House Subcommittee Goes Below President’s Request for NASA

June 6th, 2009

Posted by: admin

In what is a rarity on many levels, the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee responsible for most science agency budgets has opted to appropriate less (H/T Scientific American’s 60 Second Science Blog) than the amount a President requested in a budget.  President Obama’s FY 2010 budget for human spaceflight operations at NASA is nearly $4 billion, and the subcommittee appropriated approximately $3.3 billion, which is less than the FY 2009 amount as well.  The agency’s budget as a whole received an increase of $421 million over the FY 2009 budget.

The subcommittee chairman’s remarks suggest that the Congress, or at least the House, will wait and see what the review committee announced earlier this year will suggest for the future of NASA’s human spaceflight operations.

“Rather, the deferral is taken without prejudice; it is a pause, a time-out, to allow the President to establish his vision for human space exploration and to commit to realistic future funding levels to realize this vision.”

It remains to be seen whether or not the Senate will follow suit and take this wait-and-see attitude.  I strongly doubt that many outside the House subcommittee will consider this decrease to be without prejudice, but I may be tired and jaded from the continuing arguments between those supporting human spaceflight and those active in other areas NASA is involved.

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