Washington, DC: Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) today offered an amendment to the FY02 VA-HUD Appropriations bill, which passed the conference
committee unanimously. DeLay’s amendment secured $40 million for the International Space Station’s Crew Return Vehicle. DeLay delivered the following
statement at today’s conference committee meeting:
“I continue to fully support the International Space Station. If America is going to continue leading the world by developing cutting edge technology and breaking
medical research, we can’t lower our sites in space.
“The Senator [Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO)] mentioned the importance of cutting edge technology that comes from NSF (the National Science Foundation).

is no science that’s more cutting edge than NASA’s.
“NASA scientists break barriers in research and push the boundaries of technological advancement. But it’s not going to happen without a 6-person crew.

“The Space Station is the world’s premier lab for sophisticated research. Downsizing our hopes, goals, and aspirations for space exploration is not the answer.
“In fact, the recent Management and Cost Evaluation report issued by Tom Young and his independent task force states that the three-person crew ‘as an end-state
will not achieve the unique research potential of the ISS.’
“I am seriously disappointed that the VA-HUD bill does not include full funding for the International Space Station. I was prepared to offer an amendment to provide
the $75 million that was cut from the President’s request and the House-passed bill.
“Unfortunately, other members of the committee are resisting this approach. I can count votes, and I don’t have the votes.
“I believe we are moving in the wrong direction on the Station. Unless we ensure that it has the capabilities to realize our initial intentions when it was designed, we
will waste America’s investment in the Space Station.

“Since I don’t have the votes to fully fund the Station, the amendment I am offering provides report language directing NASA to use no less than $40 million to
proceed with the Crew Return Vehicle. It is less than I had hoped to do this fiscal year, but I believe it is the best we can accomplish at this time.
“There has been a lot of confusion at NASA. It needs leadership, and it’s been through a tough transition. Hopefully, over the next year we will get leadership at the
agency, and the Administration will develop a vision for space. We need to aim high.”