On Wednesday President Bush officially signed the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008, which includes funding for a wide range of agencies, including NASA. Congress had passed the bill last week before recessing for the year. With the FY2008 appropriations process at an end (and it being an otherwise quiet time on the space policy front), it’s a good time to review how the NASA budget turned out. Below is a summary of the final appropriations bill as compared to the administration proposed back in February (all values in millions of dollars):
|Cross-Agency Support Programs||489.2||556.4|
|Space and Flight Support||545.7||545.7|
The “Reductions” line item above are from language in the bill that calls for reductions in “corporate and general administrative expenses”, totaling $57.9 million for the Science, Aeronautics, and Exploration account and $32.0 million for the Exploration Capabilities (Shuttle, ISS, and Space and Flight Support) account.
So, at first glance, over ten months after the appropriations process started, NASA ended up with almost exactly what the administration requested: a little less for exploration, a little more for science and aeronautics. As always, though, the devil is in the details, including the shifts in funding within accounts and the language in the conference report. (Not to mention whether those funding levels are sufficient for the agency to carry out everything on its plate, a whole other debate.) Those details will be discussed in later posts.