While most people have been preoccupied with financial bailout packages, the Senate found the time Saturday to approve HR 2638, a continiung resolution (CR) that will fund many federal agencies, including NASA, at FY 2008 levels though early March. Like the version the House approved Wednesday, the Senate version includes language that will extend NASA’s Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA) waiver for both Soyuz and Progress services until July 2016. Since this bill will almost certainly be signed by the president, it negates the need for separate legislation, like S. 3103, to provide a more qualified version of the extension. The Senate approved the CR on a 78-12 vote.
Another part of the same bill is the “Disaster Relief and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008″. Tucked into there is an additional $30 million for NASA “for necessary expenses for restoration and mitigation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration owned infrastructure and facilities related to the consequences of hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters occuring during 2008″.