Washington D.C. - Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) selected Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) and Committee Member, Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), to serve on the Conference Committee that will negotiate a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill.  Chairman Hall and Rep. Cravaack have been named Conferees on portions of the legislation dealing with transportation research and development programs, as well as portions of the legislation governing Gulf Coast Restoration research programs, which fall under the Committee’s jurisdiction.

Hall stated, “At a time when our nation’s budget faces severe challenges, it is crucial that our hard-working taxpayers’ dollars be invested in research programs that are most likely to lead to improved safety, reduced congestion, and higher quality in the transportation system.”

Rep Cravaack added, “Chairman Hall and I will push to ensure that research funding is awarded through competition and merit review, so that in difficult budgetary times, only the most promising research receives funding.”

Both Hall and Cravaack asserted the need for any compromise bill to include greater coordination across Department of Transportation research programs to avoid duplication and ensure that national priorities are being addressed.