The presidential campaign of Republican Senator John McCain released its economic reform plan today, including its proposals to trim federal spending to help balance the budget by 2013. Part of the proposal would be a one-year freeze on non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending:
A one-year pause in the growth of discretionary spending will be imposed to allow for a comprehensive review of all spending programs. After the completion of a comprehensive review of all programs, projects and activities of the federal government, we will propose a plan to modernize, streamline, consolidate, reprioritize and, where needed, terminate individual programs.
That is not surprising, since the McCain campaign made a similar proposal earlier this year. The campaign does go into a little more detail about how exactly that review would be performed:
McCain could use the bi-partisan commission structure used for the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). Such a commission could be required to report to the President who would then submit the recommendations to the Congress for a straight up or down vote.
The statement goes on to promise to “eliminate broken government programs” (what he means by “broken” isn’t defined) and to “reform procurement programs and cut wasteful spending in defense and non-defense programs”. Overall, this does not look promising for those hoping to increase NASA’s budget beyond FY2009 as the implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration ramps up.