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Departures Promise to Reshape the House, Whether or Not Election Does

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The New York Times covers the retirement of Lamar Smith from the U.S. House of Representatives.

In his five years as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Representative Lamar Smith transformed the once almost invisible position into a powerful bully pulpit. From it, he tried to dismantle Obama-era climate policies, undermine scientific consensus and browbeat federal agencies for what he called scientific fraud.

But with his run as chairman nearly done, the 69-year-old Texan announced on Thursday that he would retire rather than seek a 17th term in Congress and a spot on the backbench. The news followed closely on the heels of another powerful Texas Republican facing the end of his chairmanship, Representative Jeb Hensarling of the Financial Services Committee, who said just two days earlier that this term would be his last.

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Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, and a leading contrarian of the scientific consensus on global warming, said Mr. Smith’s retirement was a “huge loss to the science community.”

Read the full article at The New York Times.