July 21,2010

The Honorable Bart Gordon, Chairman
Science and Technology Committee
232 1 Raybum House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 205 15

Dear Chairman Gordon:

We write today to express our strong support for key portions of the President’s 2011 proposal for NASA’s budget. Funding for research and technology programs drives the space programs forward and ensures that NASA continues to be an innovative exploration agency.

We are concerned that the draft NASA Reauthorization bill you recently released and have scheduled for a markup this week will reduce funding for programs that are important to NASA’s mission and the nation’s competitiveness. These reductions will have a serious effect on California’s workforce and economy, and that of many states. We urge you to increase funding for the Exploration Technology Program, Robotic Precursor Spacecraft Program, and Commercial Cargo and Crew Programs. These are areas that should be the cornerstone of NASA’s new direction because they will drive innovation and job creation across the nation.

We are pleased to see significant funding included in the draft bill for the Space and Earth Science Program, as well as the Space Technology Program. Funding for these programs is critical to our country’s ability to sustain an affordable space program and will lead to technology developments that can help us address climate change, predict natural disasters and grow our economy.

As you may know, the IFPTE federal employees union has expressed concern about the absence of some workforce provisions, in particular the failure to provide RIF protection or to reform the use of term positions. During a time of economic recovery, we need to do everything we can to preserve and protect NASA’s high-quality jobs and the workers who perform them.

The President’s NASA budget replaces an over-budget and behind-schedule Constellation Program with a sustainable architecture that will take the Agency in a new direction enabling NASA to explore more of our universe. It offers a serious plan to reduce the cost of access to the International Space Station, without exporting that responsibility to other nations. We believe this new direction is good for the country and that California’s NASA centers and those across the country can help take NASA to new and exciting destinations. We hope to work with you as you move this important legislation forward.


Anna Eshoo
Zoe Lofgren
Adam Schiff
Sam Farr
Michael Honda
Mike Thompson
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Judy Chu
Susan Davis
Jim Costa
Xavier Becerra
Laura Richardson
Jane Harman