It's good to see Nick Lampson back where he belongs.
Though Lampson proudly claimed membership in an unusually large freshman class of 55 lawmakers, he is anything but a new guy on campus.
As he made his way through the Capitol, he was frequently stopped as House members and other Capitol regulars greeted him with handshakes and bear hugs.
"Nobody knew me when I came up here 10 years ago, and I've been welcomed back like a long-lost brother," he said.
After a private swearing-in by new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with his family at his side, Lampson, 61, headed to the House floor for his maiden speech: He urged a tightening of House rules on congressional travel, gifts and "earmarks," or pet projects.
"We cannot afford to wait one more day to restore the trust and hope to those who send us here to represent them," Lampson said.
One of only two freshmen in the 34-member Texas delegation, Lampson also praised the importance of the House vote installing Pelosi as the first female speaker in the chamber's history.
He cast that vote with granddaughter Olivia, who turns 2 next month, in his arms.
Congressman Nick Lampson will join with Board Members of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA), a research management consortium headquartered in Sugar Land, to announce the finalization and signing of a 10-year, $375 million contract to manage research and development of new technology for natural gas and oil exploration and production. RPSEA has been negotiating this contract with the U.S. Department of Energy since it was selected as the program manager in May of 2006. Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, Members of Sugar Land City Council, and Members of the Board of the Texas Energy Center will also be in attendance.