Palazzo Wins Seat on Key Appropriations Panel

Palazzo Wins Seat on Key Appropriations Panel

Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-MS), who recently captured a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, has been assigned to the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee that funds NASA and NOAA.   He has been serving as chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee’s Subcommittee on Space, which authorizes NASA activities , but his position gives him much more power to determine how much money NASA and NOAA get and how they may spend it.

Palazzo also was assigned to the subcommittees on Agriculture and on Legislative Branch.

Palazzo represents the district that includes NASA’s Stennis Space Center where rocket engines are tested.  He has shown himself to be a strong supporter of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion programs and less than enthusiastic about the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).  He spearheaded a NASA authorization bill two years ago that would have prohibited spending money on ARM and significantly cut NASA’s earth science program.   That bill was approved by his subcommittee and the full committee on partisan lines and never reached the floor for the debate. Since then, he has worked with subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) to craft bipartisan bills — the 2014 NASA Authorization Act and the 2015 NASA Authorization Act — that passed the House, but not the Senate (so far, at least, for 2015).

Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) chairs the CJS subcommittee.  The other Republicans on the CJS subcommittee are Rep. Robert Adeholt (R-AL), John Carter (R-TX), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Martha Roby (R-AL), and David Jolly (R-FL).

Authorization committees like House SS&T set policy and recommend funding levels, but do not actually provide funding.   Money is allocated to federal departments and agencies through appropriations bills.   See our fact sheet What’s a Markup for more information on the distinctions between these types of committees.

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