Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), the oldest member of Congress, was officially confirmed as the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday.
The Texas representative is a strong supporter of the oil and gas industry and has voiced his support for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The League of Conservation Voters has given him a zero-percent rating every year since 2004 due to his positions and votes on environmental issues.
He’s also the guy who killed a House bill which would have increased funding for scientific research and math and science education by forcing Democrats to vote in favor of federal employees viewing pornography. As ranking member, Hall introduced a motion to recommit which would have changed the bill by sending it back to the committee with mandatory instructions, in this case barring the federal government from paying the salaries of employees who had been disciplined for viewing pornography at work.
“Advancements in science and technology will create jobs, keep America at the forefront of innovation, and drive economic growth,” Hall said in a statement Wednesday. “Smart investments in basic research and development, coupled with proper business and tax incentives, will spur innovation and allow American businesses to commercialize and manufacture technologies here in the United States.”
“Our Committee will help ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely in research and development programs by providing effective oversight of existing programs and by eliminating wasteful and duplicative programs and streamlining programs where needed,” Hall said. “Republicans have been given the opportunity to help make our government function more efficiently and effectively, and we will work to achieve fiscal responsibility.”