Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – “The Science, Space & Technology Committee plays an exciting part in the discoveries of science, the exploration of space, and the development of new technologies. Over 80% of the Committee’s $39 billion budget touches on research & development, and its purpose is to encourage the R&D that leads to new innovations,” said Texas Cong. Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) after House Republicans elected him to chair a crucial committee with great impact on Texas’ economic future.
Smith has been a member of the Science Committee since he was first elected, and has for the past 6 years served as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the 2nd longest-standing Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“As Chairman of the Science Committee, I will be an advocate for America’s innovators by promoting legislation that encourages scientific discoveries, space exploration, and the application of new technologies to expand our economy and create jobs for American workers,” said Smith.
“We can’t have innovation without research and development. I appreciate the confidence of my colleagues and look forward to chairing the Committee next Congress.”
House Speaker John Boehner supported Smith’s appointment.
“Throughout his tenure on the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar has been a strong leader on important issues facing the American people. He is dedicated to promoting economic growth, to helping put Americans back to work, encouraging innovation and promoting national security. I am confident that he will bring the same strong leadership and work ethic to the Science Committee as Chairman.”
Established in 1958, the Science, Space & Technology Committee has jurisdiction over all non-defense federal scientific research and development. Specifically, the Committee has partial or complete jurisdiction over the following federal agencies:
- the Department of Energy (DOE)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- National Science Foundation
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
- National Institute of Standards & Technology
- U.S. Fire Administration
- United States Geological Survey, among others.
The Committee has five subcommittees – the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and the Subcommittee on Technology & Innovation.
“I look forward to working with him in the next session of Congress,” said Speaker Boehner.
Cong. Smith talked recently with Texas Insider’s Jim Cardle in an Exclusive Interview, regarding the “Fiscal Cliff” Lame Duck Session, and how it could potentially effect the Texas economy.
“If sequestration goes into effect, Texas will be hurt more than most states because of the presence of so many military installations here. Sequestration is a name for automatic cuts in both our defense and non-defense budgets … To put it in perspective, ’Sequestration’ will take Defense Spending down to a level not seen since before World War II.
“That’s why you have everyone from the Secretary of Defense on down saying we can’t afford to have sequestration,” Smith said.
“Frankly, the president promised when he was campaigning for the presidency that he was going to cut the deficit in half, and we’ve now seen it double every year for three years, and the projection is that it will do the same again next year for a fourth year,” said Smith.
“This year its already been announced we’re going to be back for two weeks in November and two weeks in December … That’s how much unfinished business there is,” Smith said.