Babin succeeds Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), who had Chaired the subcommittee since 2011. The announcement did not give a reason for the change, but Palazzo was named to the House Appropriations Committee in March. A committee aide said Palazzo will remain on the full House Science Committee.
Palazzo steps down from the chairmanship after shepherding through the committee two key pieces of legislation, a NASA authorization bill and a commercial space launch bill. The House passed the commercial space bill May 21, while the NASA authorization bill, approved by the committee April 30, is still pending floor action.