Smith to chair the House Science Committee in the next Congress

It must have been the tie.

The House Republican Steering Committee, a group of 34 GOP members of the House that includes the party’s leadership there, selected Tuesday a slate of candidates for committee chairmanships in the next Congress, starting in January. Included in that list is Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) as chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Smith beat out Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former committee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) for the chairmanship. The full House Republican membership is expected to approve the slate of committee chairmanships today.

The selection of Smith was not a surprise, as earlier this month he appeared to be the frontrunner in the three-way race. Smith apparently dressed for the occasion: The Hill notes that Smith was “clad in a tie decorated with planets and spaceships for his presentation” to the steering committee.

14 comments to Smith to chair the House Science Committee in the next Congress

  • Jeff, any opinion on Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) who was selected as Appropriations chair? We have to worry about that end, too.

    • Jeff Foust

      Rogers is continuing in his position as Appropriations chair, so I don’t anticipate any changes in that respect. I believe subcommittee assignments won’t come until the new Congress convenes in January.

  • Egad

    Any suggestions for when constituent letters should be written to Smith urging that his committee look into the status of SLS and how it’s going to be used in a program of human space exploration?

    • Henry Vanderbilt

      If you’re an actual live-in-his-district constituent, early and often. Seriously – if you can get a constructive dialogue going with his staff on this from the start, you could end up doing a lot of good.

      • Egad

        If you’re an actual live-in-his-district constituent,

        As it happens, I actually am one of those — guess I’d better get busy. Do you know which of his staffers are space-savvy?

  • Henry Vanderbilt

    No clue – I’ve been gafiating. But if you send a letter to his office and make clear at the start you’re talking about NASA budget priorities, chances are good it’ll get passed on to whatever staffer specializes in that.

    • Egad

      OK, I’ve drafted a draft, the essence being that NASA doesn’t yet have a coherent human space exploration strategy, doesn’t have programs to build some needed parts for any plausible candidate strategies and, not least, doesn’t have any prospect of sufficient funding for any of the above. So Mr. Smith should get his Committee to look into such matters.

      Suggestions welcome.

        • Egad

          Response received with commendable promptness. Though terse, it does shows some indication that someone read the letter. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Smith’s committee does wrt SLS and NASA HSF next year.


          Thank you for your letter regarding funding for the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA). I appreciate hearing from you.

          NASA is critical to America’s technological and economic competitiveness. It is important to provide proper funding for NASA to conduct scientific research and develop new technology.

          As a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, I have supported measures to expand, refine, and improve NASA. I will continue to be a strong advocate for space sciences and full funding for NASA.

          Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the budget process continues for fiscal year 2013.

          For more information on my work in Congress or to send me an email, feel free to visit the 21st District’s website, .


          Lamar Smith
          Member of Congress

  • vulture4

    Is Frank Wolf (R-VA) going to continue as the chair of the appropriations subcommittee? Wolf slashed the OSTP budget when they failed to kowtow to his anti-China ideology, and threatened NASA with the same fate. Ironic since his own state is simultaneously sending its governor to China to boost Virginia exports there.

    • common sense

      “Ironic since his own state is simultaneously sending its governor to China to boost Virginia exports there.”

      I don’t know about irony but I kinda sense hypocrisy. What’s new, right?

      Oh well.


    And so another half-decade of free drift is launched.

  • E.P. Grondine

    I would suggest to Smith that he immediately ask Bob Dole for help in putting together GA regulation and insurance reform legislation.

  • E.P. Grondine

    I suppose I better make that “consult with Bob Dole immediately”.
    He’ll know the players, and who can carry the ball for him on this.

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