Senate appropriations reorganization update

While the House has completed its reorganization of its appropriations committees, moving NASA into what’s widely considered to be a more favorable subcommittee, the Senate is still grappling with its own reorganization plan. CongressDaily reported Monday that a reshuffling could come as early as this week that would eliminate the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies subcommittee (but only that committee, unlike the three eliminated by the House.) As in the House proposal, NASA would move to the current Commerce, Justice, and State (CJS) subcommittee, although the article didn’t state whether the subcommittee would be renamed, as is the case on the House side.

Perhaps a bigger change will be a shakeup in the leadership of the subcommittee. Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), who currently chairs the VA-HUD subcommittee, would likely move to another subcommittee that deals with transportation, treasury, and housing agencies. The current chairman of that committee, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), would likely move to the CJS subcommittee, bumping out current chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH). Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will likely be the ranking Democrat on the new CJS subcommittee. This is good news for NASA, since both Shelby and Mikulski are strong supporters of the space agency, particularly since both have NASA centers in their home states.

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