Fate of FY2009 Funding for Commercial Crew and Cargo Still Unclear

Fate of FY2009 Funding for Commercial Crew and Cargo Still Unclear

The House Appropriations Committee published a list of terminations and reductions in the FY2010 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill last week. A notable item was a reduction of $113.9 million for commercial crew and cargo in FY2009.

To reduce or eliminate existing appropriations is called a rescission. Just as a law must be passed to appropriate funds, a law also must be passed to rescind them. Rescissions are included in the CJS bill (see sec. 529 of the bill), but none is for NASA. Thus, the meaning of the funding cut listed by the House Appropriations Committee remains unclear. For FY2010, the committee recommends the same amount for commercial crew and cargo as was requested, $39.1 million.

For an excellent explanation of the appropriations process, including rescissions, see CRS Report 97-694, The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction, by Sandy Streeter, available through the House’s website.

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