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Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Full Committee Organizational Meeting

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2021

Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is holding an organizational meeting to adopt the Committee Rules for the 117th Congress.

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

I’d like to first welcome all the old and new Members to the Committee.  Members who have been on this Committee before know that I always say: the Science, Space, and Technology Committee is the committee of the future. The things that we examine on this Committee will help determine the fate of our Nation.

There are a number of issues which are profoundly important for the future of our country that this Committee will look into during the 117th Congress. Our capacity for innovation and its effect on the Nation’s competitiveness in a global economy is one such area. Understanding and addressing the threat of climate change will also be a top priority of mine for this Congress. Finally, continuing to examine the COVID pandemic and its impacts on our research community will also be a top priority this year.

It is my sincere hope that as this Committee addresses the very important issues before us, we will be able do so in a bipartisan manner as much as possible. Every bill this Committee marked up last Congress had bipartisan support. More often than not, we voice voted those bills out of Committee.

That took sacrifice. Democrats had to make sacrifices and the Ranking Member and his Republican colleagues had to make sacrifices. Nobody likes making sacrifices! But the end result of this process was an extremely productive Congress.

Over 40 bills that were referred to the Committee were enacted last Congress. Most of these bills were led by the Science Committee. Now, the unusual circumstances of the COVID pandemic led to some modifications to the operations of the Committee, as was the case across the House.  However, both our Members and our staff were able to adapt to the remote work environment, and our Committee had a very productive Congress.  I am confident that we will continue to be equally productive in the 117th Congress in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

Finally, I would note that today we take up a Rules package that remains largely unchanged from last Congress. Most of the changes are dictated by House Rules changes. I think our Committee worked well last Congress under the Committee’s Rules, and it is my hope we can continue that record in this Congress.

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