U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall To Chair House Science Committee

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U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas) is poised to succeed outgoing Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) as the chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee come January.

Hall, a longtime champion of NASA’s human spaceflight program, fended off a challenge from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) to win the backing of a GOP panel tasked with selecting committee chairmen for the 112th Congress, which convenes Jan. 3.

Elections in November gave Republicans control of 242 of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, putting the GOP back in the majority for the first time since 2006.

The House Republican Conference, which confirmed Hall as chairman Dec. 8, voted the same day to make Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee, which originates spending bills, will be chaired by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).

Rogers, a longtime member of the appropriations committee, beat out former chairman Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.), the committee’s current ranking member.