House Committee to Markup NASA Authorization Bill This Week

House Committee to Markup NASA Authorization Bill This Week

Adding to an already busy schedule of action on legislation affecting NASA this week, the full House Science, Space and Technology (SS&T) Committee announced today that it will mark up the 2013 NASA Authorization bill on Thursday morning.

The Space Subcommittee marked up the bill and forwarded it to full committee last week.  

On Thursday, July 18, at 9:15 am ET, the full committee will consider the bill (H.R. 2687).  It would authorize $16.9 billion ($16.865 billion to be more precise) to NASA for FY2014 and FY2015.  That is a significant reduction from the $17.7 billion requested, but higher than what the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee approved last week — $16.6 billion. 

How the proposed authorization and appropriation levels for FY2014 compare with NASA’s FY2013 funding is still a mystery officially since neither NASA nor the congressional appropriations committees that received NASA’s FY2013 operating plan have released the final figures.   A quick look at the final FY2013 appropriations law (P.L. 113-6) would show that NASA received $17.86 billion, but that is before adjustments for the sequester and other across-the-board cuts contained in sections at the end of that law totalling about 7 percent.

During markup of the 2013 NASA authorization bill at subcommittee level last week, Democrats introduced an alternative (H.R. 2616) that would have provided $18.1 billion for NASA and had somewhat different priorities than the Republican version, but it was defeated on a party-line vote.

Authorization bills set policy and recommend funding levels; appropriations bills actually determine how much money an agency like NASA receives.   The full House Appropriations Committee will consider the CJS bill on Wednesday; the Senate Appropriations Committee will markup its version of the CJS bill at subcommittee level on Tuesday and at full committee on Thursday.


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