Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will have a big impact on the economic situation in Utah, according to Sen. Robert F. Bennett, R-Utah.

Because the GOP generally favors space exploration more than the Democrats, Congress will want to maintain working on a space station that will benefit Thiokol because it produces solid rocket motors for the boosters.In remarks to the Pioneer Partnership, Bennett said he supports space exploration because of the knowledge it provides and because for every $1 spent on space exploration, the country reaps $10 in technological activity.

Killing the space station or other space projects would be disastrous for the country, he said.

Regarding Hill Air Force Base, Bennett said the base is always at risk, but the entire Utah Congressional delegation is behind the effort to keep it open. The senator said everyone hopes the Department of Defense will stick to its promise of doing maintenance for all military services at certain bases.

If that promise is kept, HAFB will be in good shape because it has the highest productivity of any air logistics centers in the country. But because the Navy took some drastic cuts, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission might feel it's the Air Force's turn to have some cuts.

The new Republican-majority Congress also will have an impact in rural Utah because problems over land use have festered for many years and the GOP hopes to solve them, Bennett said.

The senator said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., has been chairman of the House Interior Committee for many years and has the support of environmentalists who have never set foot in Utah. He will be replaced as chairman by Don Young of Alaska and there will be some changes, Bennett said.

Changes also are expected in the structure of the Senate and House, Bennett said, with senators and representatives serving on fewer committees. There also will be a limitation on proxy votes and removal of the floating quorum procedure that allows a chairman to take votes by proxy and not require people to be present for a vote.