The Huntsville Times reports today on comments made by Reps. Bud Cramer (D-AL) and Bart Gordon (D-TN) at an all-hands meeting at NASA MSFC yesterday. The two said they were particularly concerned that NASA might have to operate under another continuing resolution, depending on what the Senate does with its version of appropriations legislation. Cramer: “There is a probability of another temporary continuing resolution. We still have to work that out.” Presumably any continuing resolution would be short-lived, unlike the year-long continuing resolution that has funded NASA and many other federal agencies in FY07, although the article doesn’t make that point clear.
The article does include this odd passage: “Some are concerned that as much as $100 million in NASA cuts could delay lunar exploration programs such as Marshall’s Ares I rocket and probes aimed at finding water on the moon.” The “some” mentioned above is vague, although the preceding paragraph mentions “NASA and congressional leaders”; the article also doesn’t specify who was responsible for these potential “$100 million in NASA cuts”. It’s possible this is just a reference to the decreased funding level NASA operated under this fiscal year compared to what was expected, but it’s hard to be certain from the language of the article alone. While both Gordon and Cramer think NASA’s funding should be increased, neither specifically mentioned supporting something like the so-called “Mikulski miracle” to add $1 billion to NASA’s FY08 budget.
One other interesting quote from Gordon, about the strains on the agency created by all the agency’s priorities and its limited budget: NASA is trying “to squeeze $23 billion or $24 billion worth of science and research into an $18 billion budget.”