The new Republican-led Congress is currently busy picking people to chair its many committees and subcommittees. Guess what! Tea Party hero Senator Ted Cruz is the new chair of the Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. That means he will oversee NASA. Yep -- the climate-denying Tea Party hero who tried to defund NASA is now in charge of NASA.
It's may be a bit extreme to say that Cruz hates NASA. But it doesn't really seem like he loves the world's greatest space agency, since he tried to slash its funding a couple years ago. Cruz is also the lawmaker who helped orchestrate the government shutdown, a 16-day-long disaster that did irreparable damage to scientific research, including work being done at NASA. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio -- who also wants NASA to get less funding -- will oversee the NOAA as chair of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.
Even though Cruz is from Houston, home of Johnson Space Center, there's reason to believe that he'll continue his pursuit of trying to deflate the space agency. Heck, just look at all the dumb things he's said about science in recent years.
- "'Net Neutrality' is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government." - Ted Cruz on net neutrality
- "The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn't happened."- Ted Cruz on climate change
- "You know, back in the '70s -- I remember the '70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded." - Ted Cruz on climate change
- "You always have to be worried about something that is considered a so-called scientific theory that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they will say, well, it's changing, so it proves our theory." - Ted Cruz on climate change
- "I was disappointed that Bruce Willis was not available to be a fifth witness on the panel. There probably is no doubt that actually Hollywood has done more to focus attention on this issue than perhaps a thousand congressional hearings could do." - Ted Cruz on space threats
- "I wondered if at some point we were going to see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice say, "Mike Lee, I am your father" … and just like in "Star Wars" movies the empire will strike back." - Ted Cruz during his 21-hour Obamacare speech
- "The authorizing committees are free to set their agency budgets, and that includes NASA." - Ted Cruz when he tried to cut NASA funding in 2013 (This one is more scary than stupid, since Cruz is now in charge of agency budgets.)
- "Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am." - Ted Cruz on his attempts to defund Obamacare