Campaign '12, Congress

Briefly: omnibus, rescission, and more on Gingrich

The House released last night its draft of an omnibus spending bill that covers most federal agencies, excluding those, like NASA, included in last month’s “minibus” appropriations bill. One minor note of interest: Division B of the omnibus, which covers energy and water, does not call out any funding for the Department of Energy to restart plutonium-238 production, despite a lobbying push by astronomers last week.

Accompanying the omnibus is a disaster relief spending bill, which seeks to offset its $8.1 billion cost through a rescission of FY12 spending for non-defense discretionary spending. That across-the-board cut of 1.83 percent implies, for NASA, a cut of $325 million from its $17.8 billion topline for 2012.

Meanwhile, the 2012 presidential campaign trail has been quiet on the topic of lunar colonies and space mirrors the last few days, although we’ll have to see if it comes up again at the next debate tonight in Sioux City, Iowa. One person coming to the defense of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is Patrick Caldwell, who offers a bit of an odd compliment in The American Prospect: “Gingrich indulges a number of fantasy ideas, but he gets it right for space exploration,” he writes. He cites comments made at the International Space Development Conference in May by Jeff Greason and Paul Spudis about the importance of space exploration and settlement. “[I]t will take a direct vision to reach that end, and Gingrich is far ahead of his Republican opponents—as well as the incumbent president—in articulating those ideas,” Caldwell argues.

16 comments to Briefly: omnibus, rescission, and more on Gingrich

  • Too bad his chances of actually winning are slim, but it is terrific to hear one of the presidential contenders actually sticking up for NASA and the great job that they do. Newt Gingrich has made positive statements about the U.S. space program over the decades, so it is plausible that if he’d be able to win, that this Obama-space fiasco would be overturned. And Obamaspace IS one gigantic FIASCO. But hopefully the very fact that Gingrich is pro-space, and sees the glory of American exceptionalism in this mighty arena, that this additional hope for America’s future will rub off on the other presidential aspirants, as a positive by-product. After all, the man or woman who eventually takes the nomination, will have to distinguish themselves from Mr. Obama, in more ways than one. The intent of doing a space policy different from Obama, would be clear good news to those inclined to vote Republican anyway, for all the additional reasons. This country has been grossly let-down by the current administration. Space enthusiasts should look squarely at the election choice: another stagnant 15 or 20 years trapped in Low Earth Orbit, under Obamaspace/Flexible Path, or a possible renewed & revived commitment of sending human explorers across the cislunar gulf once again, by the 2020′s. You the voter decide.

  • amightywind

    Gingrich has a lot of ideas. The problem is he is a little too madcap and zany to win the Oval office.

  • Freddo

    “Newt Gingrich has made positive statements about the U.S. space program over the decades, so it is plausible that if he’d be able to win, that this Obama-space fiasco would be overturned.”

    Chris is going to be surprised when he finds out Speaker Gingrich co-authored an editorial supporting said “fiasco” last year. And, I believe, Gingrich spoke out against the SLS a couple months ago.

  • Too bad his chances of actually winning are slim, but it is terrific to hear one of the presidential contenders actually sticking up for NASA and the great job that they do.

    Newt wasn’t sticking up for NASA. He is one of its harshest critics. He was sticking up for visionary space activities.

  • @Chris Castro
    “But hopefully the very fact that Gingrich is pro-space, and sees the glory of American exceptionalism in this mighty arena, that this additional hope for America’s future will rub off on the other presidential aspirants, as a positive by-product.”
    Interesting that you say such positive things about Gingrich who despises your beloved SLS. He’d probably do his best to kill it if elected. Like me and others he wants deep space exploration and commercial space exploitation that is practical. See this:
    http://moonandback.com/2011/10/22/newt-gingrich-calls-space-launch-system-disgraceful-pork/

  • ROBERT OLER

      amightywind wrote @ December 15th, 2011 at 10:21 am
    Gingrich has a lot of ideas. The problem is he is a little too madcap and zany to win the Oval office.
    “”………

    Look I normally just ignore you and the blog would be a better place if more did..however trying to encourage good behavior..

    You certainly got the Willard talking points memo.. I am just curious. So are you supporting for the GOP nomination?

    If you said earlier and I missed it sorry I’ve been traveling. And have scanned the blog but not read all that closely.

    Robert G Oler

    sent from my IPAD

  • Mark R. Whittington

    If Gingrich were to become president, he would not be able to kill the SLS. Congress has already had that conversation with the current POTUS. Gingrich knows that too.

  • @Mark Whittington
    “If Gingrich were to become president, he would not be able to kill the SLS. “
    Another example of your infamous reading comprehension problem. I didn’t say whether or not he would be successful. All I said was, “He’d probably do his best to kill it if elected.” Please make an effort to employ areas of your brain involved with higher cognitive function.

  • amightywind

    Look I normally just ignore you

    Except when you don’t.

    You certainly got the Willard talking points memo.. I am just curious. So [who] are you supporting for the GOP nomination?

    I will support the most conservative candidate left when my caucus is held in February. I will also support the GOP nominee whoever it is. I hope other readers of this forum will too. Until then I will be doing my small part to sling mud and help shape events. I believe in old style dirty campaigning and the survival of the fittest.

    That across-the-board cut of 1.83 percent implies, for NASA, a cut of $325 million from its $17.8 billion topline for 2012.

    Given our deceiving baseline budgeting process what does this mean to NASA’s increase year over year? NASA clearly needs a RIF.

  • common sense

    How surprising of Chris… Anyway.

    Hey amightywind, any relation to Karl Rove?

    SLS/MPCV will not die because of any President but because Congress is not willing to fund it in a way to succeed. Is it THAT difficult to understand?

  • Vladislaw

    amightywind wrote:

    “I believe in old style dirty campaigning and the survival of the fittest.”

    By “dirty” politics you must be refering to illegal and criminal activities. As almost all dirty tactics are illegal. So by survival of the fittest you want the best criminal, either Republican or Democrat as your President? Nothing like a race to the bottom. What charming asperations you must teach your children. Go out and break any and all laws until you get what you want. What a charitable good conservative christian you must be … every sunday.

  • ROBERT OLER

      Mark R. Whittington wrote @ December 15th, 2011 at 11:07 am
    If Gingrich were to become president, he would not be able to kill the SLS. Congress has already had that conversation with the current POTUS. Gingrich knows that too.”……

    Lots of laugh..it won’t even last the current budget environment. Musk is about to drive a stake through its heart RGO

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ December 15th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I believe in old style dirty campaigning and the survival of the fittest.

    A “tricky Dick” Republican, eh?

  • DCSCA

    Rand Simberg wrote @ December 15th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    He was sticking up for visionary space activities.

    Rubbish. Newt ‘sticks up’ for Newt and the failed foolishness espoused by he and wingman Bob Walker, of the dicredited disaster known as trickle down, supply side economics, aka ‘Reaganomics’ as a catalyst for moving out into the cosmos. All they want to do is dismantle another facet of government.

  • Lee Chero

    In 1994 Newt Gingrich proposed to Mars guru and Shaman-Robert Zubrin-that 20 Billion Dollars of new funding be allocated to a Manned Mars Mission.

    After a quiet and peaceful evening dinner where the two discussed the particulars of Zubrin’s then and now revolutionary concept for on-site resource utilization and imminent Mars settlement (a path which he predicted, in 1996, could conceivably be launched by 2006).

    Gingrich is clearly correct that NASA has rested on the laurels of the Apollo program for some 40 years.

    NASA must capitalize on what it has accomplished diplomatically in it’s collaborative exchange with the Russians in the design and raising of the ISS (which fortuitously inclines at 51 degrees) and must-indeed-see the present moment as a Kennedy differential exchange. “We must now go to Mars because it is hard.”

    Potentially, Gingrich is only getting revved up. His understanding of the utterly desperate need for an open frontier to be opened through available technology and in addition his inclination to anticipate the potential spirit of mankind to save ourselves from imminent conflict with Iran are among the source factors of a dawning new space policy.

    Gingrich will likely be at the forefront of articulating just how a re-designed and streamlined NASA will contribute to real and actual advancements in space. Likely he will agree with Zubrin’s recent pronouncement that orbital space depots are the more effective way for distributing power and weight outside of EArth’s gravity well, etc.

  • Doug

    Newt proposed a goal oriented X-prize like NASA years ago. NASA SLS is nothing more than a propaganda program no chance of becoming anything beyond vaporware. SLS is NASA program to lull the public into thinking its tax dollars actually fund a manned space program. meanwhile none will ever come to be. Kill SLS and our current Obama “FLEX” based fiasco now. Let Newt overhaul it.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>