The good news for supporters of NASA is that the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee provided effectively full funding for NASA when it approved a FY2006 appropriations bill Tuesday. In fact, it added $15 million to the President’s request, a far cry from the sharp cuts the subcommittee proposed last year in the FY05 budget. According to a committee press release, the subcommittee provided full funding for the shuttle program, added $40 million for NASA science programs, and restored funding for NASA’s aeronautics programs to the FY05 level of $906 million, $54 million that what Bush requested.
The bad news becomes evident once one does the math above. Adding $94 million to aeronautics and science programs, but increasing the overall NASA budget by $15 million, means that there’s a net $79 million of cuts to other NASA programs, not specified in the press release. Space News (subscription required) picked up on this as well, but a House Appropriations Committee spokesman was not able to provide details on where those cuts were made.