Congress, NASA

House committees to take up NASA authorization, appropriations bills this week

Wednesday will be a big day for NASA in the House, and two key subcommittees markup legislation to both authorize and fund the space agency. At 10 am Wednesday, the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing to markup the NASA Authorization Act of 2013. It’s not clear if this “committee print” of the authorization legislation differs in any significant way from the “discussion draft” that was the subject of a hearing last month; the link to the legislation in the hearing announcement goes to that original draft. Meanwhile, at 11 am Wednesday, the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will markup its appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014, which includes NASA as well as NOAA.

The corresponding committees in the Senate don’t have hearings scheduled on similar authorization or appropriations bills this coming week, although they may act soon thereafter. At a Space Transportation Association luncheon last month, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), chairman of the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, said he expected a Senate version of a NASA authorization bill by mid-July in order to support work on an appropriations bill.

5 comments to House committees to take up NASA authorization, appropriations bills this week

  • Maybe I’m missing something, but shouldn’t there be an authorization bill before an appropriations bill? Authorization says what the budget will be. Appropriations provides the money. If Appropriations is going forward with its own bill before there’s even an authorization bill, then why bother with an authorization bill?!

    • Dark Blue Nine

      “If Appropriations is going forward with its own bill before there‚Äôs even an authorization bill, then why bother with an authorization bill?!”

      Agreed, but that’s not what is happening here.

      The House authorizers released a draft bill a couple/few weeks back. They’re going to mark it up this Wednesday. Later the same day, the House appropriators will mark up their bill.

      On the Senate side, nothing has happened except the authorizers claiming that they will introduce their bill around mid-July.

  • Hiram

    Authorization says what the budget ought to be, in the context of rationale representing smart strategic planning over several years. Appropriations says what it is, for one year, in the context of the cash on hand and other demands on the account. What it is, is almost never what it ought to be, unfortunately.

  • DCSCA

    And so it goes. ‘Free drift’ up to and past the midterms.

  • James

    The authorization bill never gets fully implemented in the appropriations bills. The big porkers always want to be on the appropriations committee’s; that’s where the pork/fun/power is.

    This is all headed to an omnibus bill, where the Senate version will win out, and the House bill will be discarded during the omni porkfest process.

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>