Senate Commerce Committee and the NASA authorization bill

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.

6 comments to Senate Commerce Committee and the NASA authorization bill

  • Harold LaValley

    This article fills in the gap on the why an amendment was put forth with the extra money for shuttle and hubble.

    Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Approves NASA Authorization Act
    Includes Amendment Introduced by Sen. Hutchison to Maintain U.S. Access to Space

  • Harold LaValley

    Status of FY2005 Appropriations Bills

  • Harold LaValley

    Space Watch: NASA gets a budget boost

    If the bill and amendment package approved by the Appropriations Committee actually does arrive on the Senate floor, some Democrats who approved the measure in the committee warned that a fight is looming.

    “I’m not going to offer an amendment today,” said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D. “But this needs to be addressed on the floor of the Senate.”

    Even Stevens warned inflating the budget with emergency spending measures was likely to trigger other objections.

    “(The White House Office of Management and Budget) is disturbed by the level of emergencies we’ve been spending,” Stevens said.

    Others who wound up supporting Mikulski’s move did so reluctantly.

    “I support this amendment, but I don’t like supporting this amendment,” said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

    end qoute

    Well which is it do you or do you not support the amendment.

  • John Malkin

    In American English they are saying they support the money but they don’t want the blame for spending the money. They want the blame to go to the entire senate and/or house. What would we do without politics? That is rhetorical.

    At least they are talking about space, Americans may yet get out of earth orbit before the quater century.

  • Don

    Did anyone see anything in this bill related to the search for Earth-like planets? It seems with the new discovery of two new Neptune-sized planets that this would be a hotter topic and something Congress should be encouraging.

  • Jim

    Folks, you have to keep the different bills and amendments straight. Jeff’s original post was about the NASA Authorization bill being considered in the Senate Commerce Committee. The “controversial” amendment to that Authorization bill is indeed described by Sen. Hutchison (R-TX)’s news release cited above on Spaceref, basically says that the Space Shuttle should continue flying until AFTER a U.S. CEV is flying. The fact that there is no money to develop a CEV without retiring the Shuttle seems to be completely lost on Sen. Hutchison.

    That is why there was controversy at the markup.