Congress loves Mars more than math

On Wednesday Congress passed H.Res. 67, a simple resolution honoring those involved with NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers mission for their work on the twin spacecraft that remain active on Mars, more than five years after landing there, and “recognizes the success and significant scientific contributions of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers.” The bill, hardly controversial, breezed through the House on a 421-0 vote.

Compare that to H.Res. 224, a resolution honoring “Pi Day” (March 14) that also “recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation’s math and science education programs”. Also not terribly controversial, yet the bill fell short of the same level of support as the Mars rovers resolution, 391-10. No word on why 10 Congressmen (all Republicans) voted against the Pi Day resolution; all 10 previously voted in favor of the Mars Rovers resolution. Maybe they just really like Mars. Or they read the fine print in the “Pi Day” resolution that “encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics” because, this year, Pi Day is a Saturday.

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