From the Hammer to Hoyer

When Tom DeLay was House Majority Leader a few years ago, he certainly did his part to support NASA, including an effort just as the FY2005 budget was being finalized in conference to win full funding for NASA. DeLay is gone, of course, and the incoming majority leader is Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Hoyer’s politics are very different from DeLay’s but they do have some things in common: both have skills in bringing money to their home districts, and their home districts both have NASA centers. Hoyer’s district, which extends from portions of the Washington suburbs through southern Maryland, includes NASA Goddard, which, as an article in today’s Washington Post points out, has been one of the beneficiaries of Hoyer’s largesse. (A sidebar notes that Hoyer “secured more than $400 million in funding” for Goddard, including for Hubble Space Telescope work, although the article isn’t specific regarding both the nature of the funding and the timespan covered.) The article adds that “constituents and officials in his district hope that the move will put Hoyer in a stronger position to do what has earned him much loyal support in his 25 years in Congress: bring home the bacon.” That may well include NASA, but where that money goes, and how much of it, will likely be different under Hoyer than it was under DeLay.

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