Congressional Early Warning System for NASA Authorization Compliance

Keith's note: Jeff Bingham, a staffer on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, posting as "51D Mascot" on nasaspaceflight.com notes that Congress will be watching how NASA does or does not comply with the new authorization bill when it is signed into law.

"Well, many of the same people who wrote the 2005 and 2008 Authorization Acts were involved in drafting S.3729, so they are VERY aware of the potential for "non-compliance." They are also very much aware of continuing efforts on the part of certain parties to "slow-roll" or otherwise undermine the letter and intent of what will soon be signed into law. With regard to the bill itself, the very detailed report required in Section 309 is the first "early warning system" built into the bill to ensure steps are taken towards compliance, well before the two-year scenario you described. If it appears that the completion of that report is being delayed arbitrarily and without justification, there are a number of fairly aggressive "oversight" steps that can--and likely would--be taken that would ensure "transparency" of those activities--and accountability for those undertaking them--which appeared intended to dilute or subvert the law."

Keith's note: There are certainly reasons why Congress needs to be certain that NASA does not drift away from compliance with the law. But there is also a point at which legislators and their staff are not qualified to make decisions. That usually has to do with actual rocket science. As such, one would hope that this "early warning system" has a feedback mechanism that warns and prevents over-enthusiastic congressional staff from playing rocket scientist.

As for Jeff's posting as "51D Mascot" .... more below.

As pretty much everyone in Washington, DC space community knows, the individual posting as "51D Mascot" on nasaspaceflight.com is Jeff Bingham, a staffer on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. Alas, he is now trying to deny that saying "But I have to point out that, while the manager of another website has "revealed" or "alleged" that identity, it has never been confirmed or denied on this site." Jeff has outed himself and has admitted his secret identity to a number of people and has posted things that his coworkers clearly know could only have come from him (writing style, facts, etc.) People also regularly refer to him by his real name online. Anyone who knows Jeff's history (other than many years at NASA) knows that he is a long time friend of former Senator Jake Garn. Of course, Garn flew on shuttle mission 51D. Hmmm ... STS-51D - "51-D Mascot" ... Coincidence? Keep up the illusion if you wish Jeff. Your postings do provide insight (usually unbiased) as to how things work here in DC.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 6, 2010 11:43 AM.

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