New Science Committee Chair Advocates “Basic” Research, smaller budgets


  • Michael Carlowicz


With election and inaugural activities complete, the 105th Congress of the United States is set to begin the work of lawmaking. The new session brings some new names to the leadership of several committees that oversee science policy and funding, yet it seems clear that efforts will be focused again on shrinking the federal budget deficit.

The Science Committee of the House of Representatives, which oversees NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has a new chairman—F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. The Republican from Wisconsin was the chair of the Space and Aeronautics subcommittee; he now replaces chairman Robert Walker (R-Pa.), who retired after 20 years in the House.