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New Congress ready to tackle space issues — slowly
Posted: Tue, Feb 6, 2001, 5:48 PM ET (2248 GMT)
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert The 107th Congress is ready to start dealing with space issues, but the new chairman of a key committee made it clear Tuesday that space may take a back seat to other, more pressing issues. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), new chairman of the House Science Committee, said at an FAA commercial space conference Tuesday that the committee was finalizing organizational work and expected to name subcommittee chairs tomorrow: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) will again be chairman of the space and aeronautics subcommittee. Boehlert, who has not been heavily involved in space issues during his tenure in Congress, said he was still getting up to speed on the subject and promised to listen to and learn from those involved in the field. He cautioned, though, that while space policy was of interest to his committee and to the Bush administration, they would likely defer work on those issues initially to focus on higher priority issues, including energy, education, and the environment. Some specifics the committee will likely eventually address were outlined in a separate talk by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL), including export control reforms, launch range improvements, and legislation that would make easier for states to issue bonds for the development of commercial spaceports.
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