WASHINGTON — Breaking with its tradition of not commenting on pending legislation, NASA took to the blogosphere July 17 to blast the $16.6 billion NASA budget the House Appropriations commerce, justice, science (CJS) subcommittee marked up last week.

The bill, which the full House Appropriations Committee is marking up this morning, would roll back NASA’s budget to its lowest level since 2007. Adjusted for inflation, it’s the lowest since 1986, as the Planetary Society recently pointed out.

As the House Appropriations Committee prepared to mark up the CJS bill, NASA associate administrator for communications, David Weaver, posted a blog at NASA.gov arguing that the bill “would challenge America’s preeminence in space exploration, technology, innovation, and scientific discovery.”

Weaver’s full post is reproduced here:

Today, the House Appropriations Committee is marking up legislation to provide 2014 appropriations for NASA. While we appreciate the support of the Committee, we are deeply concerned that the bill under consideration would set our funding level significantly below the President’s request. This proposal would challenge America’s preeminence in space exploration, technology, innovation, and scientific discovery. We are especially concerned the bill cuts funding for space technology – the “seed corn” that allows the nation to conduct ever more capable and affordable space missions – and the innovative and cost-effective commercial crew program, which will break our sole dependence on foreign partners to get to the Space Station. The bill will jeopardize the success of the commercial crew program and ensure that we continue to outsource jobs to Russia.

In the coming months, NASA will continue to work with the Congress to move towards legislation that funds a balanced portfolio for NASA to spur economic growth here on Earth and maintain American preeminence in space exploration. 


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Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. He was named senior staff writer in 2004, a position he held...