As the House and Senate work on dueling plans to end the overall federal government shutdown, some in the House are seeking to end the shutdown for NASA alone. Late yesterday, Rep. Mo Brooks announced that he introduced continuing resolution (CR) legislation that would fund NASA—and only NASA—for all of fiscal year 2014, although such a bill appears unlikely to be signed into law.
“While I do not generally support continuing resolutions as the best way to fund the government, the current shutdown has forced us to propose alternative solutions” until a broader deal can be reached, he said in a statement. “This bill provides the stability necessary to continue working on important NASA programs.”
The bill, H.J.Res. 94, is effectively a “clean” CR for NASA, funding it at fiscal year 2013 levels for all of FY2014. The brief bill makes no changes to funding for specific programs or introduces other policy provisions. The bill has 14 co-sponsors, primarily fellow members of the House Science Committee, although House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is also listed as a co-sponsor.
While this legislation might sound like good news for furloughed NASA employees and others suffering from the effects of the shutdown, it appears unlikely this bill would make it through Congress and be signed by the President. The House has introduced a number of bills during the shutdown attempting to fund specific agencies, but those that have passed the House have not been taken up in the Senate, where the Democratic majority has pressed for passage of a CR that would reopen all of the government.