Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX) has been named the ranking Republican on the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, according to a statement released Wednesday by the congressman’s office. Olson, who defeated Nick Lampson in November, represents a district that includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center, making him a logical choice for the position after the subcommittee’s previous ranking member, Tom Feeney (R-FL), lost reelection in the fall. Still, it seems at least a little unusual to see someone who just started his Congressional career given such a position; were no other more senior eligible members of the committee interested in the position?
The committee has not announced who will be chairman of the subcommittee; in fact, Democrats have not listed its members of the overall committee or its subcommittees, although Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) announced last week she had been selected to serve on the committee, and presumably the space subcommittee as well, given that her district includes NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Recall that Kosmas defeated Feeney in November.) The subcommittee chairmanship is open since the previous chair, Mark Udall, left the House to run (successfully) for the Senate. The chairmanship of the subcommittee had been promised to Nick Lampson, but of course he lost—to Pete Olson.