The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
Click here for additional information on nominees.
The Markup was previously scheduled for September 5, 2018 but was postponed due to a change in the Senate floor schedule.
1. S. 1965, Allowing Alaska IVORY Act, Sponsor: Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
2. S. 2773, Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, Sponsors: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
3. S. 3367, Department of Transportation Reports Harmonization Act, Sponsor: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
4. H.R. 4323, Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act, Sponsors: Reps. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Ralph Lee Abraham (R-La.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Elizabeth Etsy (D-Conn.), Stephen Knight (R-Calif.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Roger Marshal (R-Kan.), Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Mark Takano (D-Calif.)
5. Nomination of Rick Dearborn, of Oklahoma, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors
6. Nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier, of Oklahoma, to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
7. Nomination of James Morhard, of Virginia, to be Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
8. Nomination of Joel Szabat, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Secretary of Transportation
*Agenda subject to change
Executive Session Details:
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building, Room 106
Results of the markup can be found here.
Chairman John Thune
Good morning. Thank you all for being here. Before we turn to our hearing with TSA Administrator Pekoske, we will hold a quick executive session considering four legislative items and four nominations.
As is typical for a Commerce Committee markup, today’s agenda covers a wide range of our jurisdiction.
Legislatively we will be considering Senator Sullivan’s bill designed to respect the rights of Native Alaskans to make and sell their handicrafts, as well as bills to improve fishing practices in the Pacific and to streamline the reports the Department of Transportation is required to produce so the department can focus its resources on the most important issues.
We will also consider a measure Senator Heller has introduced in the Senate, which has already passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 420 to one, designed to encourage veterans to study and pursue STEM careers.
On the nominations side we will consider those seeking to serve as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Deputy Administrator of NASA, an assistant Secretary for Transportation, and another Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors.
All of the nominees are qualified for their positions and it would be my hope that, once we act today, the full Senate can move quickly to confirm them.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Today we will consider the nomination of Jim Morhard to be the deputy administrator of NASA, among others.
I was encouraged that in follow-up communications with the committee after his hearing last week, Mr. Morhard acknowledged that the climate is changing and that it is extremely likely that human activities are the dominant cause of this warming.
We will also be considering the nomination of Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier to be the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
There are a number of critical issues facing this country that will benefit from the input of the White House science advisor – the algae disaster in my state, the opioid crisis and sea level rise to name a few. I was especially pleased to hear during Dr. Droegemeier’s confirmation hearing that he is eager to work on climate change and committed to ensuring that science is free from politics.
Dr. Droegemeier is a well-regarded scientist who has served twelve years on the National Science Board. The committee has received dozens of endorsements for Dr. Droegemeier, and I think it’s safe to say the research community is eager for this committee to quickly confirm the nominee.
With that, let’s get on to the business of the day.