Space Policy Events for the Week of July 22-27, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of July 22-27, 2013

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

During the Week

The FY2014 Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 2397) may come to the House floor this week, although that also was the  expectation last week and it did not.  It is scheduled for consideration by the House Rules Committee (the last step before going to the floor) on Monday at 5:00 pm ET; 165 amendments have been filed, only one of which appears to directly affect space activities — it would add $10 million for Operationally Responsive Space.   Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, lamented last week that there are six appropriations bills that have cleared his committee and are awaiting floor action.  He worries that time is running out before the beginning of FY2014 on October 1.  The House is scheduled to meet for only 17 more days between now and then (July 22-25, July 30-August 2, September 9-12, September 17-20, and September 30).  Among the other bills waiting for action are Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS), which includes NASA and NOAA, and Transportation-HUD (T-HUD), which includes the FAA and its Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  (The T-HUD bill, H.R. 2610,  is also on the Rules Committee’s schedule for July 22, but it is not included in the Majority Leader’s list of legislation headed to the floor this week.)

Of course, that’s just the House.  Bills must also pass the Senate — and it may consider its T-HUD bill this week — and the two chambers are working with widely different spending totals, so reaching compromise will be extremely difficult.  There is no expectation that Congress will complete the appropriations process by October 1, which will mean a Continuing Resolution (CR), which is likely to continue spending at the FY2013 levels that were subject the sequester and other across-the-board spending cuts.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned his civilian workforce last week that the one-day-a-week furloughs that recently began are likely to continue next year and layoffs are another possibility.

Monday, July 22

Tuesday, July 23

Tuesday-Wednesday, July 23-24

Wednesday, July 24

Wednesday-Friday, July 24-26

Thursday-Saturday, July 25-27

Note:  This article was updated at 6:15 pm ET July 21, adding the nomination hearing on Wednesday and the possibility of Senate action on the T-HUD bill.

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