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Where Will The Rest of NASA's Katrina Money Come From?

By Keith Cowing
December 21, 2005

Democrats block defense bill with Alaska drilling

“The defense bill also includes funding for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, the potential bird flu pandemic and a program that helps poor families pay winter heating bills.”

House approves $29 billion Katrina aid plan, Reuters

“The fate of the legislation is uncertain in the Senate, however, because of opposition from many senators to unrelated provisions of the bill.”

Highlights of FY06 Defense Appropriations Bill

“NASA – $350 million is provided, $25 million above the request, to repair and rehabilitate damaged NASA facilities and equipment.”

Transcript: Hearing on Status of NASA’s Programs, House Science Committee, 3 November 2005

“CHAIRMAN BOEHLERT: Let me ask you this. The White House has asked for $325 million for NASA to help pay for the Katrina-related costs at Stennis and Michoud. That’s not nearly enough. That is about half of what you really need. Where is the additional money going to come from?

ADMINISTRATOR GRIFFIN: As you know, in our last operating plan, we had requested $760 million, which was our best assessment of the damage that we had.”

“CHAIRMAN BOEHLERT: And that was pared down considerably from the initial —

ADMINISTRATOR GRIFFIN: Well, the initial estimate was — we were still — I think we were still cleaning up —


ADMINISTRATOR GRIFFIN: — some of the stuff, and it was —

CHAIRMAN BOEHLERT: So the 760 is a realistic estimate.

ADMINISTRATOR GRIFFIN: The directions I gave to my folks we do not exaggerate the estimate. Every single thing that we put in the supplemental request must be accounted for. When we got done with that, that added up to $760 million, as we had indicated to the Committee.

CHAIRMAN BOEHLERT: And the supplemental contains the request for 325.

ADMINISTRATOR GRIFFIN: And that had a reserve on it of 20 percent for just us not knowing about what we were doing at the time of that supplemental.

So the supplemental that you saw had that 20-percent reserve removed. It also had removed consequential damages, as we would say them in the MBA world, consequential damages associated with delays to the Shuttle program and things like that. So, when those things were removed, you end up with the request that you got.

Now, bear in mind, the administration does — is reserving the right to come in with another supplemental at a later time when things are more fully understood. So I don’t believe that this is a dead issue.

We think for the moment, you know, we’re fine with the three hundred and —

CHAIRMAN BOEHLERT: So you fully anticipate a second supplemental, so you won’t have the need to raid other programs?


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