Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chair of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, is making some unusual choices in naming subcommittee heads, reports ScienceInsider.
Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), the respective choices for the technology and innovation subcommittee and the research subcommittee, are both freshmen, and, as ScienceInsider notes, "chairs are one way that party leaders reward members for loyal service, or simply for longevity."
Additionally, Massie has already voted against Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) reelection and sided against him on the fiscal cliff bill. A press release from his office, though, says that he is suited to the position as he has an engineering background. Bucshon, on the other hand, is a cardiothoracic surgeon and in a statement he says that that experience has shown him "the importance of research in improving the life of all Americans and the role it plays in economic development."
Finally, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) is to head up the energy subcommittee.