More House Committee Action on DOD Authorization, NASA/NOAA Appropriations This Week

More House Committee Action on DOD Authorization, NASA/NOAA Appropriations This Week

Today, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) released the “chairman’s mark” for the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will be marked up on Wednesday.   Also, the House Appropriations Committee announced that it will markup the FY2015 bill that includes NASA and NOAA on Thursday.

The HASC Chairman’s mark is the text of the bill (H.R. 4435) that the committee will use as the basis for amendments at Wednesday’s markup that begins at 10:00 am ET.  Typically these HASC markups are lengthy affairs lasting hours and hours as amendments are offered, debated, adopted, rejected, or withdrawn.

The text of the chairman’s mark appears to contain all of the recommendations adopted by the Strategic Forces subcommittee last week, although the $220 million added by the subcommittee for developing a U.S. alternative to Russia’s RD-180 rocket engines is reduced by $23 million.   It also —

  • reduces by $20 million the requested $40 million for a weather satellite system follow-on and reallocates that amount to launch of the final satellite in the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) series.  The Air Force launched the next to last DMSP last month, but was not necessarily planning to launch the final one (DMSP-20) and instead focus on developing a new system.  The bill would require that it be launched.
  • adds $135 million to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle procurement request to pay for launching DMSP-20, noting that the money is for “DMSP 20 launch/additional competition launch.”
  • adds $30 million (none was requested) for Operationally Responsive Space (ORS).
  • adds $10 million to the $9.5 million requested for Space Situation Awareness Systems.

Generally, the other space programs in the NDAA are funded at their requested levels.

Separately, the House Appropriations Committee will markup the FY2015 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill on Thursday.  The CJS subcommittee marked up the bill last week, adding a significant amount of money for NASA.  Specifics on how much is in the bill for NOAA’s satellite programs were not released last week other than to say that the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R series are fully funded.

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