Republican Space Corps Opponent Gets Top Spot on Key HASC Subcommittee

Republican Space Corps Opponent Gets Top Spot on Key HASC Subcommittee

Congressional committees that oversee U.S. space activities are taking the first formal steps to get to work for the 116th Congress.  Today, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) announced the Chairs and Ranking Members of its subcommittees and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee released its membership roster.

Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio)

Perhaps the most interesting assignment is that of Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) to be the Ranking Member of HASC’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee.  A former chairman of the subcommittee, Turner was one of the few HASC members who vocally opposed a HASC proposal to create a Space Corps within the Air Force analogous to the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy.  Both during committee markup and as the bill was headed to a floor vote, Turner adamantly argued that a Space Corps was unnecessary now.

At the time, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) chaired the subcommittee, with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) as Ranking Member.  Both of them and full committee chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) advocated for the Space Corps and it passed the House.  Full committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) appeared lukewarm at the time.

The Senate did not agree, however.  Since then, the idea has morphed into President Trump’s demand for a Space Force — a sixth military department, not subordinate to the Air Force.  The Space Force is expected to be a major focus of debate on the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  With Democrats now in control of the House, Smith chairs the full committee and Thornberrry is the Ranking Member.  Cooper chairs the subcommittee, with Turner as Ranking Member.  The HASC dynamics could be interesting with a potential Smith-Turner, Thornberry-Cooper split.

The full roster of subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members is as follows:

Intelligence, Emerging Threats & Capabilities

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

Military Personnel

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS)


Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)

Seapower & Projection Forces

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)

Strategic Forces

Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)

Tactical Air & Land Forces

Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)

HASC will meet tomorrow morning to hold its formal organizational meeting.

Separately, the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced their membership rosters.


Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Chairwoman
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1)
Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7)
Rep. Conor Lamb (PA-17)
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7)
Rep. Haley Stevens (MI-11)
Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-5)
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-9)
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)
Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11)
Rep. Don Beyer (VA-8)
Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13)
Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6)
Rep. Katie Hill (CA-25)
Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-4)
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10)

Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma)

In welcoming new and returning members, Johnson said: “I look forward to collaborating with all of them on an agenda that harnesses research and innovation to address the many challenges that this nation faces. There is much work to be done. I am excited to get started.”

A name on the list that may be familiar to readers of this website is Kendra Horn.  She was Director of Communications and Manager, Government Affairs for the Space Foundation from 2005-2008.

Republican members are the following.

  • Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK),Ranking Member
  • Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
  • Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)
  • Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
  • Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS)
  • Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
  • Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC)
  • Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX)
  • Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH)
  • Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
  • Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)
  • Rep. Jim Baird (R-IN)
  • Vacant
  • Vacant

Lucas said he is “looking forward to working together to prioritize research and development, energy innovation, and exploration in space. Our new and returning Members understand the importance of advancing America’s technological competitiveness and driving job creation.”

Johnson and Lucas have already teamed up to introduce two pieces of legislation: Combating Sexual Harassment in the Sciences, and the Energy and Water Research Integration Act.

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