In advance of Wednesday morning’s markup, the House Appropriations Committee released its draft of a Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill Tuesday morning. The bill is rather generous to NASA, providing the agency with nearly $17.9 billion for fiscal year 2015, an increase of $435 million over the president’s budget request (PBR) and $250 million above the agency’s fiscal year 2014 budget. The bill itself provides funding amounts primarily at the account level, not breaking it down into the various divisions and programs (data usually in the accompanying report yet to be released):
|Account||FY15 PBR||House CJS Draft||House-PBR Diff|
|CROSS AGENCY SUPPORT||$2,778.6||$2,779.0||$0.4|
(Amounts in table above in millions of dollars.)
The bill does allocate $1.14 billion for Orion and $1.915 billion for SLS, a combined total $270 million higher than the administration’s request, although exploration overall gets $191 million than the administration’s request. The other two programs under exploration, commercial crew and exploration R&D, don’t have their funding levels specified in the draft bill.
In science, the bill sets aside $100 million for Europa mission pre-formulation studies, much higher than the $15 million the administration requested and somewhat higher than the $80 million provided for such work by Congress for FY14. A fact sheet accompanying the bill notes that the bill “includes funding above the President’s request for planetary science to ensure the continuation of critical research and development programs.”
The bill also renames the Cross-Agency Support account the “Safety, Security and Mission Services” account, which appears to reflect the strong interest in NASA security by outgoing CJS subcommittee chairman Rep. Frank Wolf.