Gordon Re-elected House Science Chair; Outlines Agenda for 111th Congress

November 22nd, 2008

Posted by: admin

Surprising no one, Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee was re-elected as Chair of the House Science and Technology Committee for the 111th Congress.  In a press release issued November 20th, Gordon identified the key issues he wanted to address in the next Congress: competitiveness, clean energy and climate change.  As accomplishments of the Committee during the 110th, Gordon cited the America COMPETES Act, a NASA reauthorization bill, and contributions to energy legislation.  If you note that the funding targets of the COMPETES Act have yet to be met by Congress, you get some sense of the Sisyphean nature of science and technology policy in the Congress.  Here’s another fact to emphasize the point:

“In the 110th Congress, the Committee held 123 hearings and 17 Full Committee markups.  A total of 82 pieces of legislation originating in the Committee were passed by the House, including 27 bills that were signed into law.”

In a committee considered by many as one that cooperates a great deal across the aisle, let there be no doubt that bicameral legislatures are incredibly inefficient.  On the Republican side of the aisle, Ranking Member Ralph Hall of Texas seems likely to remain in that position, but I’ve seen no official announcment.  Subcommittee assignments (including chairs) will not be made until January.

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