3 Senate Seats to Watch: S&T Policy Implications for the 115th Congress

 

Senator Barbara Mikulski, Maryland (D) will be succeeded by Senator Chris Van Holland (D).

In 1986, Barbara Mikulski ran for Senate and won, becoming the first Democratic woman Senator elected in her own right. On December 20, 2012, Mikulski became the first woman and first Marylander to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which she has served since she arrived in the Senate in 1987. The Appropriations Committee oversees funding for the NSF, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and she has pushed to increase spending on science over the years. That interest is home-grown: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and several NOAA facilities, including the agency’s satellite operations centre, are located in Maryland. Many Earth, climate and space scientists consider Mikulski to be a powerful ally.  She has strongly supported S&T bills with major impact for funding for NASA, NOAA, NIH, STEM education and more.

She will retire from the 114th Congress, and Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen will represent Maryland in the 115th Congress. He does not have the same experience level and influence as Senator Mikulski.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire (R) will be succeeded by Maggie Hasasan (D).

New Hampshire, moderate Republican senator Kelly Ayotte lost her seat in Congress to Democrat Maggie Hassan. She’s one of just five Republican senators who voted in favor of a 2015 amendment that declared climate change to be real — and caused by human actions. The Senate has lost one of its few Republicans who believe in climate change.

Ayote sat on several committees related to S&T policy including;

Senator Barbara Boxer, California (D) will be succeed by Kamala Harris (D).

Senator Barbara Boxer,  who made environmental issues a focus during nearly a quarter of a century in the Senate, will be retiring from the 114th Congress and succeed by Kamala Harris. Boxer sat on several committees related to S&T policy including;

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