Congress: June 2008 Archives

Glenn, Garn, Nelson: What Bush doesn't know about NASA, Opinion, Orlando Sentinel

"... NASA needs additional guidance from Congress on what its future course should be. It especially needs that guidance, because this administration has thoroughly failed to provide the direction -- or the funding -- necessary to achieve what President Bush called for in January 2004 when he announced the Vision for Space Exploration. We can only attempt to explain why the administration has undermined the Vision for Space Exploration, though we suspect it can be explained by Bush not knowing all the facts about what the real impact of NASA's annual budgets has been since the loss of the Columbia in 2003."

KSC Folks: Call Paul Shawcross, earlier post

Editor's note: The sad thing about all of this these days is that OMB's Paul Shawcross has more say as to what happens at NASA than NASA's Administrator does. You can yell at Mike Griffin until you are blue in the face but it is Shawcross and the OMB who calls the shots.

Senate Commerce Committee Approves National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008

"The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today unanimously approved a bill to reauthorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The bill would provide a $19.2 billion baseline authorization of appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to fund the various activities of the agency. The bill also would provide an additional $1 billion authorization of appropriations to accelerate the initial operational capability of a U.S.-owned human spacecraft and an additional $150 million for the development of a commercial crew vehicle. The total authorization of appropriations would be $20.35 billion."

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: Executive Session Full Committee

"Committee members will consider: S. ____, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008"

Shuttles Would Complete Missions Under Bill, CQ Politics

"According to a Senate Democratic aide, the draft also contains language that would prevent NASA from retiring the shuttle fleet in 2010 if scheduled missions remain on its flight manifest. The administration decided to retire the shuttle fleet in 2010 and develop a new craft that could take astronauts farther into space."

OMB Statement of Adminstration Policy H.R. 6063 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008

"... the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6063 because it mandates specific Space Shuttle flights that greatly threaten NASA's ability to retire the Shuttle in 2010, an action that is critical to implementing the President's Vision for Space Exploration. In addition, the Administration has other serious objections to several provisions of H.R. 6063 that must be satisfactorily addressed prior to final congressional action on reauthorization legislation."

Editor's note: The sad thing about all of this these days is that OMB's Paul Shawcross has more say as to what happens at NASA than NASA's Administrator does. You can yell at Mike Griffin until you are blue in the face but it is Shawcross and the OMB who calls the shots.

Note to Paul: what is "critical to implementing the President's Vision for Space Exploration" is that you and your fellow budgeteers provide NASA with the funds to do the things the President tasked them to do - or - you change the tasks. You can't have it both ways, Paul. Right now you have more or less abandoned the agency - and a large chunk of its work force.

KSC folks: You can drop Paul an email at pshawcro@omb.eop.gov, call him at 202-395-3807, or send him a fax at 202-395-4652. You can find him in room 8225 in the New Executive Office Building or send him a note at Paul Shawcross, Chief, Science and Programs Branch; Energy, Science, and Water Division, OMB, 725 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20503.

White House Memo Calls For Slashing Remaining Space Shuttle Flights, earlier post

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing: Preparing for the Workforce Transition at Kennedy Space Center

"Monday, June 23, 2008 09:00 AM. The hearing will examine issues surrounding the retirement of the Space Shuttle and the transition to the new Orion/Ares system. Specifically, this hearing will focus on workforce related challenges at the Kennedy Space Center and analyze potential solutions to mitigate the transition's effects on the community. The hearing will be located at the Canaveral Port Authority, Commission Room, Port Canaveral Maritime Center Offices, 445 Challenger Road, Port Canaveral, Florida. [map] Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) will preside."

Editor's note: Even though Mike Griffin seems to think that jobs and space are not campaign issues, they certainly are in Florida. This could get ugly if local Space Coast employees show up (as they should) at this hearing and take Mike Griffin on, face-to-face, about job cuts and the effect upon themselves and their families. The "I don't do feelings - just think of me as Spock" [audio -- original story source] approach certainly will not work in that situation.

Florida is a key state in both Obama's and McCain's strategy to win the election. I wonder if the White House really wants an embarassment in Florida over huge job cuts and what will be portrayed as "George Bush's Moon Program" (despite repeated Congressional buy in). Stay tuned.

Apollo Job Loss on Steroids, earlier post
Politics? I Don't See Any Politics In Space Exploration, earlier post
Yes, The Party Is Indeed Over at KSC, earlier post
The Party Is Over at KSC, earlier post
Shuttle Job Cuts: Its About Time Florida Took Notice, earlier post

Senator Mikulski Pledges to fight to restore Senate-funded initiatives

"Specifically, Senator Mikulski is frustrated with cuts to critical investments proposed by the Senate for fisheries disasters, Byrne formula grants administered through the Department of Justice (DOJ), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Science Foundation (NSF)."

Chairwoman Mikulski Focuses on Community Security and Competitiveness in CJS Spending Bill

"The bill provides $17.8 billion for NASA, $200 million above the President's request."

Editor's note: Rep. Obey has all but conceded that the only appropriations bills that he will allow to move to a floor vote are Defense and perhaps Homeland Security. The common consensus is that the rest of the agencies will see their budgets bundled into a Continuting Resolution. As such, all of the budget increases that are being tossed around are seen more as more guidance for the next Adminstration than the current one. Whether these numbers end up in budgets is TBD.

Letter From IFPTE to House and Senate Appropriators Regarding NASA's Budget

"As both House and Senate Appropriators prepare for the full-committee mark-up of their respective Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) appropriations measures, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), NASA's largest Union, would like to thank House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey for his decision to increase the CJS allocation, and House CJS Subcommittee Chairman Allan Mollohan for his decision to use almost $200 million of that increase to begin the restoration of NASA's Science, Aeronautics, and Education programs."

House Passes H.R. 6063

House Overwhelmingly Approves NASA Reauthorization Act

"The bipartisan consensus we have reached on H.R. 6063 signals that Congress believes a balanced NASA program of science, aeronautics, and human spaceflight and exploration is important and worthy of the nation's support," said Gordon. "Yet, I want to emphasize that H.R. 6063 takes a fiscally-responsible approach to providing that support."

House Passes H.R. 6063 to Reauthorize Wide Array of NASA Programs

"With broad support, the House of Representatives today passed H.R. 6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008, authorizing programs at NASA for fiscal year 2009 (FY09). The bill passed the House by a vote of 409 to 15."

House Passes NASA Re-Authorization Bill, IFPTE

"IFPTE is pleased that workforce provisions proposed by Representatives Kucinich and Danny Davis were added by Chairman Gordon's manager's amendment. The layoff moratorium is essential for improving employee morale as it will allow NASA's workforce to focus on technical productivity and on program continuity, not on job security."

OMB Statement of Adminstration Policy H.R. 6063 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008

"... the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6063 because it mandates specific Space Shuttle flights that greatly threaten NASA's ability to retire the Shuttle in 2010, an action that is critical to implementing the President's Vision for Space Exploration. In addition, the Administration has other serious objections to several provisions of H.R. 6063 that must be satisfactorily addressed prior to final congressional action on reauthorization legislation."

OMB Statement of Adminstration Policy H.R. 6063 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008

"... the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6063 because it mandates specific Space Shuttle flights that greatly threaten NASA's ability to retire the Shuttle in 2010, an action that is critical to implementing the President's Vision for Space Exploration. In addition, the Administration has other serious objections to several provisions of H.R. 6063 that must be satisfactorily addressed prior to final congressional action on reauthorization legislation."

Chairman Mollohan's Statement on FY 2009 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee Markup

"The subcommittee recommendation provides ... $17.8 billion for NASA. Increases above the request for NASA are spread nearly evenly between science and aeronautics."

Letter From Reps. Kucinich and Davis Regarding Workforce Provisions Within H.R. 6063, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008

"We applaud your efforts and those of Chairman Udall to revitalize NASA by authorizing a budget that will allow NASA to succeed in all of its critical missions. We also support your goal of securing new workforce provisions within H.R. 6063, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008, to preserve and re-invigorate NASA's workforce. Over the last 7 years, NASA's workforce has experienced turmoil and uncertainty, leading to a decrease in morale as indicated by the results of NASA's recent "Culture Survey." Last year, the National Research Council reported that NASA was facing a workforce crisis caused by a sustained failure to recruit and train the next generation of technical employees."

Reps. Danny Davis, Kucinich defend NASA workforce, IFPTE

"International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) President Gregory Junemann expressed his appreciation for Chairman Davis' and Rep. Kucinich's pro-active effort to restore full protection to NASA's workforce"

House Science and Technology Committee Committee Approves NASA Authorization Act

"H.R. 6063, introduced by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Mark Udall (D-CO), authorizes appropriations for NASA's activities - science, aeronautics, exploration, education, space operations, inspector general, cross-agency support programs - for Fiscal Year 2009. FY 2009 funding for NASA is $20.21 billion. This bipartisan legislation was originally cosponsored by the Science and Technology Committee's Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN), Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Feeney (R-FL). "H.R. 6063 will help point NASA towards a more productive and sustainable future," stated Udall."

AIAA President Urges House to Pass NASA Authorization Act, HR 6063

Editor's 29 May note: On June 4th there will be a full committee markup of the HR 6063, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008. It will be webcast live such that anyone can watch. This legislation is a follow-on to a similar bill in 2005 which puts much of the VSE into public law. Given that the Coalition for Space Exploration was created to promote the VSE, you'd think that they'd want to tell people about continuing legislative progress in keeping the VSE on track. Is there any mention of this important event on the calendar on the Coalition's website? No.

Editor's 2 June note: It has been 4 days. Still no mention of this important step at keeping the VSE on track. Have the folks that run the Coalition's website bother to add an update? No.


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