FY2023 Funding Signed, Sealed and Delivered

FY2023 Funding Signed, Sealed and Delivered

President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act into law today, finalizing funding for FY2023. The $1.7 trillion legislation funds the departments and agencies that execute space programs — NASA, NOAA, DOD, and the FAA — plus all the others in the discretionary part of the U.S. budget through September 30, 2023.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)

Whether or not Congress would clear a FY2023 funding bill before the end of the 117th Congress was a nail-biter. House Republicans including Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, declined to negotiate hoping to delay action until they take control next week when the 118th Congress begins.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, saw things differently. He and his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) worked out the deal that passed the Senate last Thursday and the House on Friday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Leahy and Shelby are both retiring. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) are expected to succeed them. Granger will become chair of House Appropriations with DeLauro as Ranking Member. It’s the first time the top spots on both Appropriations Committees will be held by women.

It took several days for clerks to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on the final text of the bill (H.R. 2617) and send it to the White House. The President, who is on vacation with his family in St. Croix, signed it today thanking “Representative DeLauro, Speaker Pelosi, Senators Leahy and Shelby, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, and many others for their leadership.”

In terms of space funding:

  • The U.S. Space Force got $26.3 billion, an increase not only over FY2022 ($18.1 billion), but more than the $24.5 billion requested.
  • NASA received $25.4 billion, a boost over FY2022’s $24.0 billion, but less than the $25.9 billion the Administration wanted for FY2023.
  • The Department of Transportation’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, part of the FAA (FAA/AST), got $37.9 million in the Operations account, the main source of funds for personnel who conduct licensing and other regulatory activities. That’s $5.4 million more than FY2022, but less than the $42.5 million requested. Two related accounts received a total of $9.7 million compared to the $15.7 million requested.
  • The Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commerce, part of NOAA, got $70.0 million, a substantial increase over its $16.0 million FY2022 level, but less than the $87.7 million requested.
  • NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) division that manages satellite programs received $376 million for Operations, Research and Facilities (ORF) and $1.4 billion for Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC). Both were cuts to the request: $409 million for ORF and $1.9 billion for PAC.

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