Sen. Nelson Calls House Bills “Absolutely Lethal” to Balanced U.S. Space Program

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) intends to introduce a NASA authorization bill July 17 that will recommend spending $18 billion on the U.S. space agency next year — a level that mirrors the amount Senate appropriators included in a spending bill headed for full committee markup July 18.

Speaking at the Future Space Leaders’ Future Space 2013 conference here, the chairman of the Senate Commerce science and space subcommittee blasted his House counterparts for advancing a NASA authorization bill that would be “absolutely lethal” to a balanced space program. 

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is slated to mark up a NASA authorization bill July 18 that would hold the agency’s budget to $16.86 billion — the lowest level since 2007. The House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, approved a commerce, justice, science spending bill July 17 that would fund NASA at $16.6 billion for the 2014 budget year that begins Oct. 1.

Warren Ferster contributed to this story from Washington.

 

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