Congress: February 2007 Archives

Mike Griffin Testifies

Testimony of Michael Griffin - Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences

"On February 15, 2007, the President signed into law a joint resolution stipulating FY 2007 funding levels for NASA and other Federal agencies. This appropriation reduces overall funding for NASA by $545 million from the President's FY 2007 request. The FY 2008 budget request could not possibly factor the impact of such a funding reduction from FY 2007 appropriation for NASA's carefully-considered multi-year programs, and thus, several programs in the FY 2008 budget request will be impacted."

Hearing notes

Griffin now expects a 4-6 month slip in delivery of Orion, thus pushing delivery into FY 2015 - with delivery in December 2014 at the earliest.

Stealth Senate Budget Hearing

Editor's note: The Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee has scheduled a Hearing on NASA's Budget for 28 February - i.e. this Wednesday. Mike Griffin is testifying. Yet, if you were to rely on NASA's Legislative Affairs Congressional Hearing Calendar (last upated 17 January 2007) which says "NO SCHEDULED HEARINGS" you wouldn't know that this hearing was even happening. You would think that with all of the budget issues swirling around, that NASA HQ would want its people to know what is going on.

Editor's update: After sitting untended for more than a month Code L updated this web page around 5:00 pm EST today.

Fiscal Year 2007 Joint Funding Resolution, Senate Appropriations Committee, 14 Feb 2007:

"NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) The Appropriations Committee does not provide additional funding for NASA. However, unlike the base CR, specific funding levels for NASA sub-accounts are designated."

Mikulski: CR was the Best We Could Do

"While I would have liked to have increased funding for NASA, there was simply not enough extra funding available for us to do so. Within the limits of NASA's FY 06 operating plan, we added an extra $460 million to exploration while protecting other critical NASA programs in science and aeronautics. With only seven months left in this fiscal year, I believe NASA will be able to manage their programs in exploration with minimal impact to the overall schedule."

GAO: NASA's Management of its Contractor Award Fees Needs to be Improved, House Science and Technology Committee

"Given NASA's dependence on cost-plus-award-fee contracts, I'm concerned that GAO's investigation found that NASA has failed to follow its own long-standing guidelines governing award fees," stated Chairman Gordon in response to the GAO findings. "While there can be mitigating factors, I don't think it makes sense for contractors to receive a majority of the allowable award fee if they don't meet the contract's cost, schedule, or performance requirements. I want to make sure NASA is using taxpayer dollars as wisely and efficiently as possible."

NASA Procurement: Use of Award Fees for Achieving Program Outcomes Should Be Improved GAO-07-58, January 17, 2007

"NASA officials expressed satisfaction with the results of the contracts we reviewed, and this was further evidenced by the extent of fee paid. NASA's satisfaction was based on its evaluations of contractor performance against criteria established in the award-fee plan. While NASA's evaluations would indicate generally good contractor performance, that performance did not always translate into desired program outcomes. That disconnect raises questions as to the extent NASA is achieving the effectiveness it sought through the establishment of guidance on the use of award fees."

OSTP on FY 2008 Budget

Congressional Testimony on FY 2008 R&D Budget by OSTP Director John Marburger

"The President's 2008 Budget for NASA is $17.3 billion, a 3.1 percent increase over the President's 2007 request, reflecting a strong commitment by the Administration to the continued pursuit of the Vision for Space Exploration. The 2007 House-passed full-year CR, however, reduces the 2007 Budget by $545 million to $16.2 billion. If NASA is not provided its 2007 request level of $16.8 billion, the agency needs flexibility within its appropriation accounts to reduce the adverse consequences of a top-line reduction."

Lawmakers, administration clash over science funding, Government Executive

"[House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon] also noted that NASA is not included in the president's competitiveness agenda, and he questioned whether that means the administration does not view aeronautics, earth and space sciences as "world-class" sciences."

Weldon: Democrat Leadership Raids NASA Budget

"U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (R-FL), who represents many workers from NASA and Kennedy Space Center, called the cuts draconian, saying the Democrat leadership is using NASA and our nation's space program as a piggy bank for other liberal spending priorities.."

Editor's note: As if Republicans never "use NASA and our nation's space program as a piggy bank for other [conservative] spending priorities" ! This is one of the silliest, half-baked partisan slams I have seen in a Congressional press release in a long time.

AIP FYI #14: House Votes to Increase NSF, DOE, NIST Budgets

"Yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives voted to substantially increase FY 2007 funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. H.J. Resolution 20 now goes to the Senate, with the intention to get this bill on the President's desk before current funding expires on February 15."

Space exploration: Where 24 men have gone before, Nature (cover story - free access)

"Already the agency is facing some tough financial choices. The 7% over five years that President Bush spoke of did not end up in his budgets; in the White House's budget request for fiscal year 2007, produced last January, NASA's budget was kept essentially flat. "I would give Bush an 'A' for vision and a 'C-' for follow-through," [NASA Watch editor Keith] Cowing says."


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