Lawmakers at odds with NASA's chief, Huntsville Times
"Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who runs the NASAWatch.com Web site, said the feud between Shelby and Griffin seems silly compared to NASA's overall budget challenges "because it is over 32 people who won't even lose their jobs." "I don't think Mike Griffin is in trouble or will lose his job because of Richard Shelby. Shelby's in the minority now," Cowing said. "I think Mike Griffin thinks he can run NASA without Congress, sometimes, and that's not the case."
But Cowing said NASA's budget is shrinking. Because Congress failed to approve NASA's budget for fiscal 2007, the space agency is working under a continuing resolution that freezes budget money at the 2006 level. That means NASA has to keep programs going with a budget shortage of more than $500 million, NASA leaders have said.
"What's Mike Griffin supposed to do? What's NASA supposed to do? They have a mandate from the president and Congress to perform a task - return to the moon," Cowing said. "But (NASA) wasn't given enough money to start with, and now NASA has to deal with even less. Priorities have to be set, and money has to be shifted in the budget.
"Again, what's Mike Griffin supposed to do? Where's the money come from?"