U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has been named vice chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology space and aeronautics subcommittee, the committee announced May 5.

As vice chairman, Smith will preside over meetings and hearings in the absence of the subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).

Smith, a 24-year veteran of the House of Representatives, chairs the House Judiciary Committee. His congressional district includes parts of San Antonio and Austin.