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Bill Nelson's Notional Budget Windfall Has Evaporated

By Keith Cowing
October 29, 2021
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Bill Nelson's Notional Budget Windfall Has Evaporated

Revised budget reconciliation package reduces NASA infrastructure funds, Space News
“A new, scaled-back version of a spending package released Oct. 28 sharply reduced the money allocated to NASA infrastructure and climate change projects, while continuing to exclude funding for a second Artemis lunar lander. … The revised Build Back Better Act, like earlier versions of the budget reconciliation package, included nothing for the future development of lunar landers for the Artemis program. Nelson sought $5.4 billion in the reconciliation package in the spring so the agency could fund future lunar lander service procurements through its Lunar Exploration Transportation Services program.”
Has Anyone Seen Bill Nelson’s NASA Budget Windfall?
“I thought Senator Administrator Bill Nelson had this all figured out. Seriously, he would not have freelanced on his plan to get a NASA windfall without OMB approval, right? Meanwhile SLS is not going to launch until the middle of next year; there’s only money for one HLS contract (despite all of the lawsuit activity); and the money needed just to keep the status quo in place is simply not there. Does Bill Nelson have a Plan B? We’d all like to see it. Stay tuned.”
Bill Nelson Says He’s Discovered A New Pile Of Money For NASA
“Earlier this week Bill Nelson suggested that NASA could solve all of its financial woes by getting $10-11 billion out of the new Infrastructure bill. Well, tick tock. Republicans balked at the overall bill so President Biden came back with a smaller counter offer. There will likely be more. It looks like there is a lot less money in the cookie jar – and R&D is no longer going to be a priority. As I mentioned below, Nelson’s faith-based budget plan really does not have a Plan B in case the infrastructure windfall he hopes for does not happen. Well … half a trillion dollars just disappeared from the infrastructure bill that we were all looking at when Nelson testified.”
NASA Has No Plan To Spend The Infrastructure Money. But Who Cares.
“And so on. Its a mess. NASA has no cohesive, consistent plan to identify what facilities need to be demolished, repaired, upgraded, or replaced. They have never had such a plan – nor will they. Just imagine the spending spree that is about to unfold as every NASA center director grabs their bucket of infrastructure money – with their congressional delegation shoveling the money in without looking.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.