Week in Review 9.16.22

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee newsletter! The SST Newsletter highlights the goings on of the Committee, the hard work of our Members, and a look ahead.

President Biden Signs Executive Order to Advance U.S. Bioeconomy

On Monday, President Biden signed an Executive Order on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation for a sustainable, safe, and secure American Bioeconomy. The bioeconomy represents the intersection of products and services that come from biological resources.

Following the Executive Order, the White House hosted a Summit on biotechnology and biomanufacturing. Science Committee Member Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC) joined the summit to discuss the importance of STEM education in developing a highly skilled workforce.

Listen to Congresswoman Ross’s remarks

Read Chairwoman Johnson’s Statement on the Executive Order here.

The Fountain of Youth? The Quest for Aging Therapies

On Thursday, the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing to discuss the state of geroscience, the study of aging and age related diseases, and leading research efforts to develop therapeutic interventions that target aging and age-related diseases. During the hearing, Members also examined the ethical and societal implications that may result as aging therapies grow closer to commercial readiness.

“Imagine how profound it would be to identify a drug or a therapy that can mitigate Alzheimer’s, cancer, macular degeneration, hearing loss, and joint pain with a single, or a small set of treatments. Among other things, this would have enormous implications for the federal budget.”

- Chairman Bill Foster (D-IL) of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

Read the witnesses’ testimonies and watch the hearing here.

Science Committee Leaders Urge Transparency in FAA Investigation of Blue Origin Booster Failure

After Blue Origin’s New Shepard-23 booster failure, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX) sent a letter to Acting Administrator Billy Nolen of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding the FAA’s investigation into the matter. In the letter, the Subcommittee leaders assert the seriousness of the situation and note the important role the Committee has in conducting oversight of such matters and ask for a briefing.

“We request that the Associate Administrator of the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation keep the Members of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics appraised of the plans and timetable for the NS-23 anomaly investigation, the root cause of the failure once determined, and plans to ensure that actions to address the root cause or causes are completed.”

- Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX)

Read the full letter here.

Chairwoman Johnson Speaks at 60th Anniversary Celebration of President Kennedy’s Moonshot Speech

On Monday, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson joined NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, other NASA officials, and Congressional colleagues at Rice University to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s speech announcing America’s intent to land humans on the Moon.

Watch Chairwoman Johnson’s Remarks

ICYMI: Chairwoman Johnson Joins President Biden at Groundbreaking of New Intel Chip Factory

Last Friday, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson arrived in Ohio to attend the groundbreaking of Intel’s newest U.S. manufacturing site.

“Chip shortages continue to impact Americans across the country; and the U.S. now has an opportunity to regain our leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. The CHIPS and Science Act is a once-in-a generation investment in American manufacturing, research, and innovation that will ensure our nation stays competitive across all leading technology sectors for decades to come. Intel’s two new leading-edge chip factories will boost chip production, create thousands of jobs in Ohio, and ease supply chain vulnerabilities.”

- Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Read the full press release here.

Coming up in Committee

Full Committee Hearing

Subject: “Amplifying the Arctic: Strengthening Science to Respond to a Rapidly Changing Arctic”

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. ET

Place: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building and Online via Zoom

Witnesses:

· Dr. Larry Hinzman, Assistant Director of Polar Sciences, Office of Science and Technology Policy and Executive Director, Interagency Arctic Research and Policy Committee

· Dr. Mike Sfraga, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission

· Ms. Vera Kingeekuk Metcalf, Executive Director, Eskimo Walrus Commission

· Dr. Susan Natali, Arctic Program Director, Woodwell Climate Research Center

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and Subcommittee on Environment Hearing

Subject: “Looking Back to Predict the Future: The Next Generation of Weather Satellites”

Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Time: 10:00 a.m. ET

Place: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building and Online via Zoom

Witnesses:

· Dr. Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Services, NOAA

· Mr. John Gagosian, Joint Agency Satellite Division Director, NASA

· Mr. Fred Meny, Assistant Inspector General for Audit and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General

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Science Committee Democrats

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology