Gordon: House to Vote on Senate NASA Authorization Bill Wednesday

Gordon: House to Vote on Senate NASA Authorization Bill Wednesday

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, says that the House will vote on the Senate version of the NASA authorization bill on Wednesday.

According to a statement on the committee’s website, Rep. Gordon remains concerned about some of the provisions in the Senate bill, but with time running short, it is “better to consider a flawed bill than no bill at all as the new fiscal year begins.”

He added that he will continue to push for the provisions in the version of the bill he released last week through the appropriations process. He listed the following as his concerns about the Senate bill:

  • it has an “unfunded mandate” to fund the space shuttle through the end of FY2011 at a cost of $500 million, but does not say where the money will come from “all but ensuring that other important NASA programs will be cannibalized”;
  • it is “overly prescriptive” on the design of a rocket “while being silent on the safety of the vehicle”; and
  • it does not “provide a timetable for a government backup” to commercial crew services, and while he is hopeful commercial crew will be available on the time schedule promised, “I am wary of being completely dependent on them, because if they fail, we will be dependent on the Russians for longer than absolutely necessary.”

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