Nelson & Hutchison Have a "Major Breakthrough" to Announce

Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Bill Nelson to Discuss Major Breakthrough on NASA Reauthorization Bill

"[Thursday], U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, will be joined by a number of their colleagues at a press conference on Thursday, July 15 at 11:45 a.m. EST in the Senate Radio and TV Gallery to discuss a major breakthrough on the NASA reauthorization bill. Tomorrow morning before the press conference, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will meet in an executive session to mark up the NASA reauthorization bill."

Senate committee votes today on compromise manned-space bill, Orlando Sentinel via Boston Herald

"And indeed, a senior administration official said the White House likely would not oppose the measure because it gives commercial rocket companies funding -- though less than what Obama had sought -- even as it speeds up design of a heavy-lift rocket that under Obama's timetable would not have flown until 2025. "While we are still in the process of reviewing the details of the draft, the bill appears to contain the critical elements necessary for achieving the president's vision for NASA and represents an important first step towards helping us achieve the key goals the president has laid out," said the aide, who was not authorized to speak on the record."

Bill Nelson's proposal unsettles Space Coast EDC, opinion, Florida Today

"A NASA Authorization Act that is likely to clear a U.S. Senate committee today could squander a rare opportunity for the Space Coast to transform its economy, local economic development officials said Wednesday. "The risk that this future may be bargained away for one more attuned to the needs of Alabama, Texas and Utah, in the name of political expediency, demands a response," leaders of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast wrote in a letter to Sen. Bill Nelson."

Better course on space, opinion, Orlando Sentinel

"By most accounts, Mr. Obama's proposal has failed to take off in Congress. Advocates of prolonging the shuttle program don't like it. Neither do lawmakers who represent districts counting on money and jobs from Constellation. Its prospects for passage are dim. But if Congress doesn't agree on an alternative, current space policy would survive by default. That would mean another year of work on Constellation -- billions over budget and years behind schedule -- and no real effort to reorient NASA's course."

Keith's note: According to Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation staffer Jeff Bingham posting as "51DMascot" at NASASpaceflight.com this morning, when asked to compare Nelson's and Hutchison's separately proposed legislation:

"Very good question...take a look at them side-by-side with respect to the human spaceflight portions...remember, the Hutchison bill (S. 3068) was focused on just the Human Spaceflight portions of NASA Authorization; this is a full authorization bill, so includes all of NASA, from a policy perspective. At the time she introduced her bill, it was noted that it could reflect a potential consensus direction that could form the core of a full NASA authorization bill."

The markup happens today at 10:00 am EDT in room 253, Russell Senate Office Building. Nelson and Hutchison will be announcing their "major breakthrough" after that mark up.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 15, 2010 7:41 AM.

Video: It's nice to know that America still builds rockets was the previous entry in this blog.

Senate and White House (Apparently) Compromise on NASA Policy is the next entry in this blog.

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