A reader tipped me off to this new space policy statement from the McCain campaign:
John McCain have been a strong supporter of NASA and the space program. He is proud to have sponsored legislation authorizing funding consistent with the President’s vision for the space program, which includes a return of astronauts to the Moon in preparation for a manned mission to Mars. He believes support for a continued US presence in space is of major importance to America’s future innovation and security. He has also been a staunch advocate for ensuring that NASA funding is accompanied by proper management and oversight to ensure that the taxpayers receive the maximum return on their investment. John McCain believes curiosity and a drive to explore have always been quintessential American traits. This has been most evident in the space program, for which he will continue his strong support.
The statement refers to authorizing legislation McCain introduced: this was S. 2541, introduced in June 2004 by McCain with three Republican co-sponsors: George Allen of Virginia, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. At that time McCain was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has oversight of NASA, while Brownback was chairman of the committee’s space subcommittee. Note that this is not the same version as the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, which was passed in the 109th Congress; McCain was not a sponsor of the 2005 version (S. 1281), most likely because by then he was no longer chairman of the commerce committee. The two versions, though, do share a number of key provisions.