Space Policy Events for the Week of July 29 – August 2, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of July 29 – August 2, 2013

The following space policy events may be of interest in the week ahead.   The House and Senate are in session this week (and then will be on recess for 5 weeks).

During the Week

As the House and Senate try to complete as much work as possible before their 5-week summer break begins on Friday (returning on September 9), action is expected in committee and on the floor on space policy-related legislation.  Not many legislative days are left before the new fiscal year begins on October 1, so appropriations bills are the focus right now.  The House is scheduled to meet for only 9 days in September (September 9-12, September 17-20,  and September 30).  (The Senate will be in session from September 9 through the end of the month.)

On Monday, the Senate will resume consideration of its FY2014 T-HUD appropriations bill (S. 1243) that funds, among other things, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST).   The outcome of that debate is viewed as a bellwether on how other appropriations bills may fare in the Senate where long-standing partisan divides on deficit reduction are taking unusual turns.  Senate Republicans are less unified than they have been recently on insisting that appropriations bills adhere to the strict top-line limit set by the House Budget Resolution ($967 billion).  The Senate Budget Resolution allows $91 billion more — $1.058 trillion — in spending for FY2014.  A sufficient number of Senate Republicans voted to allow the T-HUD bill to come to the floor for debate nevertheless, and on Thursday prevented it from being sent back to committee.  The outcome of this debate may be instructive.   Meanwhile, the House will begin debate on its version of the T-HUD bill (H.R. 2610) on Tuesday.  The Senate version provides $1 million more than the President’s request for AST ($17.01 million versus $16.01 million), while the House version provides much less ($14.16 million).

On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to markup its version of the 2013 NASA authorization bill (S. 1317), which is quite different from its House counterpart (H.R. 2687).  Also on Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee will markup its version of the FY2014 defense bill, followed by full committee markup on Thursday.  The House passed its version of the bill (H.R. 2397) last week.   (To keep up to date on the status of space policy-related legislation, see our fact sheet: 113th Congress Legislative Checklist.)

Meanwhile, off the Hill, the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) and many of its committees will be meeting throughout the week at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Monday-Tuesday, July 29-30

Monday-Wednesday, July 29-31

Tuesday, July 30

Wednesday, July 31

Wednesday-Thursday, July 31-August 1

Thursday, August 1



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