Nuzzling Nussle on NASA funding

The Senate Budget Committee is holding a confirmation hearing today on the nomination of former congressman Jim Nussle as the director of the Office of Management and Budget. In an effort to get Nussle’s opinion on NASA funding, Rep. Mark Udall, chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, sent a letter to Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, asking Conrad to take up the issue during the confirmation hearing. In the letter, Udall says he is “concerned about the growing mismatch between the resources being provided to NASA by the Administration and the tasks that NASA is asked to carry out.” Udall also brings up the administration’s reject of calls for a “space summit” by members of Congress earlier this year. (Udall also includes a personal, handwritten message at the end of the letter: “Kent Thanks for taking a look at this!”) Whether Conrad will follow Udall’s request isn’t clear (the hearing is ongoing and Udall’s press release didn’t go out until after the hearing started), although Sen. Bill Nelson, a major NASA supporter who also serves on the budget committee, is copied on Udall’s letter.

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