Congress

China and the NASA budget (again)

Earlier this month a group of fiscal conservatives in the House put forward a budget resolution proposal that, according to an article in today’s issue of The Hill, “was as nearly identical as possible to the 1995 budget resolution” during the heyday of the “Contract with America”, with sharp cuts on federal spending. However, unlike in 1995, a majority of Republicans in the House—134—voted against the resolution, including retiring Congressman Tom DeLay. Why did he vote against the resolution?

DeLay said he voted against the conservatives’ budget because it would have hurt the space program based in his district. He agreed with the conservative principles but couldn’t vote for a budget “that would have crippled NASA while giving China’s military-run space program the go-ahead to make the next giant leaps,” said DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty.

“This budget would have devastated our space program, and no conservative should feel comfortable voluntarily locking our nation out of space and making us dependent on foreign countries to access the international space station.”

Readers may recall that the perceived threat posed by China to the US in space was a key issue in a subcommittee hearing of the House Appropriations Committee on the NASA budget two months ago. At that time the sub, whose membership includes DeLay, committee asked NASA to compile a report within 30 days on the Chinese space program and goals, and planned to hold another hearing on the topic timed to coincide with its release. It’s now been 60 days, with no sign of the report, nor another hearing on the topic by the subcommittee. And DeLay is scheduled to leave Congress in early June.

9 comments to China and the NASA budget (again)

  • This budget would have devastated our space program, and no conservative should feel comfortable voluntarily locking our nation out of space and making us dependent on foreign countries to access the international space station

    Blah blah hail and brimstone blah blah next great leap by the chinese blah blah.

    Here’s a quick solution for you, tommy – cancel ISS and we won’t need foreign launchers to get to that worthless outpost. That’d be the tax-cutting republican thing to do. Stop wasting my money on a useless space station.

  • Where is China in terms of its space program?

  • They’re racing to the moon at the torrid pace of one earth orbital flight every two and a half years.

  • Mark R Whittington

    Shubber – And thus end the reason to do COTS, thus landing a body blow on commercial space. Rand – Quicker than alt.space, whom you and others brag are going to beat NASA to the Moon.

  • CHANGEhappens

    Rand, you’re right about China so far. Compare their record against Project Mercury or Gemini and they are moving very slowly. But if you’ve known many Chinese as I have, they are very nationalistic. Given their current record of acquiring the symbols of a great power, their deliberate speed won’t continue. To my eyes, they are putting all the manufacturing pieces in place for a sustained manned space program, unlike anything we’ve seen since the mid to late 1960′s. They will be fun to watch.

  • “They’re racing to the moon at the torrid pace of one earth orbital flight every two and a half years.”

    Whereas America is racing to the Moon at the present blistering pace of one Shuttle flight per year or two.

  • Jeff Foust

    “China Law Blog”,

    If you’d like the view of the Chinese space program directly from the source, CSIS has provided the audio of and slides from the presentation by Luo Ge, vice administrator of the China National Space Administration, in early April. Obviously Luo provides a very optimistic assessment, but it’s noteworthy that the manned aspect of China’s space program—the part that causes perhaps the most consternation among Congressmen and others in the US—is discussed almost only in passing, and with no plans to send humans to the Moon. I also wrote an article based on Luo’s presentation and related developments.

  • Stop wasting my money on a useless space station.

    Er … don’t you live in Australia?

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/17875090

  • Er … don’t you live in Australia?

    Yes. But as a US citizen, i still get to enjoy the privelege of funding the US government with my tax dollars every year.

    And a nail in the coffin of COTS?

    Why does this concern me?