House Science Committee Democrats Select Subcommittee Ranking Members

Press Release From: Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democratic Caucus
Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Congressman Ralph Hall (D-TX), ranking Democrat on the Science Committee, today released the Democratic Subcommittee leadership slate for the 108th Congress.

Mr. Hall said, "I am pleased to announce that the Caucus has selected a slate of very competent, energetic Members.  They provide strong leadership for the Committee as we tackle questions regarding the future of NASA, a national energy plan, and initiatives in environment, technology and education."

The Democratic Caucus confirmed the following slate of Ranking Members:

  • Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN) will once again take the Space Subcommittee;
  • Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) will again take the Research Subcommittee;
  • Representative Nick Lampson (D-TX) is assuming the lead on the Energy Subcommittee; and
  • Representative Mark Udall (D-CO) will head up the Environment, Technology and Standards Subcommittee.

All of the new Ranking Members provided comment when asked about their plans for the 108th Congress.

Mr. Gordon said, "I'm honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as ranking member of this prestigious subcommittee.  We certainly have our work cut out for us.  Because our space program is facing a critical challenge now, the Space Subcommittee will immediately play a large role in shaping national policy.  The ongoing investigation into the Columbia disaster is a primary concern for us.  It is imperative we thoroughly understand what happened and why.  Once we do, we can address any shortcomings that may be involved.  And we should do this sooner rather than later.  Space exploration has benefited humanity immeasurably.  But we need to ensure our space program is on the right track and is getting the U.S. the most return on its investment."

Ms. Johnson said that, "I am eager to continue my service as ranking member of the House Science Subcommittee on Research.  I look forward to working with Chairman Smith and the rest of my colleagues as we continue oversight on such issues as the National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, science and math education and biotechnology."

Mr. Lampson responded that, "I look forward to working with all the Members of the Subcommittee, especially Chairwoman Biggert, to strengthen energy research and development programs within the Department of Energy.  We must explore alternative energy sources and reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.  The R&D efforts under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee are an important part of that national effort."

Mr. Udall commented that, "After serving four years on the Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee, I'm excited about the opportunity to take a leadership role as the Ranking Member. We are facing a number of pressing and timely issues that the Subcommittee is well positioned to address - some that come to mind are the economic downturn that has affected many states, including Colorado; transportation challenges; and the drought that has been so devastating in the West.  I look forward to working with Subcommittee Chairman Ehlers to help shape the Subcommittee's agenda in the 108th Congress."

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