What's Happening in Space Policy December 8-12, 2014

What's Happening in Space Policy December 8-12, 2014

Here is our list of space policy-related events for the week of December 8-12, 2014 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session.

During the Week

This well could be the final week of the 113th Congress.  If it can pass an appropriations bill to fund the government after December 11, when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires, and the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), this Congress will close up shop.  The new 114th Congress, with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, is expected to convene on January 6, 2015.

If all goes according to the plans of House and Senate leadership, this week Congress will pass a “cromnibus.” That’s a combination of a CR and an omnibus appropriations bill.  The idea is that Congress will pass an omnibus appropriations bill combining 11 of the 12 regular appropriations bills (including Defense and Commerce-Justice-Science) to fund most government agencies through September 30, 2015.   The exception is funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which includes immigration.   As a protest against President Obama’s immigration executive order, DHS would be funded only by a CR for a short period of time, probably through some time in January when Republicans control both the House and Senate and they have more power to engage the Obama White House.  A cromnibus could be good news for DOD, NASA and NOAA, providing money for the rest of FY2015.  NASA, in particular, could get a significant increase compared to President Obama’s request if the end result follows what the House passed in May and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved in June.

Some Tea Party Republicans want their leaders to take a stronger stance against the President’s immigration executive order, but at the moment it appears that House and Senate Republican leaders are more concerned about avoiding a government shutdown than scoring political points on immigration.  They seem content to wait three weeks until they control the Senate as well as the House to fight that battle.

Also, the Senate is expected to pass the compromise version of the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the House last week.  It has a number of national security space provisions, including prohibiting the purchase of Russian RD-180 rocket engines after the current contract expires unless certain conditions are met.

Also coming up this week is the 9th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law on Wednesday.  This year’s theme is “Non-Traditional Commercial Space Activities: Legal and Poiicy Challenges, Opportunities and Ways Forward.”   

That’s the same day the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on the status of NASA’s Orion and Space Launch System programs.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday evening are listed below.

Monday, December 8

Tuesday, December 9

Wednesday, December 10

Wednesday-Thursday, December 10-11

Thursday, December 11

Thursday-Friday, December 11-12

User Comments

SpacePolicyOnline.com has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.