Congress, NASA

House passes NASA authorization bill

The House of Representatives finally formally voted on HR 6063, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008, late Wednesday afternoon. After carrying out some roll call votes on a couple of non-controversial amendments and beating back a motion, along party lines, to recommit the bill to the science committee because it didn’t contain language on use of alternative fuels (an amendment that was proposed but rejected by the full committee earlier this month), the full bill was passed by the House on a 409-15 vote. All 15 nays came from Republicans, including former presidential candidates Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo, as well as former House Science Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner.

Both the Democrats and Republicans on the science committee congratulated the House on the wide margin of approval. The Senate has yet to introduce its own version of the bill, although Sen. Bill Nelson, who chairs the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, said last month that the Senate’s version would be “as similar as possible” to HR 6063.

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