Culberson, Smith Reintroduce Space Leadership Preservation Act

Culberson, Smith Reintroduce Space Leadership Preservation Act

Two key Republicans introduced a bill yesterday to make the NASA Administrator position a 10-year appointment and creating a Board of Directors to oversee the agency.  The Space Leadership Preservation Act is similar to legislation introduced in the past two Congresses that was not enacted.

The new bill, H.R. 2093, is sponsored by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee that funds NASA.  Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that authorizes NASA activities, is a co-sponsor, along with Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX).  The bill was jointly referred to the House SS&T Committee and the House Budget Committee.

The bill is similar to legislation introduced by Culberson in the past two Congresses (H.R. 823 in the 113th Congress) and to language that was proposed as part of the 2013 NASA authorization bill, but deleted during committee consideration of that bill (which never reached the House floor in any case).  The House SS&T committee held a hearing on H.R. 823 on February 27, 2013 at which Culberson and Frank Wolf, then chairman of the CJS subcommittee, testified, along with Eliot Pulham of the Space Foundation and retired aerospace industry executive Tom Young.

At quick glance, the new bill returns to recommending a 10-year appointment for the NASA Administrator, instead of 6 years as in H.R. 823.  The 10-year term was part of the original bill in the 112th Congress (H.R. 6491).  The new bill does not include language that was in H.R. 823 limiting to 45 days the time that the Deputy Administrator could serve as Acting Administrator.



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