Events of Interest: Week of February 13-18, 2012

Events of Interest: Week of February 13-18, 2012

The following events may be of interest in the coming week.  Click on the links below or on our right menu, or check our full calendar also on the right menu, for more details. 

The House and Senate are both in session this week.  Times, dates and witnesses for congressional hearings are subject to change.  Check the relevant committee’s website for up to date information.

During the Week

Release of President Obama’s budget request for FY2013 will dominate conversation in Washington this week, even though many politicians and pundits already have declared it “dead on arrival.”   Champions of defense spending, for example, are criticizing the depth of proposed Pentagon cuts even as Republicans insist that the deficit must be dramatically reduced by cutting federal spending and not raising taxes.  The President’s Budget Request (PBR) does not reflect “sequestration,” the poison pill Congress and the White House included in the Budget Control Act last summer that would impose even more stringent cuts on both defense and non-defense discretionary spending.   The failure of last year’s congressional supercommittee to reach agreement on other methods of cutting the deficit officially meant that sequestration should be in effect, but no one at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue wants to swallow that pill.  Ignoring it appears to be the game plan of the moment.  The shrill partisan debate that characterized Washington last year seems destined to be repeated this year, amplified by election year politics.   What will happen to space program funding is anyone’s guess.  Nonetheless, release of the budget tomorrow is the opening shot of the FY2013 budget debate.  Many departments and agencies are holding briefings tomorrow or later in the week.  Noted below are those most strongly related to space policy.

This is also the final week of the WRC-12 conference in Geneva, Switzerland.  The last week is usually the most interesting — where major deals are cut.  We’ll keep you posted of anything that might dramatically affect allocation of frequencies or orbital slots for satellites.

Monday, February 13

  • President Obama speaks to students at Northern Virginia Community College about the FY2013 Budget Request, Annandale, VA, 11:00 am ET, officially kicking off this year’s debate
  • White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Government Printing Office (GPO) release the FY2013 budget request at GPO, 11:15 am. 
  • OMB and other White House officials hold press conference on FY2013 budget request,  White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building, 12:30 pm ET
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) briefing on R&D and STEM Education in the FY2013 budget request, AAAS auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., 1:30-2:30 pm ET
  • NASA FY2013 budget briefing, NASA Headquarters, 2:00 pm ET, followed by individual teleconference briefings by the mission directorates and the chief technologist, see this NASA press release for details but HEOMD is at 3:30, SMD at 4:30, OCT at 5:15, and ARMD at 6:00).  NASA budget information will be posted on the NASA budget website at 1:00 pm ET.
  • DOD FY2013 budget briefing, the Pentagon, 2:00 pm ET, followed by individual briefings by the Army, Navy and Air Force (see this DOD press release for details but Air Force is at 4:45)
  • Kennedy Space Center Director Cabana available at KSC press site to discuss FY2013 budget request, Kennedy Space Center , FL, 4:15 pm ET

Tuesday, February 14

Wednesday, February 15

Wednesday-Thursday, February 15-16

Thursday, February 16

Friday, February 17

Friday-Saturday, February 17-18

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