Good morning, and welcome to the first meeting of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Committee for the 118th Congress.

For those Members returning to the committee – welcome back. It’s nice to have everyone together in person again.

I want to congratulate our new Ranking Member, a long-time member of the Science Committee, Congresswoman Lofgren. I’m looking forward to working with you on our many shared priorities.

For those Members newly joining our committee, I want to offer you a special welcome. You have joined what I like to call the “committee of the future” or “the fun committee.”

We are a solutions-focused committee. We not only work to solve the problems of today, but we sow the seeds that lead to innovations and technological advances 10, 50, and 100 years from today.

This Committee was established in July of 1958, as a direct response to the Soviet Union's 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first satellite. Then, as now, we faced a serious challenge to our global leadership.

The Committee was established to help the United States address that challenge, foster innovation, and stay globally competitive in science and technology.

While the Committee’s jurisdiction has grown, and the competitors have changed, our purpose is largely the same nearly 60 years later.

Today the United States faces a new inflection point, as global competitors seek to surpass us in research and development and emulate the success of our nation’s system of innovation.

So the Science Committee’s legislative and oversight efforts in the 118th Congress will all be focused on ensuring the U.S. remains the leader in R&D for our economic prosperity, our national security, and for the benefit of all Americans.

Working together, I think we can achieve a lot this Congress. We will be crafting legislation to advance U.S. competitiveness in quantum information sciences, drones and advanced air mobility, energy technologies, and cutting-edge science.

We will also consider legislation to improve our nation’s weather forecasting capabilities and bring greater accountability to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And we will advance legislation that supports the U.S. commercial space industry and keeps NASA on its mission to return humans to the Moon and on to Mars.

And finally, our committee will protect taxpayer dollars through rigorous oversight of federal research agencies.

That will include overseeing implementation of the Chips and Science Act from last Congress, including over $50 billion in new funding for domestic semiconductor production.

We will be continuing the critical work of protecting American research from theft and interference by the Chinese Communist Party, while ensuring that the U.S. research enterprise remains the open and welcoming place that has made it the best in the world for nearly 100 years.

The Science Committee has a history of strong bipartisanship, consensus-building, and collegiality. This is a culture I worked hard to maintain with my previous chair Eddie Bernice Johnson and one I hope to continue with Ranking Member Lofgren.

There has never been a more critical time to uphold our nation’s competitiveness. Each member of this Committee brings different expertise, backgrounds, and has unique district interests. Combining those assets, I believe we can do great things for the American people and ensure a bright future for America.