Congress, NASA

Senate Commerce Committee to markup NASA authorization bill today

The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to consider its version of a NASA authorization bill in an executive session slated for 2:30 pm EDT today. The committee, though, isn’t likely to spend much time on the bill: it is one of 22 items on the agenda for the hearing, including 12 other bills and nine nominations for various positions. (Assuming the agenda is listed in order of consideration, the NASA authorization bill is eleventh in order, right after the “Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013.”) The authorization bill was introduced earlier this month by Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), the chairs of the committee’s space subcommittee and full committee respectively. It differs significantly from the House bill both in authorized funding levels and policy positions: it authorizes $18.1 billion for FY 2014 (and larger amounts for 2015 and 2016), and does not include language like that found in the House bill that would block NASA from working on its asteroid initiative effort.

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