Congress: January 2015 Archives

Ted Cruz's control of Senate science panel triggers some anxiety, McClatchy via Fresno Bee

"Keith Cowing, editor of NASA Watch, a blog that monitors agency activities and offers commentary, said there had been a very strong reaction in the space community to Cruz's new position. "It's half-grounded in truth and half in hysteria," said Cowing, an astrobiologist and former NASA employee. Cruz, meanwhile, is bullish about NASA concentrating on its core mission."

Cruz says NASA should refocus on 'core' mission, end dependence on Russians, Houston Chronicle

"I am encouraged by the progress of both commercial cargo and commercial crew. But we need a continued focus on the stated exploration objectives with maximum efficiency and expedition. One of the great benefits of space exploration, but also commercial crew and commercial cargo, has been the jobs and economic development that have flowed from allowing innovation and the private sector to play a critical role in space. Texas, and the Houston area in particular, has been a tremendous beneficiary of that private sector activity."

Ted Cruz Supports NASA's "Core Mission", earlier post

Sen. Cruz: Focus NASA on Its Core Mission: Exploring Space, and More of It

"Texas has a major stake in space exploration. Our space program marks the frontier of future technologies for defense, communications, transportation and more, and our mindset should be focused on NASA's primary mission: exploring space and developing the wealth of new technologies that stem from its exploration. And commercial space exploration presents important new opportunities for us all. We must refocus our investment on the hard sciences, on getting men and women into space, on exploring low-Earth orbit and beyond, and not on political distractions that are extraneous to NASA's mandate. I am excited to raise these issues in our subcommittee and look forward to producing legislation that confirms our shared commitment to this vital mission."

- NASA Defunder Now Sets NASA's Agenda in The Senate, earlier post
- Political Climate Change Ahead for NASA and NOAA, earlier post

Some Advice For Congress

Boehner defectors booted from panel, The Hill

"Boehner was elected to a third term as Speaker with 216 votes on Tuesday, with 25 Republicans defecting in a failed attempt to force a second ballot. One of the defectors was Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), who says he's already suffering retribution. Weber, who voted for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) for Speaker, was originally slated to be the sponsor of a noncontroversial Science, Space and Technology Committee bill that reached the House floor this week. The measure establishes a Department of Energy research program on low-dose radiation."

Keith's note: Meanwhile Rep. Randy Weber(R) TX-14 who represents areas around JSC and sits on the House Science Committee, has gone out of his way to anger both House leadership and the White House. Weber's Tweet last night doesn't help things. This is not a recipe for being in a position to positively affect budgets for an agency in your neighborhood. Weber even managed to offend Hitler by spelling his first name wrong.

NASA Defunder Now Sets NASA's Agenda in The Senate, earlier post

8 Dumb Quotes About Science From New NASA Overseer Ted Cruz, Gizmodo

"The new Republican-led Congress is currently busy picking people to chair its many committees and subcommittees. Guess what! Tea Party hero Senator Ted Cruz is the new chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. That means he will oversee NASA. Yep - the climate-denying Tea Party hero who tried to defund NASA is now in charge of NASA."

Remove Ted Cruz from position for NASA oversight of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness (White House Petition)

"We the people demand a person worthy of the position and who will work towards optimizing NASA for scientific discoveries be placed in this position in Ted Cruz's stead."

Keith's note: Cruz is not a lightweight. You may not agree with him, but he is sharp. Last year there was a hearing on the threat of asteroids to Earth. Unlike all of the other senators who asked questions, Cruz looked straight at the witnesses without referring to notes (i.e. questions written by staffers) and asked a series of questions - some prompted by witness responses - without the usual fumbling you often see from Senators who have no idea what anyone is talking about (ala Bill Nelson). Yes, he got his partisan jabs in - but everyone does that. As such NASA is going to be up against someone who can run non-stop semantic circles around Charlie Bolden - if he is inclined to do so. Dava Newman's confirmation hearing will be interesting should he decide to use the hearing as an opportunity to go after the Administration.

Political Climate Change Ahead for NASA and NOAA, earlier post

Senate Commerce Names Subcommittee Chairs: Ted Cruz for NASA, Marco Rubio for NOAA, Space Policy Online

"The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee today announced who will chair its subcommittees in the 114th Congress. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will chair the subcommittee that oversees NASA, while Marco Rubio (R-FL) will chair the one with jurisdiction over NOAA."

2014 U.S. temperature exceeds 20th-century average for the 18th consecutive year

"Second warmest December boosted 2014 to 34th warmest year for contiguous U.S; eight weather and climate disasters exceeded $1 billion in damages."

Climate Denier Ted Cruz Is Poised to Become a Lead Senator on Science, New Republic

"Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another climate denier, may be next-in-line to become chair of the Subcommittee on Science and Space, which oversees agencies like the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."

Marco Rubio says human activity isn't causing climate change, LA Times

"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," Rubio said on ABC's "This Week."

A Science and Technology Challenge for Congress, Roll Call

"When the 114th Congress convenes, it will find it has lost something of significance: much of its institutional memory about science and technology. And with the rest of the world making a strong play to topple America from its perch atop the innovation pyramid, that's very troubling. ... Together, the six former House members logged a total of 140 years of legislative service. That's a lot of experience to lose in any field, but it is especially true in the arcane arena of science and technology policy."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Congress category from January 2015.

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