommittee on Science, Oceans, Fisheries, and Weather has been restructured as the Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, Climate Change, and Manufacturing, which will be led by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) as Chair and Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) as Ranking Member. The panel oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Subcommittee leadership for the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology have been announced by Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK).

  • Representative Haley Stevens (D-MI) will serve as Vice Chair for the full committee and Chairwoman of the Research and Technology Subcommittee, which oversees NSF, NIST, OSTP, as well as STEM education and innovation policy. Representative Michael Waltz (R-FL) will serve as the new Ranking Member of the research panel.
  • Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) will stay on as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Environment, which oversees climate change research and research programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NOAA. Representative Stephanie Bice (R-OK) replaces Representative Roger Marshall (R-KS) as Ranking Member.
  • The Subcommittee on Energy, which oversees Department of Energy (DOE) research programs, including the Office of Science, will be chaired by freshman lawmaker Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Representative Randy Weber (R-TX) will serve as Ranking Member.
  • The Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, which oversees NASA, will be chaired by Representative Don Beyer (D-VA), with Representative Brian Babin (R-TX) serving as Ranking Member.
  • Representative Bill Foster (D-IL), a physicist, will retain his position as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. Representative Jay Obernolte (R-CA) will serve as Ranking Member.

The Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) have also announced subcommittee rosters and leadership for the 117th Congress.

  • Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) will retain leadership of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, with Shaheen now serving as Chair. This panel controls spending for NSF, NOAA, NIST, and NASA.
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will serve as Chairwoman and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) will be the Ranking Member of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, which oversees DOE funding. Former Subcommittee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who retired last year, oversaw record funding boosts for the DOE Office of Science.
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) will chair the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which oversees spending for the Department of the Interior and EPA. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will remain the Ranking Member.
  • The Agriculture Subcommittee will be chaired by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) serving as the top Republican. The panel has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) will serve as Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, which oversees spending for the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) will serve as Ranking Member.

Leadership for House Appropriations Subcommittees were announced earlier in the year.