Sometimes it’s what isn’t said

Yesterday’s relatively brief, congenial hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee on NASA covered the usual topics: the transition from the shuttle to the CEV and concerns about the length of the gap between the two programs, aeronautics funding, and miscellaneous issues. (For some general coverage, check out, Florida Today, and the New York Times.) Unlike their colleagues in the House, the committee brought up China only briefly, near the end of the hearing, without the doom-and-gloom of the House appropriations subcommittee hearing last month.

The Washington Post, however, focuses on what wasn’t discussed at the hearing: the agency’s concern about the effect of Congressional earmarks on its budget. On the penultimate page of his full opening remarks, Griffin says that the growing size of earmarks—$568.5 million in FY06, compared to $74 million in FY97—is hurting the agency. “The growth of these Congressional directions is eroding NASA’s ability to carry out its mission of space exploration and peer-reviewed scientific discovery.” In his statement, he says that “NASA seeks the assistance of this Committee and Congress in reducing earmarks in the FY 2007 budget process.” However, Griffin did not read that section of his remarks at the hearing, and members of the committee did not bring it up. Griffin told the Post that he wasn’t trying to avoid a confrontation: “I feel about these earmarks the same way I always feel about earmarks.”

1 comment to Sometimes it’s what isn’t said

  • cIclops

    Yes there was a lot in his statement that wasn’t said at the hearing, does anybody besides us read it?

    Once again Griffin gave an excellent performance, sidestepping Nelson’s insistent offers of more taxpayers money while explaining to Allen that money is not the best measure of fundermental research.