House Science Committee Leadership In The 114th: New Faces

With a new Congress there comes new committee assignments, and sometimes new committee leadership.  Now that both the major parties have announced their leadership assignments, here is how the House Science, Space and Technology Committee leadership looks for the 114th Congress.

Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) remain chair and ranking member, respectively, of the full committee.  Former Chair Ralph Hall (R-Texas) lost his seat in a primary last year, but another former Chair, James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) remains on the committee.  Representative Frank Lucas (R-Oklahoma) will serve as vice-chair.

(While there are 36 Representatives from Texas, due to its size, the number who have served in leadership positions on this committee seems to be out of proportion.  Your mileage may vary, of course.)

Subcommittee chairs and ranking members are as follows:

Space: Chair – Steven Palazzo (Mississippi, in his third term as chair), Ranking Member – Donna Edwards (Maryland, in her second term as ranking member).

Energy: Chair – Randy Weber (Texas), Ranking Member – Alan Grayson (Florida).  Both are new to these positions.

Environment: Chair – Jim Bridenstine (Oklahoma, in his first term as chair), Ranking Member – Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon, in her second term as ranking member).

Research and Technology: Chair – Barbara Comstock (Virginia, in her first term as chair), Ranking Member – Dan Lipinski (Illinois, in his third term as ranking member).

Oversight: Chair – Barry Loudermilk (Georgia), Ranking Member – Don Beyer (Virginia).  Both are new to these positions.

There is a fair amount of turnover in this committee for this Congress, so the decline of tacit knowledge, comity and experience is likely to continue.  (The continued microscrutiny of National Science Foundation grants by this Committee suggests as much.)  Regrettably, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee is not an outlier in this respect.

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