Last week a House appropriations subcommittee questioned NASA administrator Charles Bolden about the agency’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal; this week it’s the Senate’s turn. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the NASA budget proposal this Wednesday, March 28, at 2 pm. As with the House hearing, Bolden is the only scheduled witness.
The Senate hearing may cover many of the same issues as both the House hearing last week as well as a Senate Commerce Committee hearing earlier this month, especially since Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who grilled Bolden on SLS and Orion funding at the Commerce hearing, also serves as ranking member of this appropriations subcommittee. The subcommittee’s chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), will likely query Bolden on the status of and funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
Incidentally, another member of that subcommittee, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), held a town hall meeting Saturday at the United Launch Alliance (ULA) factory in Decatur, Alabama. Shelby talked about broader political issues and didn’t appear to devote much time to space issues despite the setting, based on a Huntsville Times article about the event.