Congress, White House

Transition notes

A few notes and updates about the Congressional and Presidential transition processes: reported Sunday morning that Bill Richardson “has passed final vetting” and is expected to be named Commerce Secretary, although no date has been set for the formal announcement. As noted here earlier, Richardson, governor of New Mexico, has been an advocate of commercial space in his home state and promised as recently as last month to be an advocate of commercial space in the Obama Administration.

Earlier in the week President-Elect Obama’s transition office announced additional members of NASA transition team, including Edward Heffernan, Alan Ladwig, and George Whitesides. They join previously-announced team leads Lori Garver and Roderic “Roddy” Olvera Young.

Retiring Congressman Dave Weldon (R-FL) wants to “keep a hand in space policy” in his post-Congressional career. “I’ve invested a lot of time and energy over the years on that issue,” he told the Gannett News Service. “I feel like I can continue to contribute in some capacity.” He said he’s been asked to serve on the boards of the Astronaut Memorial Foundation and the Space Foundation.

Incoming Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), meanwhile, is still hoping to land a seat on the House Science and Technology Committee’s space subcommittee. She wants the seat, she told the Orlando Sentinel, “for the purposes of protecting and enhancing what’s happening at Kennedy Space Center,” located in her district. Congressman Tom Feeney, whom Kosmas defeated on November 4, also served on that subcommittee. Committee assignments are not to be announced until the new Congress convenes in January, although, as expected, Congressman Bart Gordon (D-TN) will return as chairman of the full committee.

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