Skip to primary navigation Skip to content
April 05, 2022

Chairwoman Johnson Opening Statement for Full Committee Markup

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is marking up H.R. 6845, the “Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act of 2022;” H.R. 3952, the “NOAA Chief Scientist Act;” H.R. 7077, the “Empowering the U.S. Fire Administration Act;” H.R. 3588, the “Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act;” and H.R. 6933, the “Cost-Share Accountability Act of 2022.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement as prepared for the record is below.

Welcome to today’s markup of five bipartisan bills.

The first bill we will consider is H.R. 6845, the Commercial Remote Sensing Amendment Act of 2022, which was introduced by Ranking Member Lucas and Mr. Perlmutter. This bill would amend current statute to provide for more transparency in the U.S. commercial space remote sensing licensing process. H.R. 6845 helps provide this Committee and Congress with the necessary information to carry out its oversight function and to monitor the implementation of regulations on the U.S. commercial remote sensing industry, including any impacts on the industry’s competitiveness.  H.R. 6845 is a good-government bill and helps ensure transparency in the licensing of commercial remote sensing systems. 

Next, we will consider H.R. 3952, the NOAA Chief Scientist Act. I want to thank our Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill for introducing this bipartisan legislation alongside Research Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Feenstra. This legislation sets strong scientific qualifications for the Chief Scientist position. The bill outlines additional responsibilities of the Chief Scientist within NOAA. It also elevates the importance of the Chief Scientist and his or her role in upholding scientific integrity and advancing science and technology at the agency. Finally, the bill establishes an Office of the Chief Scientist, as well as the position of Deputy Chief Scientist. I support the passage of the NOAA Chief Scientist Act, and urge my colleagues to do the same.

The next bill we are marking up is H.R.7077, the Empowering the U.S. Fire Administration Act, sponsored by Representative Ritchie Torres and cosponsored by several Members of this Committee. This bipartisan bill authorizes the U.S. Fire Administration to conduct on-site investigations of major fires. Despite advances in fire codes, loss of life from building fires still occurs far too frequently. A tragic fire in Representative Torres’ New York district in January claimed 17 victims, including 8 children. This bill would help bring to bear the expertise of the U.S. Fire Administration following major fires to contribute to what we can learn from these fires and how we can prevent them from occurring in the future. I urge my colleagues to support this important bill. 

I want to thank Representatives Houlahan and Baird for sponsoring our next bill: H.R. 3588, the Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act. Improving access to high-quality STEM education remains a top priority for this Committee. Every two years the National Assessment of Education Progress reminds us that what we’re doing now is not working for the majority of our nation’s students. This bill will advance innovations to incorporate mathematical modeling across K through 12 curricula and ground those lessons in a real-world context. This will empower students to see mathematics as a tool they can use to solve the problems they see in their communities. We know this both increases learning and inspires more students to pursue a STEM career. I urge my colleagues to support this important bill.

Finally, we will consider H.R. 6933, the Cost-Share Accountability Act of 2022, which was introduced by Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Obernolte and Chairman Foster. This is a common-sense bill to ensure that Congress is kept informed about instances when cost-share requirements at the Department of Energy are reduced or eliminated. This is a straightforward good government bill, and I support its passage.

I look forward to a productive markup today, and I hope to be back in the hearing room very soon. But now I am going to pass the gavel over to Ms. Lofgren to chair the remainder of this markup.