New and familiar faces joining the House Science Committee

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the incoming chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, announced yesterday the list of Republican members who will serve on the committee in the next Congress. The list includes many returning members, including former chairmen Ralph Hall (R-TX) and JAmes Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Among the others coming back are space subcommittee chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and current space subcommittee members Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Mo Brooks (R-AL).

The list includes several new committee members, either existing members of Congress being assigned to the committee or newly-elected members. In the former category is Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), whose district will now include the entire Space Coast. (He previously shared the region with Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), who served on the space subcommittee; Florida redistricting moved her closer to Orlando and into a primary against Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who defeated her.) Posey’s appointment ensures that the region will continue to have a voice on the committee. “Space Coast residents will continue to have a strong advocate in Congress for human space flight, space exploration and technological innovation,” Posey said in a statement Thursday.

Among the new members of Congress joining the committee is Rep.-elect Jim Bridenstine (R-OK). After leaving active duty as a pilot in the US Navy, he served as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, spearheading a long-shot—and ultimately unsuccessful—effort to have NASA award one of the Space Shuttle orbiters to the city. He also organized an air show in Tulsa in April 2010 that featured flights by rocket-powered X-Racer planes of the Rocket Racing League, and owned one of the teams in the league.

5 comments to New and familiar faces joining the House Science Committee

  • Coastal Ron

    With his hands on experience with aerospace, it will interesting what Rep-elect Jim Bridenstine ends up doing on the committee – will he ally more with Hall, or Rohrabacher? Will he support the SLS, Commercial Crew, the ISS?

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Jeff –

    Any ideas when and who the Democratic Party members will be?

  • vulture4

    Posey is proud to have limited his education to a two-year degree from a local community college. He sponsored a bill requiring Florida public schools to teach a form of creationism, although it is deceptively described as “scientific criticism of the theory of evolution”. He sponsored a bill to strip NASA of all funding for climate research, acting on his theory that global warming is a liberal plot. He does seem to occasionally make back room deals with the other party, but in rallies he displays what I can only describe as virulent hostility toward the Obama administration and progressives of all kinds, blaming everything bad on Mr. Obama, to the wild cheering of his base. He can be counted upon to blame Mr. Obama for cancellation of Shuttle, to fully fund SLS/Orion, which he sees as a Republican initiative, and to proudly take credit for Commercial successes after stripping that program of most of its resources. He sponsored the “Space Leadership Act”, which would essentially turn control of NASA over to Congress. Most famously, he spent an untold number of taxpayer dollars pursuing the “birther” bill, to support his assertion that Mr. Obama is an alien. All in all, I can’t imagine anyone more suitable to decide America’s future in science.

  • In addition to his other nutty remarks, Posey has often claimed that the Chinese are plotting to build a military fortress on the Moon — so the U.S. has to get there first to build its own military post.

    I wrote a letter to Florida Today earlier in the year about Posey’s nonsensical claim. Posey, apparently thin-skinned, felt the need to pen a reply, claiming I was naive.

    He did, however, finally reveal his source for this claim — a retired Foreign Service officer who penned a guest op-ed for the Washington Times. I checked the column and found that the author didn’t say what Posey claimed, just some personal speculation.

    The sad thing is that people around here think Posey is more sane than Sandy Adams, whom he replaces on the committee. Sigh.

  • DougSpace

    I just emailed Rep. Bridenstein re: the Lunar COTS concept. We’ll see if I’ll get any response.

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