Hearing: the Space Leadership Preservation Act: Statement by Rep. Steven Palazzo

Status Report From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

image Statement of Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) Hearing on A Review of the Space Leadership Preservation Act

Chairman Palazzo: "Good morning. I'd like to welcome everyone to the Space Subcommittee's first hearing of the 113th Congress. I am honored to Chair this subcommittee and although our name has been abbreviated, our focus and commitment to providing leadership and oversight over our nation's aerospace, aeronautics, science and human spaceflight programs remain as strong as ever.

And if you are speaking of strength in leadership, I am more than pleased to be partnering on the subcommittee with Representative Donna Edwards of Maryland as our Ranking Member. Her voice on issues of critical importance to this subcommittee is valued and respected by colleagues, within industry and the space community, and certainly by me. I look forward to working with you Ms. Edwards. I'd like to offer a welcome to all our new and returning members to this committee. We should take it as a point of pride that our subcommittee, the largest of the subcommittees of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, reflects the interest and passion of many members of Congress in the issues we will be addressing.

And no issue we will discuss will garner more debate, nor should it, than our efforts to reauthorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It is the mandate for this subcommittee to be a critical player in writing and shaping that piece of legislation. And for his leadership and trust in doing so, I thank full committee Chairman Lamar Smith, whose dedication to putting NASA on a path toward success is without compare.

Working with the Chairman, with our Full Committee Vice Chair Dana Rohrabacher, and with our subcommittee Vice Chair Mo Brooks, who I had the privilege of spending time with last week in Huntsville visiting the Marshall Space Flight Center, we are ready for the critical work ahead. That work begins with today's hearing as we consider the principles proposed by Congressmen John Culberson of Texas and Frank Wolf of Virginia in their legislation entitled, "The Space Leadership Preservation Act." They have offered us a proposal for many of the challenges facing our nation's space agency. Through the authorization process, we look forward to working together to implement those ideas which will benefit the agency long term.

The missions that NASA should be focused on are complex, they are expensive, and they are long term. Too often decisions made, whether by Congress, by the Administration or within the Agency itself, hamper and undermine the necessary commitment to programs and projects that require patience and stability instead of uncertainty and shortcuts.

Today's hearing begins a conversation about how we can work together - as a subcommittee, Democrats and Republicans, members of the House and Senate, and with industry, academia, and the next generation of aspiring space explorers - to ensure our nation remains firmly fixed on an ambitious and worthy space program. Even in these times of deadlines and cliffs, we must look to provide leadership for a long term goal for NASA and our nation. In doing so we will preserve America's hard earned place as the global leader in space exploration.

Thanks again to our witnesses for appearing before us this morning. I now recognize Ranking Member Edwards for her opening statement."

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