Congress, NASA

Brooks introduces FY14 CR for NASA

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.

29 comments to Brooks introduces FY14 CR for NASA

  • guest

    I appreciate Mo Brooks’ efforts, but the Presdent’s goal, which I don’t disagree with, was to make sure that when the government shut down someone took notice.

    Getting bits and pieces functioning again while faced with Republican tea party intransigence is self defeating-the tea-partiers hold everyone hostage while life goes on more or less normally.

    Having spent most of my life in Texas, I am all for voting out Ted Cruz and my other TX representatives just as quickly as I have the opportunity. They are not loyal Americans and have not done the US people or NASA any kind of a service.


    Brooks introduces FY14 CR for NASA…

    Meanwhile, astronauts are applying for unemployment. Thank you Mr. Cruz, friend of the waffleheads and likely not even aware that JSC is in Texas.

    • Vladislaw

      The faster we can get commercial crew running, at 20 – 30 million a seat, versus the 70 million the Russians are charging us, the better.

    • amightywind

      Ted Cruz was elected by millions of people who do not work for NASA or the government. He was elected by people who are tired of paying half of what they make for an inept and corrupt government. Last year the GDP grew by $500 billion dollars. The Bolsheviks borrowed $1.1 trillion. That cannot continue. Our household’s owe $136,000 in principle. The prospects for your children are reduced. What did you get? Government issued healthcare. God Speed Ted Cruz.

      • Hiram

        “God speed Ted Cruz”?

        Ah, that’s what this has to do with space politics. A memorial to Scott Carpenter? Many would hope that we could indeed blast Ted Cruz into space. The similarities are somewhat haunting. Ignoring instructions from his team, and badly overshooting his mark. Indeed, Mr. Cruz may not get another mission. Carpenter spent the last few years of his career, in which he achieved fame, underwater.

        As to astronauts applying for unemployment, I guess they’re in line with the other 1.4 million civil servants, who may actually have more usable skills.

        Brooks’ CR is somewhat pathetic. Why doesn’t he just write a CR for Huntsville and be done with it. That’s all he cares about.

      • DCSCA

        God Speed Ted Cruz.” blows Windy.

        Hmmm. Given Mr. Cruz’s meteoric trajectory, ‘Godspeed’ at entry interface assures imminent vaporization.

        Mr. Cruz’s shutdown cost the United States roughly $25 billion in economic activity, per S&P estimates, and $2 billion to the government- or roughly enough to fund NASA for six weeks or so. Instead, Texas Senator Cruz put 97% of NASA- an agency with significant installations and suppport personnel in his constituency- out of work for a time. Houston, we indeed do have a problem.

        Today the editorial board of the Houston Chronicale- a paper ia a region heavilly populated with space related folks, contreactors ans a majot NASA installation, has ‘unendorsed’ their embrace of Mr. Cruz as well. Unfortunately, they’re stuck with him for five more years. But like good engineers, they’ll establish a fault tree, isolate the problem and develop work arounds.

        • amightywind

          Today the editorial board of the Houston Chronicale

          Establishment Republicans hate Ted Cruz, that’s news? The schism has been obvious since McCain’s “wacko birds” comment. An upside of the shutdown is that establishment Republicans are being driven from the party. Ted Cruz’s hand was strengthened.

          • Coastal Ron

            amightywind said:

            An upside of the shutdown is that establishment Republicans are being driven from the party.

            I wouldn’t be so sure. The people that decide who is driven out are the voters, and right now the polls show a stronger dislike of the Tea Party than the Republican Party. We really won’t know how this plays out until the next elections are held.

            But before the elections, non-Tea Party candidates are not doing as well in fund raising as their potential opponents. Even the Koch brothers are not happy with what the Tea Party was doing with the shutdown, and the Koch brothers are the true fathers of the Tea Party – that can’t be good.

            I wouldn’t be counting your lemming’s until the fat lady sings… ;-)

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind said:

    God Speed Ted Cruz.

    We wouldn’t expect you to say anything else… ;-)

  • guest

    Cruz and the GOP represent trickle down Reaganomics under which the bottom 99% are taxed more than their fair share and the top 1% are not. Wages in the US across the 98% are lower today than they were 15 years ago while the amount the top 1% are making has tripled in the same time.

    The top 1% own the health care industry and are raking in profits while the bottom 99% are paying exorbitant amounts of money for inferior medical care.

    It is time to put an end to this.

    I don’t know if Obamacare will ultimately be the answer but it makes a change to the status quo. The status quo is unacceptable.

    If Cruz is against the change then I am against Cruz.

    • amightywind

      …astronauts are applying for unemployment.

      The astronaut business has been in decline with the end of the shuttle program and cancellation of Ares. The plight of the few stragglers left on the NASA payroll is of little concern.

      Cruz and the GOP represent trickle down Reaganomics under which the bottom 99% are taxed more than their fair share and the top 1% are not.

      Ted Cruz’s constituents are the God fearing, gun totting, hard working middle class of heartland America. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the dems threw away the last vestiges of Reagan’s tax policy two years ago. The rates are Obama’s. I hope you enjoy the results.

      Mr. Cruz’s shutdown cost the United States roughly $25 billion in economic activity

      Lets face it. 100 miles from the beltway citizens hardly noticed the shutdown. Though I did enjoy knocking over some orange cones at a historical landmark near my home!

      • Mader Levap

        Ted Cruz’s constituents are the God fearing, gun totting, hard working middle class of heartland America.
        It is well known fact that people disturbingly often vote against their best interest – it is one of biggest problems facing democracies.

        Republican Party with policy benefiting only 1% or so (white rich men) of USA population is indeed very fascinating object to study in this context.

      • Hiram

        “The astronaut business has been in decline …”

        The astronaut BUSINESS? That’s a curious way of looking at them. Those people, at NASA at least, don’t make money for anyone. Must be a non-profit 501c.

        That’s true that there are some astronauts left on the payroll at NASA — only about fifty, actually (not including those not available for flight assignment and international astronauts assigned to NASA). But you might be surprised how many are coming up through NewSpace routes. There are a couple of dozen members of “Astronauts4Hire”. I suspect, in total, there are more astronauts than there ever have been.

        I don’t know about “heartland America”, but Crux was elected Senator from Texas. Of course, as noted, many Texans who helped elect him are starting to regret that. Also, the “heartland” has been defined as parts of America that don’t touch an ocean. Last I heard, Texas did. The capitol city of the American heartland is Chicago, whose residents probably wouldn’t appreciate being associated with Mr. Cruz and likely fear him more than they fear God.

      • Coastal Ron

        amightywind said:

        Lets face it. 100 miles from the beltway citizens hardly noticed the shutdown.

        As usual, you are wrong. A friend of mine works for a government contractor, mainly supporting our troops overseas. His part of the company, which is large and far from DC, instituted a policy of furloughing indirect charging employees while the shutdown was in effect.

        What’s the big deal? Reduced wages, slower economy, extended award dates for new work. Overall a 0.6 percent reduction in national GDP because of all the work stoppages.

        And no doubt it didn’t do the SLS or MPCV any good either, since if anything they need more time and money, not less of both.

        As to it’s affect on NASA, this shutdown and the continuation of the CR will just accelerate the inevitable for both the SLS and MPCV, since the longer they go without any future missions being funded, the more and more vulnerable they become to being cancelled in the future.

        So while you think cheering for the antics of the Tea Party was a good idea, if you are an SLS supporter it turns out to have been a very bad deal…

      • Hiram

        “Lets face it. 100 miles from the beltway citizens hardly noticed the shutdown.”

        Hmm. I know a lot of people who noticed it around JSC. Oh, but they’re only about five miles from the Rt.8 Beltway.

        Kicking over orange cones? Sounds positively juvenile. Here are some handy hints.

        It’s actually noteworthy how an R&D agency approaches a shutdown in a different way than, say, an entitlement agency. In the latter case, it’s about dollars not getting into the hands of deserving people on time. In the former case, its about new things not getting done. It’s about stopping innovating and being curious and creative. It’s about not reaching and learning anymore. It’s pretty humbling that those things can be turned on and off like a light switch.

      • DCSCA

        “The astronaut business has been in decline with the end of the shuttle program and cancellation of Ares.” gusts Windy.

        Except it’s not.

      • Vladislaw

        With three domestic commerical human spaceflight companies coming online, that can put up 21 astronauts at time, I believe your assertion that astronauts are in deline will prove to be wrong.

        • DCSCA

          With three domestic commerical human spaceflight companies..”

          Pfft. False equivalency, of course.

          And as a reminder, given the passing of Scott Carpenter, Project Mercury- a pioneering government space project of scale- ended over fifty years ago with six successful manned spaceflights crewed by astronauts- four of them being orbital flights. Since 1963, to date, “commercial human spaceflight companies’ have failed to even attempt to orbit anybody.

          • Coastal Ron

            DCSCA whined:

            …to date, “commercial human spaceflight companies’ have failed to even attempt to orbit anybody.

            Well of course they haven’t, and that’s because they haven’t even tried – which is the biggest point you keep missing.

            Or to use your own phase, “False equivalency, of course.”

            The government had a different goal with the Gemini program than commercial companies have in working on their crew transportation systems. And they don’t have a Cold War edict driving them, nor access to +2% of the Federal Budget.

            They could care less what your measurement of success is… but luckily for them they aren’t even aware of your existence. We’re not so lucky though, since we have to listen to your inane comments… ;-)

            • Coastal Ron wrote:

              We’re not so lucky though, since we have to listen to your inane comments…

              There’s another option, namely to neither read nor reply to posts by trolls.

              The scroll wheel on my computer’s mouse gets quite the workout on this forum. :-)

  • A_M_Swallow

    The restart CR has an extra section for NASA

    SEC. 121. Amounts made available under section 101 for ‘‘Department of Commerce—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—Procurement, Acquisition and Construction’’ may be apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to maintain the planned launch schedules for the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system.

  • Just for fun …

    I’ve heard many times that ISS at one point was one vote away from cancellation. I did some digging and found that moment on C-SPAN, which I’ve posted on YouTube at:

    The date is June 23, 1993. The House is debating NASA’s proposed FY94 budget. (Wow, a budget deliberated months before it’s needed. How refreshing …) Rep. Tim Roemer (D-IN), in league with Rep. Dick Zimmer (R-NJ), proposes an amendment to cancel Space Station Freedom.

    Three hours of debate later, the House votes. The acting chair takes a voice vote and declares the Nays have it. Roemer asks for a recorded vote. As they go through the 15-minute voting period, the Ayes have the lead and it appears that the station might go down to defeat. In the last couple minutes, most of the members on the House floor are staring riveted at the tally board, realizing they’re about to witness history.

    When voting ends, the amendment has been defeated, 215-216 with nine members not voting.

    Of course, the budget bill would have gone on to the Senate, there would be a reconciliation, and finally it would go to the President. But this is yet another sobering reminder that Congressional support for a government space program is tepid at best.

    • Hiram

      Thanks for the video. But the NASA budget has been fairly flat in constant dollars for the last 30-40 years, at a significant level. Can’t really call that support tepid.

      The many space station cancellation bills advanced by Rep. Roemer and his colleagues were in themselves pretty non-descriptive. That is, the bill texts were short and sweet. Just stop funding it! The bills themselves didn’t express any rationale.

      But if you go back and listen to the arguments made in support of those bills, they weren’t against the government space program. They were strongly in support of NASA science and robotic missions. Co-sponsor Rep. Zimmer was adamant that “the space station is killing our space program!” Another argument, by none other than the passionate space exploration supporter Rep. George Brown, was that the cuts levied on NASA by Congress were such that he didn’t really think the space station could be very successful.

      In fact, these bills forced Dan Goldin to go back and achieve an affordable redesign for the space station that effectively countered the “sea of red ink” that had been the hallmark of the program. I think what this is a sobering reminder about is that Congress doesn’t have a lot of patience with seas of red ink.

      • For me, the most fascinating part is at the end, seeing those House members slowly realize that they were about to kill the Station, standing there staring at the tally board. I have to wonder if some of them might have changed their vote if they knew it was going to be that close.

        • Hiram

          Very true. Politics works that way, where legislators vote for show, rather than for result. In this particular Station vote, I suspect a clear majority of them wanted to preserve Station, but an admixture thought it important to go on record looking fiscally responsible for their constituents, while being confident that Station would never get killed. So they voted against it. They were probably having second thoughts as the vote began to look very close.

          I suspect the same thing about the about the House vote we just saw. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of the GOP members just wanted the shutdown over and done with but, knowing that the bill would pass, which it eventually did at 285-144, they felt safe voting against it for show. Good insurance for the next primary. One wonders how many of those 144 members who went on record opposing the bill were thinking that way.


    “Congressional support for a government space program is tepid at best.”

    =yawn= NASA turned 55 years old this month— funded by Congress all those ‘tepid’ years– inclusing the Cold War– five and a half decades of them; over half a century. .

    • Malmesbury

      And yet, once it was clear that the US had beaten the Soviets to the moon, the entire political establishment agreed on a massive reduction in spending on NASA. Democrat and Republican, legislative or executive branch, there was a consensus on this.

      As others have put it – if your plan is to increase NASA funding, show me the votes in Congress, the Senate and the White House. Otherwise your plan is as realistic as building a hyper drive.

      Current NASA spending is supported by a group of concerned Senators and Congress criters (money spent in their states), a small smattering of genuine space cadet politicians (belivers), backers from the STEM concept and (by far the largest) those who vote for NASA spending as part of a deal on spending on their own favored projects.

      Trying to build the alliance by spreading the work across as many states as possible via FAR project control has resulted in staggering bloat. The same happens of course for all the DOD programs run the same way. Then the project gets cancelled anyway. New project….

  • While on the general subject of nutjob members of Congress … Frank Wolf gets himself some virtual ink on

    “China: NASA mistakenly banned Chinese researchers from conference”

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