HSS&T Republicans Propose Killing OCO-2, Other Earth Science Reductions

HSS&T Republicans Propose Killing OCO-2, Other Earth Science Reductions

Republicans on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee (HSS&T) sent in their recommendations on how to cut the budget deficit to the congressional “supercommittee” today. For NASA, the committee recommended $177 million in cuts to NASA’s earth science program, including cancellation of OCO-2.

The supercommittee, composed of 12 members of Congress (six from the House, six from the Senate; six Republicans and six Democrats) are charged with finding $1.2-1.3 trillion in cuts over 10 years from the federal budget. Today was the day for congressional committees to submit their recommendations to the supercommittee. HSS&T Democrats sent a separate letter yesterday. The committee authorizes NASA’s activities and sets policy.

The letter from ten of the HSS&T Republicans, including full committee chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) and four of the five subcommittee chairmen, supported the actions of the House Appropriations Committee on the FY2012 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill that includes NASA, and also recommended reductions of $177 million compared to the FY2012 request as follows:

  • Cancellation of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2), which is being built as a replacement for OCO, lost in a launch failure in 2009;
  • Reducing “Other Missions and Data Analysis” within the Earth Systematic Missions by 20 percent; and
  • Reducing “Venture Class Missions” within Earth System Science Pathfinder Missions by 20 percent.

Changes made by the House Appropriations Committee that specifically received endorsement in the letter were cuts to space technology and commercial crew, and increases for the Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

Yesterday’s letter from HSS&T Democrats, signed by Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), began by saying that it was her understanding from Chairman Hall that the committee would not be providing recommendations to the supercommittee. Her letter spoke in general terms of the need for the supercommittee to support federal science and technology and STEM education, and to consider “serious revenue enhancements” as well as spending cuts.

The supercommittee, formally called the Joint Select Committee on Defiict Reduction, is due to make its recommendations to the House and Senate by November 23.

User Comments

SpacePolicyOnline.com has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.