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Weber to seek ‘ranking member’ role

Staff report

U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendswood, said last week he would bid to become the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. In a statement issued Wednesday, following election to his fourth two-year term: Weber said:

“Since joining the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I have made it my top priority to fight for sane energy policies, research and development to spur economic growth, and investments in our long-term national interests, all while maintaining the much-needed balance of fiscal conservatism.

“This drive does not change based on which party is in the majority. With these principles at heart, I am running for ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.”

The ranking member oftentimes serves as an ex officio member on all subcommittees. Although the Democrats have assumed the role of majority party in the House, the ranking member is usually in a good position to become committee chairman if and when party control changes.

The committee’s roots extend back to 1958, when Congress created this select committee after the Soviet Union’s successful launch of Sputnick, which heightened international competition in space.

In 1974, the committee’s jurisdiction was broadened to include legislation related to energy, the environment, the atmosphere, civil aviation research and development and the National Weather Service.

The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has jurisdiction over NASA and energy research and development.