Local legislators are focusing on building a presence in space and funding the coastal barrier during the ongoing Congressional legislative session.

Two-minute impact

U.S. House reps. Brian Babin, R-Woodville, and Randy Weber, R-Pearland, gave an update and their thoughts on the ongoing legislative session for the U.S. Congress at the Aug. 30 luncheon hosted by the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

In the Congressional session, which began in January, there have been nearly 6,000 bills proposed and more than 600 hearings held, moderator Brian Freedman said at the event. Freedman also serves as the president for the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

Much of the discussion on Aug. 30 revolved around space and recent successes by NASA.

Babin, who serves as cochair of the Congressional Space Force Caucus and has the Johnson Space Center in his district, said there will be legislation coming that will continue to show the country’s commitment to growing its role in space.

He added that it's important to reduce the amount of regulation on the commercial space industry.

Weber, who sits on the House Aerospace Caucus, said the U.S. wants to do “everything it can” to take the lead on developing a presence in space.

“Whenever you get into battle, whoever occupies the higher ground has the upper hand,” Weber said. “There is no higher ground than space."

Also of note

The coastal spine project and the efforts to fund it, which are expected to come in north of $30 billion, was also discussed. Babin said government entities need to get involved to help bring it across the finish line.

The coastal spine project is a series of floodwalls and levees between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula to help protect the Gulf Coast from storms and flooding.

Babin during the luncheon also said one of his priorities was seeing the U.S. achieve energy independence and reining in the country’s debt, which sits at more than $32 trillion.

Weber, meanwhile, said it was important to have enterprise drive the economy and not the government.

The pair also talked about the Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base and the hope that the U.S. Space Force branch can be represented there. Keeping on the topic of the military, they discussed what troops are doing overseas.

What they’re saying

“We want to ensure that our industry partners always see the Clear Lake area and Houston Spaceport as a high-tech, innovative area,” Babin said.

“We can’t be a government ... that has a country. We need to be a country that has a government,” Weber said. “The people in this country need to be in charge.”