WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., the ranking member of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Friday named U.S. Rep Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, the Republican leader and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology.
“I am humbled to be named the Republican Leader of the Research and Technology Subcommittee. Over the last several years, we have witnessed incredible advancements in science and technology that have improved the lives of millions of people and spurred economic growth in Iowa and across the country. From precision agriculture and biofuels development to energy independence and fair trade, technological innovation and cutting-edge research touches every sector of our economy and helps us compete with the growing threats of China and Russia,” Feenstra said in a released statement.
He added that Iowa’s farmers, energy producers and developers, and colleges and universities play a critical role in shaping a better future.
“I have always worked to ensure that northwest Iowa has a strong voice on the full committee. It’s what Iowans deserve,” he said. “I am ready to get to work and deliver results for our thriving agricultural and biofuels industry, our renowned colleges and universities, and the hundreds of thousands of people who call Northwest Iowa home. There is so much that we can achieve together, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to push the boundaries and make the impossible, possible.”
Lucas explained why he named Feenstra the ranking member of the subcommittee.
“In his time on the Science Committee, Rep. Feenstra has already shown leadership on crucial issues and authored legislation to help protect our research from foreign theft, expand research and development of biofuels, and improve bioengineering. He understands that innovative science and technology is key to growing the American economy and keeping us ahead of threats from adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party. I’m excited for him to take the helm of our Research & Technology Subcommittee,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., the outgoing Ranking Member of the subcommittee said he looks working with Feenstra as he transitions into the role.
“I’m grateful to Ranking Member Lucas for giving me the opportunity to lead Republicans on the Research & Technology Subcommittee since last year and look forward to working with Congressman Feenstra as he transitions as the new subcommittee ranking member,” he said. “I look forward to working with the Committee to further protect our research enterprise, intellectual property, and bolster technological advances and STEM education.”
During his first year on the Space, Science, and Technology Committee, Feenstra introduced two amendments – the Foreign Malign Talent Act and the Advancing IoT for Precision Agriculture Act – to the National Science Foundation for the Future Act to prevent intellectual property theft, expand the scope of precision agriculture technology, and keep taxpayer-funded research out of the hands of foreign spies. Both were adopted by the full committee.
Feenstra also helped introduce the Rural STEM Education Research Act, which would award grants to nonprofit organizations or higher education institutions for research and development to advance STEM education in rural schools. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives last May with wide, bipartisan support.
The Subcommittee on Research and Technology has jurisdiction over matters relating to science policy and education, university research policy, nanotechnology, agricultural research, patent and intellectual property policy, international trade technology, surface and water transportation research, and voting technologies and standards among many other issues.