Space Policy Events of Interest for the Week of February 25-March 1, 2013 – UPDATE

Space Policy Events of Interest for the Week of February 25-March 1, 2013 – UPDATE

UPDATE, February 25:  Confirms the Dennis Tito press conference on Wednesday and adds two NASA science briefings on Wednesday (black holes) and Thursday (Van Allen Probes).

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

During the Week

This is it!  Sequester week.  Unless Congress passes a bill and the President signs it into law before the end of the week, the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester will go into effect.  The sequester requires $85 billion in federal spending to be cut by September 30 and though just about everyone agrees it could have long-lasting, damaging effects on the economy, both sides show no sign of compromise.  Each simply continues to blame the other for the mess.

A number of congressional hearings have been and will be held on the impact on various agencies.  We learned ourselves this past week how difficult it is to penetrate the budget fog to accurately report that impact because it is caught up in other budget whirlwinds like how Congress will fund agencies for the last 6 months of FY2013.  Agencies are now operating under a 6-month Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on March 27.  The betting is that Congress will extend that for the rest of FY2013, passing a “full year CR” that could have even more dramatic consequences for certain government-funded programs. 

One might wonder why Congress and the White House do not at least postpone the sequester until a decision is made on the rest of FY2013 and settle those two matters simultaneously, yet holding this Damoclean sword over the head of the nation’s economy for even one extra day seems unpalatable, too.

Meanwhile, the House Science, Space and Technology’s Space Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday to discuss the Culberson-Wolf Space Leadership Preservation Act to restructure NASA so that it has a Board of Directors and an administrator with a fixed term.  Reps. Wolf and Culberson will testify, along with Tom Young and Elliot Pulham.   The bill was introduced in the last Congress and is expected to be reintroduced soon.

Here is a list of all the space-policy related events we know about so far.

Monday, February 25

Tuesday, February 26

Wednesday, February 27

Thursday, February 28

Thursday-Friday, February 28 – March 1

Friday, March 1


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