Today, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) released the following statement after being officially confirmed by the Republican Conference to be the next Chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee:
"I am truly honored to be selected by my colleagues to chair the Committee on Science and Technology in the 112th Congress. Having served on this Committee since I was first elected to Congress in 1980, I have great respect and appreciation for the role of science and technology in keeping our Nation competitive and improving the lives of our citizens.
"Advancements in science and technology will create jobs, keep America at the forefront of innovation, and drive economic growth. Smart investments in basic research and development, coupled with proper business and tax incentives, will spur innovation and allow American businesses to commercialize and manufacture technologies here in the United States.
"Our Committee will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely in research and development programs by providing effective oversight of existing programs and by eliminating wasteful and duplicative programs and streamlining programs where needed. Republicans have been given the opportunity to help make our government function more efficiently and effectively, and we will work to achieve fiscal responsibility.
"I look forward to working with new and returning members on the Committee to advance domestic energy solutions that move America toward greater energy security, help guide a space exploration program that will maintain America's leadership in the world, bolster technological innovation to strengthen national and economic security, and improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to promote competitiveness in the global marketplace.
"Inasmuch as this Committee has jurisdiction over NASA and the space program, I feel honored to help advance what the late Chairman Olin "Tiger" Teague set in motion when he chaired this Committee. I was honored to attend some of the early launches of the Apollo program and have enjoyed working with American heroes such as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan, General Tom Stafford, John Glenn, Jim Lovell, and others. These were major Columbuses and Magellans of space, and we must honor their contributions and continue the journey.
"It is a privilege to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to shaping a comprehensive agenda for the 112th Congress."