House budget debate continues

The full House continued its debate on HR 2862 Wednesday, handing a number of proposed amendments. The House did approve, on voice votes, two NASA related amendments. One, by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), would “prohibit the use of funds from being available to deny the production of safety reports regarding the NASA Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station.”

The other, submitted by Rep. Chris Chocola (R-IN), would “prohibit the use of funds for NASA to employ any individual under the title ‘artist in residence.'” I haven’t seen yesterday’s Congressional Record yet to look at the details of the floor debate on this amendment in particular, but this appears to be prompted by this one-page report by the Republican Study Committee which targeted NASA’s $20,000 (yes, that’s all) stipend to Laurie Anderson as the agency’s artist in residence. There’s a heated debate on this at

One non-NASA, but important, amendment, to curtail some of the provisions of the Patriot Act, was approved by the House 238-187. As noted here earlier this week, OMB has made it clear in a memo to Congress that if “any amendment that would weaken the USA PATRIOT Act were included in a bill presented to the President for his signature, the President’s senior advisors would recommend a veto.” (The same memo, by the way, also notes that the “Administration appreciates the Committee’s strong support for NASA,” by effectively fully funding the President’s budget proposal.)

2 comments to House budget debate continues

  • Great. So they’ll just give the “artist in residence” a different title.

  • Against the backdrop of a failing $40 billion space station, Chocola’s tactic is a cynical and pathetic exercise in penny wisdom and grand foolishness. It’s like a car salesman who overcharges you $10,000 for an utterly impractical SUV, and steals your credit card number; but gives you a double refund when your quarter jams in his vending machine to show you how fair he is.

    On the other hand, Laurie Anderson doesn’t impress me and I really don’t care whether NASA uses her for outreach. In fact, I think that NASA’s outreach in general is overfunded and sometimes dishonest. I note that some other people here think that NASA should do more outreach.