While there was some confusion about the time, location, and even existence of a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee hearing on NASA’s budget, the hearing did in fact occur. NASA released the opening remarks by Sean O’Keefe in that hearing, but the bigger news was the concern raised by leading committee members about the budget. Subcommittee chairman James Walsh (R-NY) and ranking member Alan Mollohan (D-WV) both noted that they felt it would be difficult to get the full budget increase NASA asked for, according to reports by the Orlando Sentinel and Houston Chronicle. Walsh and Mollohan said they were unwilling to fight for that increase given the many unanswered questions about the exploration effort. Florida Today reported that O’Keefe responded by saying most the proposed increase would be used to return the shuttle to flight and resume assembly of the station. Without that increase, he warned, the shuttle safety effort “all becomes very compromised”.