No appropriations post for Lampson

A minor announcement last week could have some repercussions for NASA down the line. When Nick Lampson won Tom DeLay’s former seat in the House in November, many expected him to gain a seat on the powerful appropriations committee, a position from which he could be expected to flight for NASA’s budget (while also working to improve his odds of winning reelection in his majority-Republican district in 2008). However, last week the Democratic Steering Committee decided to give a slot on the committee to another Texan, Ciro Rodriguez, a former Congressman who won a runoff election last week over Henry Bonilla. Lampson will instead get a seat on the transportation committee, which will still be beneficial for Lampson, just not for JSC or NASA in general. (It might be useful, though, should incoming transportation committee chairman James Oberstar seek to introduce legislation to further regulate passenger safety on commercial spacecraft; Lampson fought against a similar effort by Oberstar during a debate on the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act late in the 108th Congress.)

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