The Science Committee is one of the more bipartisan committees in the House, although this has varied throughout the years.

house_of_rep“It’s my hope that we will be considered a bipartisan committee, working together for the best interests of our country,” declared Lamar Smith (R-TX), the new chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  Smith’s comments came at the outset of the first meeting of the committee to introduce its new members, adopt committee rules, and, of note, to agree to an expansive oversight plan for the next two years.  Nineteen of the committee members have previously served on the committee; twenty are new.

The committee’s jurisdiction includes many department and agencies that are important to the physics community, including the National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey.  One of its major responsibilities is drafting legislation authorizing the programs and funding levels for these and other departments and agencies under its jurisdiction.  The committee does not have jurisdiction over the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense’s science and technology programs.  In all, the departments and agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction account for approximately $39 billion in spending, most of which pertains to research and development.  The Science Committee was responsible for the America COMPETES Act and various reauthorization bills for the National Science Foundation and NASA.  A NASA reauthorization bill and an energy R&D bill are on the committee’s agenda.

Click here to read the complete article and view selections from the Oversight Plan on space, energy, environment, technology, research, and oversight.

Source: Richard Jones| American Institure of Physics | February 8, 2013