Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, will take over as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology when the new Congress convenes in January. He will replace Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who was term limited under House rules.
Smith, who had seniority on the committee, beat out Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-California.
Smith has been a vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s space policy, which has focused heavily on commercializing access to low Earth orbit. He also is a skeptic about global warming, positions he share with Sensenbrenner and Rohrabacher.
Rohrabacher is arguably the leading proponent of commercializing space activities in Congress.