Congress: January 2013 Archives

Statement of Chairman Lamar Smith Full Science, Space, and Technology Committee Organizational Meeting

"It's my hope that we will be considered a bipartisan committee, working together for the best interests of our country."

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Oversight Plan for the 113th Congress

"The Committee will also examine the impact of large increases in funding for the Earth Science Directorate relative to funding requested for other science disciplines."

House Science Chairman Lamar Smith puts climate change assessment on agenda, Dallas Morning News

"I believe climate change is due to a combination of factors, including natural cycles, sun spots, and human activity. But scientists still don't know for certain how much each of these factors contributes to the overall climate change that the Earth is experiencing," Smith said through an aide. "It is the role of the Science Committee to create a forum for discussion so Congress and the American people can hear from experts and draw reasoned conclusions. During this process, we should focus on the facts rather than on a partisan agenda."

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Oversight Plan for the 113th Congress

"Within the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee's jurisdiction, activities warranting further review include costs associated with cancellation of the Constellation program..."

Keith's note: With Mike Griffin's former staffer Chris Shank on Lamar Smith's staff, it was inevitable that this moot topic would be revisited one more time. As such, you should expect to see Mike Griffin's name on witness panel when this ends up as a hearing. Perhaps the most baffling thing is that Rep. Smith no longer felt that he needed the incredible expertise offered by having former NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale Fagan on his staff.

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Organizes, Approves Majority Subcommittee Assignments

"Chairman Smith: "The Science Committee oversees agency budgets of $39 billion, most of which is focused on research and development. That enables us to invest in the future, sometimes the distant future, and spur innovation, increase America's productivity, and improve our standard of living."

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democrats Announce Subcommittee Assignments and Ranking Members

179 Trips To The Moon

179 Round Trips to the Moon & 7 Other Things You Could Do in the Time Since Senate Democrats Last Passed a Budget, Speaker of the House John Boehner

"If you follow the same plan as the crew of Apollo 11, you could fly to the moon and back 179 times."

Keith's note: (really) quick and rough budget snapshot: Apollo was estimated to cost roughly $170 billion in 2005 dollars - divide that total cost by 25 or so Apollo/Skylab missions and you get a rough average of $6.8 billion/flight. So doing Apollo 179 times (in 4 years!) would costaround $1trillion ... oh and you'd need a dozen copies of KSC to do it in that time frame - but that is still not enough to buy a Death Star however.

White House Deletes Death Star Funds from NASA's FY2014 Budget, earlier post.

NASA MEPAG #27 Cancellation Notice

"Delays in the federal budget process means that the President's traditional budget message is unlikely to occur by the time of the presently scheduled February 26 and 27th MEPAG meeting in Washington D.C. You are surely all aware of the announcement in December at the Fall AGU meeting by Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld that NASA intends to launch a new rover to Mars in 2020. However, the 2020 Rover Science Definition Team is just now being formed and will not be far enough into its deliberations to give a meaningful out-brief in February."

White House tells Paul Ryan it won't meet budget deadline, The Hill

"Congress and the White House struck a budget deal on New Year's Eve that avoided tax hikes on middle-class families and delayed a 2013 budget sequester until March. That last-minute "fiscal cliff" deal has thrown a wrench into the annual budget process, sources say, because it did not finalize 2013 appropriations or replace nearly $1 trillion in automatic discretionary cuts imposed by the August 2011 debt-ceiling deal. "They have no baseline," one expert said. The expert said it may also be the case that the administration does not want the budget to be taken as an opening offer in the coming fight over raising the nation's $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. The Congressional Budget Office also faces fiscal cliff-related challenges in writing its annual budget outlook. That outlook, which normally comes out in January, is coming out Feb. 4, CBO announced Monday."

NASA Fiscal Cliff Update

Implications of Enactment of the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" for NASA

"The agreement reached by Congress and signed by the President delays sequestration for a period of two months, until March 1, 2013. Accordingly, no automatic reductions in budgetary resources will take place at this time. The deal provides Congress with additional time to work on a balanced plan that can prevent these automatic spending cuts from ever occurring. This means that, for the time being, there will be no changes to our day-to-day operations or any personnel actions taken due to the threat of sequestration. We will continue to operate as normal. As the new deadline approaches, and until such time as Congress acts to permanently cancel these reductions, I will continue to keep you informed of all relevant developments."

Senate Passes H.R.6586 -- Space Exploration Sustainability Act

"Section 203 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C. 18313) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(c) Sense of Congress Regarding Human Space Flight Capability Assurance- It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator shall proceed with the utilization of the ISS, technology development, and follow-on transportation systems (including the Space Launch System, multi-purpose crew vehicle, and commercial crew and cargo transportation capabilities) under titles III and IV of this Act in a manner that ensures-- ..."

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds the Passage of a Government Risk-Sharing Regime Extension for the Space Launch Industry

"The Senate action on Monday and House action today extends a liability risk-sharing regime created by Congress that requires commercial launch companies to purchase insurance for any reasonable risk of damage to third parties, and provides an expedited appropriations backstop above that amount and below a statutory limit."

Congress Approves Bill Supporting Human Space Exploration, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

"NASA now relies on commercial providers to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station," said Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX). "The future of the U.S. space program and commercial spaceflight industry relies on a predictable environment. Provisions in this bill provide a solid framework for the U.S. space enterprise to succeed in the future and continue to be the world's leader in space."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Congress category from January 2013.

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