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

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

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

During the Week

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is expected to introduce the Senate Democrats’ version of the FY2013 Continuing Resolution (CR) on Monday, with floor consideration possible as early as Wednesday.   Rumors of what will be in the bill are just that, rumors, and these have short lifetimes, but for what it is worth, the most recent betting seemed to be that she would try to incorporate three more of the 12 regular appropriations bills into the CR.  The House-passed CR, which would fund the government for the rest of FY2013 (through September 30), included two of the 12 regular appropriations bills — defense and military construction/veterans affairs. The Mikulski bill is rumored to add these three: Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS, which includes NASA and NOAA); Agriculture; and Homeland Security.  The goal does not seem to give the additional agencies more money — it’s said the total amount of funding in her bill is the same as what passed the House last week, $984 billion, the sequester-adjusted total for FY2013 — but to give them more flexiblity in how to spend it. That is the big complaint about the sequester, not that it cuts too much money (though there certainly are people who would argue that), but that it does not allow cuts to specific activities.  It cuts every activity by roughly the same amount regardless of priority or merit.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate Budget Committees also are expected to reveal their separate budget resolutions for FY2014 and beyond.  The Obama Administration still has not sent its budget request for FY2014 to Capitol Hill, nor publicly stated when it will do so.  The latest rumor there is that the DOD request, at least, will not be submitted until April 8.  Usually, the entire budget request for all departments and agencies is submitted at the same time, but there is no way to tell at this point if that will be true this year.  Meanwhile, President Obama is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday to talk with Representatives and Senators on their own turf about a long term budget strategy to avoid the crisis-dominated pattern of recent years.

Monday, March 11

Tuesday, March 12

Wednesday, March 13

Thursday, March 14


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