Congress, NASA

House appropriators plan a budget cut for NASA

House appropriators announced Wednesday a list of proposed spending cuts they are planning in a continuing resolution they plan to introduce soon to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY2011. The list includes a cut of $379 million for NASA (relative to the administration’s FY11 proposal), which would bring NASA down to $18.621 billion, slightly lower than the $18.724 billion the agency got in FY10. The release offers no specific details about what programs within the agency would be cut to achieve the overall reduction, saying that a full list of cuts will be available when the CR is formally introduced.

That cut—about two percent of the FY11 request—is not nearly as bad as some other agencies. NOAA, for example, would see its FY11 request of $5.554 billion cut by $336 million, or six percent (although NOAA was seeking a 17-percent increase over its FY10 budget in the FY11 budget proposal). NIH would get a $1-billion cut in the proposal, about a three-percent cut from its FY11 proposal of $32.2 billion. NSF’s cut of $139 million is roughly the same percentage of its FY11 request as NASA’s cut.

This proposal, it should be remembered, is just that: what the full House does with the proposal, not to mention the Senate, remains to be seen.

9 comments to House appropriators plan a budget cut for NASA


    Deeper cuts are sure to come. Saw Issa in the media this morning vowing the GOP will have to revisit these proposals and cut deeper to reach $100 billion worth of cuts in discretionary spending promised in November. The $30 billion number is woefully unsatisfactory to GOP frosh who’ve been catching flack from constituents already for balking at making the hard decisions, as the proposals are chiefly in social programs and spare defense, medicare, medicaid and SS. In this environment, expect the space agency to be treading water, rudderless again for another fiscal year.

  • amightywind

    Boehner made a terrible mistake appointing Hal Rogers to chair the appropriations committee. He is in old guard, big spending Republican, antithetical to the Tea Party constituency that now dominates the party. Making an adversary of the Tea Party is something Boehner and the leadership can ill afford. The expectation should be that NASA’s budget is rolled back to 2008, at minimum. It is too bad comparison information was not given with budgets from 2008 and 2006.

  • Major Tom

    DC: “Deeper cuts are sure to come.”

    They’re not. This starting point is the nadir for negotiations. Between special interests in the House, the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the White House, and the budget pressure is all upward from here.

    DC: “The $30 billion number is woefully unsatisfactory to GOP frosh…”

    MW: “… antithetical to the Tea Party constituency that now dominates the party.”

    So what? They’re freshmen. They’re inexperienced, they don’t have seniority and powerful committee posts, and they’re actually outnumbered by traditional Republicans, not to mention the Democrats.

    This is only a $103 million cut, or a lousy 0.6% reduction, from last year’s budget. So much for the “Age of Austerity”, at least at NASA.


  • Robert G. Oler

    All this shows is that the GOP’s cutting of the budget is simply “wind”.

    Robert G. Oler

  • common sense

    Well this is just blowing hot air as some specialist around here can attest to. If we really want to fix the way we go about our budget it does not serve any purpose to “cut”. We need to revise our entire system. Congress is not going to cut the pork that gets them elected! Let’s be real for a minute.

    What is the total proposed cut? $74B Our proposed US budget has a $1.27T, yes Trillions. How much of cut is that????

    They just DON’T KNOW what to do and they try for some idiotic measure. What’s new?

  • Vladislaw

    “Read my lips no new taxes” … well unless you are running trillion dollar deficits.

    Fiscal conservatives have used the same tactic ” we will cut your taxes and cut spending” Like President Reagan and President Bush Jr. did .. it is always easy to get the tax cuts passed but they never really tackle the spending cuts they just put that on the Nation’s credit card. Like Dick Cheney said … deficits don’t matter.

    “The U.S. tax burden has shrunk to its lowest level in 60 years, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said.

    Including state, federal and local taxes, the average tax bill came out to 9.2 percent of personal income in 2009, USA Today reported Tuesday.

    That’s down from an average of 12 percent over the past 50 years. The tax burden has not been this low since 1950, the newspaper said.

    “The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” said Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the Center for American Progress.”

    Not that I like heavy taxation but if we absolutely refuse to cut spending because of special interests, pork, et cetera, then taxes will have to be raised. Of course it comes at a time when we shouldn’t be raising them.

  • CharlesHouston

    So it appears that the NASA budget might be flat – but still does accommodate the Webb Telescope additional money? If the budget is flat but new expenses have to be added, the budget is actually declining. The previous budget had money for Shuttle missions, but one mission has been added – so that might mean that some money was available for missions that are not on this year’s schedule?


    Major Tom wrote @ February 10th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    They are. And rightly so. But then, you’re a contractor, aren’t you– so you have a personal agenda which clashes with a national agenda that’s good for the nation.

  • DanWoodard

    NASA needs to provide Americans with practical benefits. We have a small project to use NASA flight hardware to try to find the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. ( But it’s a little outside the normal NASA mission scope, so funding is a challenge. We have to persuade the taxpayers that if we can help, it’s worth their investment.

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