The proposed legislation, marked up June 4 by the House Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee, trims $483 million overall from U.S. President Barack Obama's $18.7 billion budget request for NASA next year. The $670 million cut to the 2010 manned exploration request would leave $3.21 billion, which is less than is available for the effort this year.The Augustine committee is yet to meet - but it's obviously Execution first, trial later.
In his opening statement at the markup hearing, Mollohan said the cut should not be viewed as a diminution of the subcommittee's support for NASA's human spaceflight activities. "Rather, it's a deferral 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."
Other recommendations contained in the bill include a $77 million reduction in NASA's proposed space operations budget, which includes the space shuttle and international space station; a $6 million reduction in science; and a $332 million shift in funds from the Cross Agency Support account to a new budget line-item included in the subcommittee's mark. Dubbed Construction and Environmental Compliance, the new account would be funded at $441 million. Congressional aides said the new line item and accompanying funds are aimed at consolidating NASA's various construction efforts into a single pot of money.All the easier to plunder and divert to those with the right connections. That's the Chicago way. The same pattern as has been shown in the Auto industry and elsewhere.
Following the markup, the subcommittee posted on its Web site an exhaustive list of earmarks sought by its members. According to the document, money tapped for NASA earmarks totaled close to $15 million.This is the one area that will show growth. Earmarks - pork for the pork barrel.
I've said before in other articles that NASA is not there to do space exploration - though of it does, that's icing on the cake. No, it's to share money to the right congressional districts. That's changing now - instead it will be going to those with the right connections. And that means the funds have to be diverted from the little work that's actually being done.
No more Icing.