Legislative Update for Space-Related Legislation in the 111th Congress

Legislative Update for Space-Related Legislation in the 111th Congress

We’ve updated our fact sheet on Major Space-Related Legislation in the 111th Congress. You can find it on our left menu under “Our Fact Sheets” or by clicking here. The update reflects HASC action on the FY2011 DOD authorization bill, Senate Judiciary Committee action on a bill to create a new section of the U.S. Code for space laws, and final passage (at last!) of the new version of the Satellite Home Viewer Act. The new Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act is awaiting signature by the President.

As the House prepares to debate its version of the DOD authorization bill this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee is marking up its version. No action yet on a NASA authorization bill or any of the appropriations bills. The latter, in theory at least, must await passage of a joint budget resolution between the House and Senate to set the amount of money each of the subcommittees may spend. The most recent talk in the Senate is hope that its version of the budget resolution will pass by the July 4 recess. The House does not seem to be even that close. Under the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, the budget resolution is supposed to be completed by April 15 of any given year.

As for a NASA authorization bill, House Science and Technology Committee chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) assured Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) at the committee’s hearing this morning that it would not be the last hearing before an authorization bill is brought before that committee. What timetable Chairman Gordon currently has in mind wasn’t stated. The status of a Senate version of the bill similarly is unclear.

Not sure of the difference between an authorization and an appropriation? See our “What’s A Markup ” Fact Sheet, always at your fingertips on our left menu under “Our Fact Sheets.”

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