The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology not only will have a new chairman, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), but will also have new leadership on several of its subcommittees. In addition, the Energy and Environment Subcommittee is being split into two separate panels.
Smith was selected by the Republican caucus in November to lead the full committee. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will serve as the vice-chair. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) previously filled that position.
The Subcommittee on Research—previously the Research and Science Education panel—will be chaired by Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN). The panel will retain jurisdiction over science education despite the name change. Bucshon is a cardiothoracic surgeon whose southwestern Indiana district includes Indiana State University and the University of Southern Indiana.
Rep. Bucshon said in a statement: “I am honored to be selected as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Research during my second term in Congress. Because of my background in science and medicine, I understand very well the importance of research in improving the life of all Americans and the role it plays in economic development. I look forward to working with the committee to foster innovation in the research industry so that we can create jobs and grow the economy in Indiana and nationwide.”
The previous chair of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) will remain on the Science Committee and will serve as vice-chair of the Space Subcommittee in the 113th Congress.
A newcomer to the committee, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), will chair the newly created Subcommittee on Energy. Lummis had previously served on the House Appropriations Committee, but voluntarily left that panel this year in order to return to the Natural Resources Committee. It was reported that her change in committee assignments also had to do with disputes with Republican leadership over federal spending; Lummis voted against six of the seven appropriations bills brought to the floor last year.
A freshman was chosen to lead the Subcommittee on Technology. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) previously served as an executive of a technology company before being elected to Congress. Although more senior members are usually chosen to lead subcommittees, Massie is not the first freshman to be selected. Two years ago, four of the five subcommittee chairs on the science panel were brand new lawmakers.
The Subcommittee on Environment will continue to be led by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), a second term lawmaker. The Oversight Subcommittee will again be chaired by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA). Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) will continue to lead the Space Subcommittee.
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