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House Science Committee Leadership Turns a Deaf Ear to NASA Budget

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
February 21, 2005

Opening Statement of House Science Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert

“So where does that leave me on the current budget proposal? With the same mixed feelings I’ve had in the past. First, let me blunt, I don’t think NASA should be our top budget priority either in this Committee or the Congress. That means in a budget as excruciatingly tight as this one, NASA probably should not get as much as the President has proposed. Moreover, even if NASA received every cent it has requested, it would still be trying to do too much at once – the historic pattern for the Agency, as the Gehman Report noted. So something has to give, and this hearing will be a first step in looking at what that might be.”

Editor’s note: With regard to the VSE, and space exploration in general, I’d have to put Rep. Boehlert in the column labeled “lukewarm supporters at best” after hearing this comment last week. Indeed, at a time when supporters of space exploration should stand and be counted, those who shy away from supporting the VSE (or pay it faint praise as Boehlert is now doing) could see their lack of enthusiasm serve as an aid to those who would seek to put NASA back on a road of declining budgets and fading fortunes.

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