Same problem, different challenges

Transition is in the air on Florida’s Space Coast these days. In addition to the impending Shuttle-Constellation transition, as well as the presidential transition, is the transition in the region’s Congressional delegation. Rep. Dave Weldon retired and his seat was won by fellow Republican Bill Posey, while Rep. Tom Feeney was defeated last week by Democrat Suzanne Kosmas. Having a pair of freshmen representatives during this critical time has some people in the region nervous about the implications for NASA.

In an editorial Wednesday, Florida Today argues that the two face different challenges in their efforts to support NASA and its activities on the Space Coast in the next Congress. For Kosmas, a Democrat who has requested a seat on the House Science and Technology Committee (where Feeney also served), she will be “in a position to make a case for additional funding and to build coalitions to push the agency’s lunar goals.”

Posey, a Republican who has not requested to be on that committee, and will not get Weldon’s seat on the Appropriations Committee, faces a tougher challenge, according to the paper: “He’ll join a severely weakened Republican minority and find himself in the middle of a fierce ideological battle within the GOP about the party’s future in the wake of last week’s drubbing at the polls.” Move too far to the right, the paper argues, and he could alienate potential Democratic allies and “could cripple his pro-NASA efforts before he’s even settled in.”

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