WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 10:00 am in Dirksen Senate Office Building 106 to consider the following agenda:
Subcommittee Assignments for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Executive Session Details:
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Executive Session #4
A live video of the markup and additional information will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.
*In order to maintain physical distancing as advised by the Office of the Attending Physician, seating for credentialed press will be limited throughout the course of the markup. Due to current limited access to the Capitol complex, the general public is encouraged to view this markup via the live stream.
Chair Maria Cantwell
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell
Opening Statement at Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Executive Session
February 25, 2021
Cantwell: Good morning, everyone. Today’s markup, I’m pleased to introduce new Commerce Subcommittee chairs and ranking members who will help lead this committee in the 117 Congress. I know that Senator Wicker shares my excitement about this slate of leaders and joins me in congratulating all of them on these new posts.
Senator Sinema will chair the Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation. Senator Sinema is a proven leader on aviation safety and successfully led bipartisan bills that make critical investments in our airports. The ranking member will be Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Cruz has prioritized improvements to our air traffic control system so I look forward to working with both of them on this new role.
The Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband will be chaired by Senator Ben Ray Lujan, a new member of this committee, so congratulations on being on the committee and in such an important subcommittee role. I know he is dedicated to working on addressing issues of broadband inequities as we have seen in New Mexico and Senator John Thune, a longtime leader in this particular area, will continue to work in a strong ranking member role.
The new chair of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation, Maritime, Freight, and Ports is Senator Gary Peters, who will continue to be a leader in automotive and transportation safety. This year we will focus on transportation infrastructure and why making investments is critical to helping the United States economy, and I know the Senator from Michigan knows that well. His ranking member, Senator Deb Fischer, is a long time member of that committee and will continue her critical work on infrastructure solutions. She introduced legislation to investigate instances of blocked rail crossings to keep our roads and rails safer, and a very important issue, particularly in my state, I'm sure as well as in many others, so we look forward to that subcommittee’s really important work as we go into the next phase of the COVID bill, and the fact that the Surface Transportation Authorization expires in September. So lots of work to do on that subcommittee.
Senator Tammy Baldwin will chair the Subcommittee on Oceans, Fisheries, and Climate, and we have moved national manufacturing--we need to move that somewhere and they just ended up there, so people should take note. I don't know quite what to say other than that there's manufacturing in every sector of our economy, there's certainly a lot in the maritime sector. Senator Wicker and I have both been leaders on more shipbuilding, and one of the first hearings that we had as I became the ranking member, Senator Wicker brought up a group of witnesses from his state, where we really emphasized the fact that there are literally six figure jobs in maritime manufacturing that are going unfilled because we haven't made the investment in the skilled workforce. So we certainly want to focus on that manufacturing, but we also want to focus on other national manufacturing issues on transportation, aviation, and other spaces. Wo we're so glad Senator Baldwin will oversee these big issues of importance to our national economy and our competitiveness. And I know her leadership on Great Lakes issues in general and will continue to help us in securing Coast Guard issues and expansion of our marine sanctuaries in the Great Lakes. And her ranking member, Senator Sullivan, not shy on any of these issues, certainly been very aggressive on the issues of importance to his state and on ocean policies, and particularly fishing issues and Magnuson Stevenson.
And Senator Blumenthal, one of the Senate's true champions on consumers issues, will chair the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, and his ranking member will be Senator Blackburn who's done a lot of work on this area, particularly in the browser space and particular aims to protect consumer privacy.
So the last committee, Subcommittee on Space and Science, will be chaired also by a new member of this committee, Senator john Hickenlooper, who is--I think he said to us he's “over the moon” about this position so we're glad that a new member who is an actual scientist will get to chair this important committee on pace and science, and I hope that we will all focus on how science can help us in the competitiveness of our nation and the continued investments that we need to make. And another new member, so we're counting on our new members here, Senator Lummis, will be a great addition to bring her perspectives and working together with him. And Senator Lummis, I really hope that you will help us on what I said in my opening comments at our last meeting: we really need to focus on women in science. We have got to use the power of the women on this committee to help us better articulate policies that will help us get more women in science.
And finally, the Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion will be led by Jackie Rosen, a true advocate of promoting all things tourism, including a recreational economy, but I think we couldn't find a better person who knows the importance of tourism to our national economy. And Ranking Member Rick Scott will also show his dedication to this particular issue, given this importance to his state. He and I recently reintroduced our temperature check at airports bill, an important aspect of showing that our airports can move people, and the fact that we need to rebound in the traveling public.
So I'm very excited, look forward to working with all our colleagues on these issues, and unfortunately I think our ranking member got delayed this morning but wanted to convey his excitement and importance on these issues. And so, with that, I think I will entertain a motion to move forward unless any of our members would like to make a comment.