Next week the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 2405, the
Omnibus Civilian Science Authorization Act of 1995. Title II of
this bill, known as the "National Aeronautics and Space
Administration Authorization Act, FY 1996" provides a number of
important indicators of the direction and level of NASA's future
science and technology programs.  As stated in FYIs #138 and 139,
passage of this bill is not assured, and it only permits, but does
not provide, actual program funding.  It will, however, if passed

6 Oct 1995

The Senate Appropriations Committee met earlier this week and has
sent to the floor H.R. 2099, the VA, HUD, Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bill for FY 1996.  This bill contains funding for
NASA, and will be voted on by the full Senate in the near future.
Following passage by the Senate, H.R. 2099 will then go to a
conference to resolve differences in funding levels between the
House and Senate versions of the bill.  The below figures and
recommendations are contained in Senate Report 104-140, which
accompanies H.R. 2099:

15 Sep 1995

The following representatives voted in favor of an amendment
offered by Rep. John Ensign (R-Nevada) to reduce the FY 1996
appropriation for the National Science Foundation and NASA.  Under
this amendment, which was rejected by the House 121-296, the
Department of Veterans Affairs appropriation for Medical Care would
have increased.  Offsetting this increase would have been a $235
million reduction in NSF's Research and Related Activities
appropriation and an $89.5 million reduction in NASA's Human Space
Flight Account.

25 Aug 1995

Buffeted by the fickle winds of fiscal policy, NASA has seen its
budget shrink by 30 percent over the last two years, with more to
come.  This has resulted in drastic reductions, restructuring, and
in some cases outright termination of programs.  Making these
changes in a reasonable and efficient manner calls for a clear
statement of the space agency's policies and principles.  NASA has
articulated policies for its science programs in a July 25 draft
document entitled "Science in Air and Space: NASA's Science Policy

24 Aug 1995

On July 18, the VA/HUD appropriations bill for FY 1996 went before
the full House Appropriations Committee.  The resulting bill, which
funds NASA, NSF, veterans' and housing programs, was changed
significantly from the version passed by the VA/HUD subcommittee
the previous week.

20 Jul 1995

As described in FYI #97, early reports state that the House
VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, in marking
up its FY 1996 funding bill, made these recommendations for major
NASA science programs: termination of the Cassini mission to Saturn
(FY96 request: $191.5 million); at least a delay in funding SIRTF
(FY96 request: $15.0 million) and SOFIA (FY96 request: $48.7
million); and, by some accounts, termination of Gravity Probe B,
whose continuation NASA is studying.  The subcommittee also

13 Jul 1995

On June 13, Conrad Burns (R-MT), chair of the Senate Commerce
Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, held a supportive
hearing on NASA's Mission to Planet Earth.  In contrast to recent
criticisms of the program by House Science Committee Chair Robert
Walker (R-PA), Burns' hearing showcased witnesses who praised the
program and supported it as currently planned.  Burns stated that
the program has the potential to "easily pay for itself." 

14 Jun 1995

Just as NASA readied itself for $5 billion in spending reductions
by the end of the decade that were mandated by the White House, it
now must contemplate additional cuts by Congress.  Commented NASA
Administrator Daniel S. Goldin: "The deeper cuts Congress is
contemplating simply go too far, and I am committed to fighting
them."  He added, "all bets are off" if the additional cuts occur,
as facilities will be closed and programs terminated.

25 May 1995

In its quest to "reinvent" federal departments, the Administration
has completed reviews of its largest federal laboratory complexes.
This interagency review of DOD, DOE, and NASA laboratories is to be
submitted to the National Science and Technology Council.  As part
of this effort, a Task Force led by Robert Galvin examined and
reported on DOE's national laboratories (see FYIs #17, #40.) 

27 Apr 1995

During his presentation to PCAST members last week, NASA
Administrator Daniel Goldin gave his strong endorsement to the
just-released report of the NASA Federal Laboratory Review Task
Force.  Twenty-six people participated in this task force, chaired
by Dr. John S. Foster.

7 Apr 1995


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