Chairman of Science
Sensenbrenner wants the gavel.
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is vying to take over leadership of the House's Committee on Science, Space and Technology, a panel that's been the subject of more than a few derogatory blog posts since Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, one of its members, suggested this summer that women's bodies have a mechanism for preventing impregnation in cases of rape.
Sensenbrenner, a Menomonee Falls Republican, sailed to reelection on Tuesday and released a statement on Wednesday asking for the promotion from his current post of vice-chair: "If given the opportunity to serve as Science chair, my first priority will be to pass smart science and space policy that spurs job creation and ensures America's future competitiveness. Specifically, we must responsibly fund our research and development programs, refocus NASA and foster the developing private space industry, and put the United States back on a path toward being a leader in STEM education."
Like other members of the Republican-controlled committee, Sensenbrenner is a global warming skeptic with an enmity for the president. "It's more important than ever that the House exercises our constitutional oversight role. The Obama Administration has shown its willingness to manipulate science for political ends and threaten our domestic energy production and our economy in the process."
Obama has pushed NASA to revive manned missions, setting goals of putting astronauts on a near-Earth asteroid by 2025 and within orbit of Mars by the mid-2030s. Mitt Romney criticized his plans during the campaign and said he would "reassess" the space agency's plans.
For more on Sensenbrenner, here's the magazine's 2007 profile.