The start of each new Congress reliably brings changes to the membership of the nearly 50 committees created by lawmakers. With the start of the 113th Congress, some panels with jurisdiction over science and environmental issues have announced that freshmen lawmakers will join their ranks.
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will welcome fourteen new members of Congress. The committee experienced large turnover with the last election due to retirements and the defeat of several members who served on the panel. New lawmakers joining the committee include Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Mark Takano (D-CA), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Randy Weber (R-TX). Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), an incoming freshman, will lead the Technology Subcommittee. Another freshman, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) will be the top ranking Democrat on the Energy Subcommittee.
The House panel with jurisdiction over agricultural research will be comprised of a majority of freshmen. The following Representatives are joining the Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee: Chris Collins (R-NY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Juan Vargas (D-CA), and Ted Yoho (R-FL). In addition, the subcommittee will have new leadership from Chairman Austin Scott (R-GA) and Ranking Member Kurt Schrader (D-OR), both of whom served on the Agriculture Committee in the last Congress.
Nearly a third of the members of the House Natural Resources Committee are new to Congress: Reps. Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Matthew Cartwright (D-PA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joe Garcia (D-FL), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Chris Stewart (R-UT).
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over basic research, space, and oceans, will be joined by new Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Tim Scott (R-SC).
Only one freshman will join the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee: Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE). That committee oversees the Environmental Protection Agency.
No first-term lawmakers joined the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is responsible for the Departments of Energy and the Interior. Similarly, no incoming Representatives earned a coveted spot on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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