Support For The Senate Bill

Most of the recent action alerts on space policy have been vociferous opposition to the House bill, but today the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has come out with one strongly in support of the (already passed) Senate version, urging the House to vote for it, while not mentioning their own odious work. This seems like a good strategy, since it sounds more positive. Of course, the action message has always, for the most part, been to call your congressperson and have them support the Senate version, but now it’s the focus of the alert itself, rather than just instructions what to do.

[Update a few minutes later]

It looks like Gordon is waving the white flag:

House Science and Technology Committee chairman Bart Gordon issued a statement Monday afternoon saying that he anticipated the full House to take up the Senate bill on Wednesday. “It has become clear that there is not time remaining to pass a Compromise bill through the House and the Senate,” he says in the statement. “For the sake of providing certainty, stability, and clarity to the NASA workforce and larger space community, I felt it was better to consider a flawed bill than no bill at all as the new fiscal year begins.”

This is the first halfway-good policy news I’ve heard since the new budget was released in February. An undirected CR would have wasted billions and months more.

10 thoughts on “Support For The Senate Bill”

  1. An undirected CR would have wasted billions and months more.

    But it could also have killed SDLV, thus avoiding years of more waste.

  2. There are other “practicable” ways of killing SDLV, even with the Senate bill (which is merely an authorization). It may be that the Deficit Commission will do us the favor.

  3. I certainly hope so. It’s also good to note that all three options (Senate, House, clean CR) are bad, but none of them is the end of the world either. As someone you don’t like might have said: whatever happens, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

  4. Does anyone know of a link to a good summary of the Senate bill? If I remember correctly it offers some hope for advanced technology funding?

  5. Rand,

    [[[This is the first halfway-good policy news I’ve heard since the new budget was released in February. ]]]

    I agree this is good news as I have been supporting the Senate bill since it was released.

  6. I think Bill has it right; Chairman Gordon is conceding this battle, but not the war. The very last sentence of Gordon’s Science Committee press release is “I will continue to advocate to the Appropriators for the provisions in the Compromise language.” I have no data on the liklihood, but a completed NASA Appropriation bill is certainly technically possible during Congress’s “lame duck” session after the election, when Gordon will still be a member of Congress. And yes, even if, as seems more likely, that Appropriation doesn’t happen till the new Congress next year, he could certainly continue to advocate those positions as a lobbyist.

    More to the point, Bart Gordon was just one member of an economic/political bloc that, on evidence of how hard this fight has been, retains considerable influence. Call it the “NASA Old Guard”, for lack of a better term… The Old Guard has suffered a setback, but it’s unlikely to just fade away anytime soon. One reason I consider the subtler differences between the Senate and House version NASA Authorizations so critical is that they will set much of the future framework for this fight as it continues.

    It does look very much like we’ve won an important victory today, yes. (Though the fat lady ain’t sung yet; the Senate version still needs to win a 2/3rds House vote, on the likely assumption it’ll be considered fast-track under “suspension of the rules”.) Specifically, we’ve won a more favorable battlefield for the continuing fight over the future of NASA. Yaaaaayyy, team! But in the words of the immortal Yogi, it ain’t over till it’s over.

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