This morning SpaceX sent out a message to those subscribed to the company’s email updates asking for help to block the NASA authorization legislation the House is set to consider as soon as this week. The key portion of the email, signed by “–Elon–“:
Your Help Urgently Needed to Save the Future of Human Spaceflight
If you care about the future of American space exploration, your urgent help is necessary. The only hope for the average citizen to one day travel to space is in danger due to the actions of certain members of Congress. SpaceX does not have the enormous lobbying power of the big government contractors to stop them, however with your help the day can still be saved.
NASA’s Authorization bill (H.R. 5781) will be debated on the floor of the US House of Representatives tomorrow. Despite the imminent retirement of the Space Shuttle, H.R. 5781 authorizes over five times as many taxpayer dollars to fly NASA astronauts on the Russian Soyuz than it invests in developing an American commercial alternative, moreover at a time when jobs are sorely needed in the United States. Quite simply, this bill represents the sort of senseless pork politics that has driven our national debt to the point where our economy can barely service it.
The bill is expected to be brought to the House floor this Friday under a special “suspension of the rules,” which is a procedure that limits debate and amendments.
Telephone your Congressional representative right away via the House Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask them to vote NO on H.R. 5781, and instead support the bill unanimously agreed to in the Senate last week.
Your five minutes will make a critical difference, ensuring an exciting and inspiring future in space travel! SpaceX rarely asks you to take action, so you know it really matters when we do.
Also, commercial suborbital spaceflight advocates have been sending similar requests for people to call their representatives and ask them to vote no against the bill.
Note that the message indicates that the legislation will be taken up by the House on Friday. The bill does not show up in today’s anticipated schedule of legislation, such as this one from the minority whip’s office, which also includes a forecast of legislation expected to be considered Friday. However, such schedules are subject to change.
Update: Space News has some more details on current efforts, including word that House Science and Technology Committee chairman Bart Gordon “is expected to meet with aggrieved lawmakers July 29 to address concerns with key elements of the measure”, including commercial crew development and technology programs.