Ami Bera
Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) is the new ranking member of the House space subcommittee. Credit: Office of Rep. Bera

WASHINGTON — House Democrats have named Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) as the new ranking member of the space subcommittee as they finalized the roster of members who will serve on that subcommittee.

Bera, entering his third term in the House, succeeds Donna Edwards, a Maryland Democrat who previous served as the top Democrat on the subcommittee. Edwards chose not to run for reelection to the House in 2016, unsuccessfully running for the Senate instead.

“As a kid who grew up during the height of the space race dreaming of what lay beyond us, it’s an honor to be selected to serve as the ranking member for the subcommittee on space,” Bera, 51, said in a Feb. 14 statement about his selection as subcommittee ranking member. His district, which covers part of the Sacramento area, includes a major Aerojet Rocketdyne facility.

The Democratic caucus of the House Science Committee named seven other members to the space subcommittee in the statement. The members feature a mix of returning subcommittee members and new members, including Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), the only physicist currently in Congress; and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), who previously served two terms as governor of Florida as a member of the Republican party.

The Republican leadership of the House Science Committee announced subcommittee assignments in January. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), whose district includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center, returns as chairman of the subcommittee. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), whose district includes NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, will again be vice-chairman of the subcommittee.

Complete rosters of the space subcommittee are below:

Brian Babin, Texas, Chair
Mo Brooks, Alabama, Vice Chair
Dana Rohrabacher, California
Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
Bill Posey, Florida
Jim Bridenstine, Oklahoma
Stephen Knight, California
Barbara Comstock, Virginia
Ralph Lee Abraham, Louisiana
Daniel Webster, Florida
Jim Banks, Indiana
Andy Biggs, Arizona
Neal P. Dunn, Florida
Clay Higgins, Louisiana

Ami Bera, California, Ranking Member
Zoe Lofgren, California
Don Beyer, Virginia
Marc Veasey, Texas
Daniel Lipinski, Illinois
Ed Perlmutter, Colorado
Charlie Crist, Florida
Bill Foster, Illinois

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...