Drugs vs. NASA

I have written here in the past about false dichotomies: the strawman choices columnists and editorial writers, among others, develop in an effort to build up their own pet projects at the expense of NASA. The latest example is a column Sunday by Tom Schmitt, publisher of the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Daily Nonpareil. Most of [...]

Senate budget hearings

I wrote in the previous post that while the House has passed the appropriations bill that includes NASA, there was no sign of when the Senate would take action. Oops, my bad. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee is scheduled to mark up its appropriations bill in a hearing Tuesday afternoon. The [...]

House approves budget

By the very wide margin of 418-7, the full House passed HR 2862, the appropriations bill that includes $16.5 billion for NASA. There were no other NASA-related amendments posed during the final hours of debate on the bill. Needless to say, NASA administrator Michael Griffin is happy to get the budget passed. Now it’s on [...]

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 [...]

Lobbying tips from Tom DeLay

(No, there is no irony or sarcasm intended in this headline.) The Houston Chronicle reports that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay met with members of Citizens for Space Exploration (known until last year by the clunky moniker “National Keep It Sold”), who were in Washington for their annual lobbying trip. (DeLay also spoke to the [...]

The astronauts show

You probably aren’t too surprised to find out that Tuesday’s hearing by the House Science Committee’ space subcommittee didn’t cover a lot of new ground about space flight. It was successful in garnering media attention, given that this was the first Congressional hearing featuring a witness testifying from space, but the questions asked by members [...]

House budget hurdles

The full House is taking up HR 2862, the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce appropriations bill, which includes NASA’s budget. Debate on the bill started today and will continue into tomorrow. Earlier today Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the ranking Democrat on the full House Appropriations Committee, introduced an amendment that would have transferred $200 million [...]

Heavy-lift meeting

One of the often overlooked, but significant, provisions of the new space transportation policy is that NASA must cooperate with the Defense Department and submit a joint recommendation to the President on the development of any new heavy-lift vehicle to meet potential exploration-unique requirements.” The provision is interesting because the DOD is widely perceived as [...]

Upcoming legislative activities

Besides Tuesday’s hearing by the House Science Committee about the ISS, there are several other space-related hearings and votes scheduled for the coming weeks. The full House is scheduled to vote some time this week on the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce appropriations bill, which includes NASA’s $16.5-billion budget. (The Senate has yet to take [...]

Griffin cleans house

Earlier this week Craig Steidle, NASA associate administrator for exploration, told his employees that he was planning to leave the agency by the end of the month. His departure was prompted by a planned reassignment to an unspecified position at a field center, which Steidle turned down. This looks like it may be the first [...]