House Authorizing Committee Chairman Praises Commercial Crew Compromise

House Authorizing Committee Chairman Praises Commercial Crew Compromise

The deal struck between Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and NASA over how to conduct future phases of the commercial crew program won another thumbs up today.   Wolf’s counterpart on the House committee that authorizes NASA’s activities, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), praised the agreement.

Hall said in a press release that the compromise “answers many lingering concerns voiced by Members of this Committee … on uncertainties plaguing the program’s cost, and its ability to mandate crew safety design features.”

Hall chairs the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, an authorization committee that provides policy guidance and recommends funding levels.   Wolf chairs the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee that actually provides money (authorization committees make only recommendations for funding levels).  Wolf’s office released an exchange of letters yesterday where he and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden laid out the key elements of their agreement.

Earlier today, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the top Republican on both the Senate authorization committee and Senate Appropriations CJS subcommittee also endorsed the deal.

No public statements by House or Senate Democrats reacting to the agreement appear to have been made yet.  Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been highly critical of the commercial crew program since it became a centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s human spaceflight policy in 2010.


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