The House of Representatives has finalized the roster of committee leaders for the next Congress. Although many familiar faces are returning to their positions, some changes are coming.
The top spot on House Appropriations Committee is not changing, but several appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over science funding will have new chairs. The retirement of Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) opened a spot for Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) to take the helm of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, which oversees funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Culberson has said that as chairman, “I will do everything in my power to ensure that NASA and the National Science Foundation have what they need to ensure America’s unchallenged leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) will take the gavel for the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the National Institutes of Health.
The Natural Resources Committee will have a new pair of leaders due to the retirement of the current chair and the move of the current ranking member to another committee. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) will lead the committee and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) will serve as top Democrat on the panel.
Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) was selected as the new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. He replaces Frank Lucas (R-OK), who had reached the six-year term limit House Republicans have put on their committee chairs. The Democratic caucus does not have a similar rule.
No changes in leadership will occur on the Science, Space and Technology Committee, where Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will continue to oversee policy related to NSF and other science programs.
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