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Appointing France A. Cordova To Board Of Regents Of Smithsonian Institution

Rep. Robert A. Brady

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Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the joint resolution (S.J. Res. 9) providing for the appointment of France A. Cordova as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.

The text of the joint resolution is as follows:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, in accordance with section 5581 of the Revised Statutes (20 U.S.C. 43), the vacancy on the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, in the class other than Members of Congress, occurring by reason of the resignation of Eli Broad of California is filled by the appointment of France A. Cordova of Indiana. The appointment is for a term of 6 years, effective on the later of April 7, 2009, or the date of enactment of this joint resolution.

Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Daniel E. Lungren) each will control 20 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Rep. Robert A. Brady

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Mr. Speaker, I ask that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation.

Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Pennsylvania?

There was no objection.

Rep. Robert A. Brady

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Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, this joint resolution will appoint Dr. France Cordova as a citizen regent of the Smithsonian Institution for a 6-year term beginning on the day of its enactment into law. The appointment would fill a long-standing vacancy and would bring the Board of Regents back up to full strength again for the first time in several years.

Dr. Cordova is the president of Purdue University in Indiana. She also served as chief scientist at NASA in the 1990s. The members of the Committee on House Administration met with her in July, and we found her to be very qualified to represent the American people on the Smithsonian's governing body.

I urge approval of the joint resolution so that Dr. Cordova can assume her seat in time for the Regents' next meeting later this month.

I now reserve the balance of my time.

LUNGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

As a member of the House Administration Committee, I am pleased to support the appointment of Dr. France Cordova to be a citizen regent of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Cordova recently joined committee members to discuss her extensive educational background and ongoing work which will be of inestimable benefit to the ongoing mission of the Smithsonian. Because she is so distinguished and is involved in many activities, I did ask her whether she could give the time to this appointment that it deserves, and she assured us that she could. She recognized the importance of the Smithsonian Institution and felt that this was a more than worthy obligation on her part and felt that it was a contribution she would make to the American people.

In addition to the many national boards of which she is a member, Dr. Cordova serves as the 11th president of Purdue University in Indiana. She was the first woman chancellor of a University of California campus, but perhaps also indicative of her leadership, in the area of discovery, she was, I'm informed, the youngest chief scientist at NASA.

As a scientist, administrator, and ongoing researcher, the richness of her background in academic exploration would be difficult to overstate. As the Smithsonian Institution continues toward new achievements, I am confident that Dr. Cordova will be a critical piece in ensuring that James Smithson's original intent, that the institution would be ``an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge,'' is preserved with excellence.

I would urge my colleagues to join me in supporting Dr. Cordova's appointment to the Smithsonian's Board of Regents.

Since I have no other speakers, I would yield back the balance of my time.

Rep. Robert A. Brady

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I thank the ranking member on the House Administration Committee for his cooperation, as always.

Rep. Mike Pence

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Dr. France A. Cordova on her nomination by the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents and appointment by joint resolution of Congress to serve as one of the Smithsonian's nine citizen regents. Her outstanding scientific contributions in the areas of observational and experimental astrophysics, multi-spectral research on x-ray and gamma ray sources, and space-borne instrumentation make her an ideal candidate for this prestigious position.

Born in France, Dr. Cordova attended high school in California and went on to graduate cum laude from Stanford University in less than four years. She then earned a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology, and in 1997, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Loyola Marymount University. In 2007, Dr. Cordova moved to the Hoosier State and was appointed the eleventh president of Purdue University, as well as professor of physics and astronomy for the University.

Again, I commend the excellent work of Dr. Cordova and her many scientific contributions. Hoosiers are blessed to have the talent and expertise of Dr. Cordova at Purdue University, and her appointment to the Smithsonian's Board of Regents is a true honor for Indiana. I am confident that she will prove a valuable asset in her new position at the Smithsonian Institution.

Rep. Robert A. Brady

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I yield back the balance of my time.

The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Brady) that the House suspend the rules and pass the joint resolution, S.J. Res. 9.

The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the joint resolution was passed.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.