NASA to Get $18.485 Billion for FY2011; See Our Updated Fact Sheet

NASA to Get $18.485 Billion for FY2011; See Our Updated Fact Sheet

We have updated our fact sheet on the status of NASA’s FY2011 appropriations. The update reflects the compromise agreement reached by President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and House Speaker Boehner last Friday (April 8) and the details determined by appropriators and released on Tuesday (April 12).

The bill incorporpating the agreement, H.R. 1473, is scheduled for a vote in the House tomorrow. The House and Senate must pass and the President must sign the bill before the current short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), P.L. 112-8, expires on Friday. Otherwise, another short-term CR will be needed to keep the government operating.

Under the compromise reflected in H.R. 1473, NASA will get $18.485 billion for FY2011. That is $241 million less than its FY2010 appropriations (the level at which it is currently operating), and $515 million less than the President’s request for FY2011. Congress authorized the same level as the President’s request in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act (P.L. 111-267), so the difference between the appropriation and the authorization also is $515 million. (For an explanation of the difference between an authorization and an appropriation, see our What’s a Markup? fact sheet.)

The bill also would relieve NASA of a number of constraints that were included in the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-117) that are still in effect because Congress has not passed an appropriations bill to countermand them. Many limited NASA’s flexibility in shifting money from one program to another. One prevented NASA from terminating the Constellation program or initiating a replacement program until Congress passed a subsequent appropriations act permitting it to do so. That restriction also is eliminated by H.R. 1473.

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