NASA

With only hours to spare, Congress approved short-term funding last
week for a number of departments and agencies still lacking an FY
1996 appropriation.  Among them are NSF, NASA, and NIST.  Funding
is assured through March 15.  The following is the funding status
for departments and agencies tracked by FYI:

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: An full year appropriations bill was signed
last fall (see 1995 FYI #154.)

1 Feb 1996

With only one week of short term funding left for NSF, NASA, and
NIST, face-to-face budget talks between the Administration and
Congress have been called off.  It is very unclear if a legislative
mechanism can be found to avoid another destructive government
shutdown on January 27 when this money runs out.

18 Jan 1996

Keeping track of efforts to resolve long-term funding for NSF,
NASA, and NIST has almost been as difficult as tracking the snow
storms that have been hitting Washington.  Here is how things now
stand, and the outlook for the rest of FY 1996.

11 Jan 1996

Several Members of Congress, concerned about projections for NASA's outyear budgets, authored a recent "Dear Colleague" letter to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). The letter, signed by 201 House members, asks Gingrich to help ensure stronger NASA budgets in future years. The effort was initiated by Representatives Dave Weldon (R-FL), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Nick Lampson (D-TX), all of whom represent districts with NASA centers (Kennedy Space Center, Lewis Research Center, and Johnson Space Center, respectively.)

21 Nov 1997

NASA's announcement that it will exchange U.S. astronaut Michael Foale for David Wolf on Mir via a space shuttle flight to be launched tonight follows two hearings on Capitol Hill last week. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin summarized his agency's position today as follows: "We move forward not only because it is safe, but for the important scientific and human experience we can gain only from Mir. As we prepare for the June 1998 launch of the first element of the International Space Station, nothing can beat the hands-on, real-time training aboard Mir."

25 Sep 1997

When the budget process started in late winter, there was uncertainty about how a major HUD rental housing program would affect the FY 1998 budget for the National Science Foundation and NASA. With less than two weeks to go, there is still major uncertainty. House and Senate conferees remain in disagreement about the way to reduce federal housing subsidies. Senate conferees included a solution in their appropriations bill which House conferees are wary of -- both as to process and substance.

17 Sep 1997

Senate floor debate on S. 1034, the VA/HUD Appropriations bill took place on July 21-22 (see FYI #94.) Significant discussion centered on an amendment by Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR) to terminate the Space Station. Bumpers has offered a similar amendment each year since 1992, without success. In arguing for his space station termination amendment this year (which ultimately failed), Bumpers made use of statements and testimony opposing the station by The American Physical Society.

11 Aug 1997

With Tuesday's Senate passage of H.R. 2158, the VA/HUD appropriations Bill, House and Senate conferees now need to meet to reconcile their versions into a final bill. The two versions have very different report language on NASA: The Senate would provide funding equal to the amount of the President's request, while the House would give $148 million above the request.

24 Jul 1997

As the two Russians and one American aboard the MIR space station struggle with repairs to the damaged craft (see FYI #81), here on Earth NASA continues to struggle with concerns over cost and schedule for construction of the International Space Station (ISS.)

2 Jul 1997

At two recent Senate hearings, NASA's FY 1998 budget request of $13.5 billion - although $200 million below FY 1997 funding - was treated as good news in comparison with last year's projected FY 1998 budget. In a May 6 Senate VA/HUD Appropriations hearing, Chairman Christopher Bond (R-MO) remarked that although the space agency was the only major agency in his subcommittee's jurisdiction requesting a reduction, it was of a size "we and NASA can live with."

8 May 1997

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