Space Policy Events for the Week of February 11-15, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of February 11-15, 2013

The following space policy-related events may be of interest in the week ahead.  The House and Senate both are in session this week.

During the Week

The sequester, due to go in to effect just 19 days from today (Sunday), will dominate Washington politics this week.  The sequester already is law.  Unless Congress changes the law before midnight February 28, it will go into effect, cutting $85 billion in federal spending in FY2013 alone.   The amount is split roughly equally between defense and non-defense spending.   Defense budget accounts would be reduced by 9.4 percent, while non-defense accounts (such as NASA and NOAA) by 8.2 percent. The cuts would have to be absorbed by September 30, the end of FY2013.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill, President Obama and his Cabinet secretaries, and trade groups ranging from the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities are raising the warning flags about the dire consequences of such large cuts occurring in such a short period of time, but Democrats and Republicans seem no closer to finding a solution. 

AIA and several other organizations will hold a joint press conference on Monday morning at the National Press Club.  On Tuesday, President Obama is expected to address the issue in his State of the Union address.  On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing broadly on the impacts of sequestration and the House Education and Workforce Committee will hold one on employers’ responsibilities under the WARN Act to notify employees of potential layoffs.  The Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee will hold hearings specifically on the impact of the sequester — and of a full year Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY2013, a likely possibility — on DOD on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. 

The House and Senate both will be in recess next week.  When they return, only four days remain to take action to postpone the sequester again or abolish it in favor of some other plan to rein in the deficit.

Those and other space policy-related events are listed below.

Monday, February 11

Tuesday, February 12

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 12-13

Wednesday, February 13

Thursday, February 14

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