Finally: A NASA budget looks ready to pass Congress Wednesday, Huntsville Times
"Local NASA watchers were optimistic Monday afternoon, saying any budget is better than last week's leading option, a continuing resolution freezing 2011 spending at this year's level. The 2011 fiscal year begins Friday. "If we have a continuing resolution, nobody knows what's going to happen," Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel, who advises members of Congress on space issues, said Monday morning. McDaniel spoke hours before the chairman of the House NASA oversight committee, Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee, issued a surprise announcement that the Senate's NASA plan - not his version - will be the one going forward."
Keith's note: Newsflash: No one is voting on a budget. This is an authorizing bill. The Continuing Resolution is going to happen - most likely this week - regardless of what the House does with the Senate version of NASA's authorizing legislation. The FY 2011 Appropriations bill is stalled - for the entire government - and Congress will be voting on a "Clean" CR to fund the government at current levels (with no adjustments) until such time as they can agree on a FY 2011 Appropriations Bill. The soonest that the Congress *might* vote on the FY 2011 budget is the lame duck session after the election. It is possible that this could drag on until the end of the year and possibly even until the new Congress is seated next year. As such, NASA will be operating under this CR until such time as Congress sees fit to pass a formal FY 2011 budget. During that time, regardless of what the Authorization Act says, their hands are tied by the CR.
Also, Bart Gordon is not "chairman of the House NASA oversight committee" he is chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology. A number of congressional committees regularly exert "oversight" over NASA.
Senate to move on stopgap spending bill, AP
"At the insistence of Republicans, who have refused to consider many important exceptions, we anticipate moving a clean CR that will clear the Senate and the House prior to the end of the fiscal year this Thursday," said Rob Blumenthal, a spokesman for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye of Hawaii."
Leaders predict NASA funding, Florida Today
"Under a suspension of ordinary House rules for debate and amendments, the bill would require a two-thirds majority for approval. It could still be months later, during a "lame duck" session of Congress after mid-term elections, before appropriators supply the agency with a promised funding increase. The bills offer a total of $58.4 billion over three years, including $19 billion next year. But House approval of an authorization act this week would finally establish a new direction for NASA's human spaceflight program, adopting elements of controversial plans President Barack Obama proposed in February."