Washington, DC  - Following this evening’s State of the Union address, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, released the following statement:

“Tonight the President focused on ‘America winning,’ by leading the world in innovation.  But leading the world in innovation must start with a strategy that fosters private investment and economic growth.  Too many of this administration’s policies have been detrimental to business and to keeping jobs in the U.S. 

“The American people have been clear that they want us to work together to shrink the reach of the Federal Government, and to give entrepreneurs an environment in which to invest and grow by lowering taxes, limiting burdensome and costly regulations, cutting spending, and reducing our Nation’s debt.  While appropriate investments in science and technology are important, they must be made prudently within the confines of a disciplined budget. 

“While much of the President’s rhetoric on energy is commendable, it too stands at odds with this administration’s actions in some of the most important areas.  From blocking energy exploration and production to the EPA’s unjustified assaults on U.S. industry, the President’s policies are making energy less abundant and less affordable, which in turn makes America less competitive.  These are job-killing policies, and my home state of Texas is at the center of this storm. 

“Further, without comprehensive scientific review, the President made the decision to abandon development of the Yucca Mountain site as a nuclear waste repository; terminating the Nation’s only existing option for long-term nuclear waste storage, before assessing potential alternative options. 

“In the 112th Congress, the Science, Space, and Technology Committee will conduct oversight of these policies, as well as the broader research and development priorities necessary to advance American competitiveness.  If we are to continue to lead the world in innovation, we must invest wisely, and put a stop to Democrats’ job-destroying spending. 

“Absent from the President’s speech was any vision for our Nation’s space agency.  NASA’s exploration program has been paramount to securing America’s lead in the global economy and spurring innovation.  So many technological advancements have stemmed from an ambitious, goal-oriented space program.  This Thursday is officially designated as ‘A Day of Remembrance’ for the space shuttles Columbia and Challenger tragedies; a day to reflect on those national heroes who lost their lives.  We should honor them by carrying on their legacy and ensuring that America ‘keeps winning’ in space exploration and scientific discovery.”