During an executive session Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee marked up and approved S.2541, the NASA Authorization Act of 2004. The bill was approved on a voice vote after a short discussion and adoption of a few amendments. There was some heated discussion about one amendment, proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), but listening to the webcast of the hearing, and not seeing the text of the amendment, it wasn’t clear exactly what the concerns expressed by other members (including Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)) were about Nelson’s amendment.
In any event, this is all largely academic. There is no House version of the bill and, back in July, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) made it clear it was highly unlikely the House would find time to consider one before adjourning for the year. Given that, I would be surprised if the full Senate takes up the bill, particularly with some much other work to do in limited time.