Washington, D.C.  House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today joined House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in praising passage of H.R. 2262, the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 or SPACE Act. Almost 50 Democrats joined Republicans to pass the bill with broad bipartisan support, 284-133.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “America has always led because it’s in our nature to lead. We crossed over the mountains of the Appalachians and into the Great Plains. We climbed the Rockies to the golden coast of California and beyond, creating a nation in this land that has far surpassed all others in truth, hope, and liberty. We are a beacon of freedom and human dignity to every person that longs for the right to choose their own future. And we are a force for good unlike anything this world has ever known.

“And yet, in space, we are losing our ability to lead. We once stood up to the challenge of the Soviet’s Sputnik and made it to the moon, but today, our astronauts use Russian rockets and other nations are working to put people on Mars and beyond.

“But we must go beyond. We must face the great unknown with that American spirit of adventure and hope.  To paraphrase President Kennedy, we must lead mankind into space not because it is easy, but because it is hard and because that goal brings out the very best of our nation. 

“I stand here before you today, Mr. Chairman, presenting a bill. This bill asks us to make a decision: Do we concede our future to one of managed decline where others lead, or do we make a future where America and her people guide us in our journey to the stars?”

Chairman Lamar Smith: “Thanks go to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, an honorary member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee for sponsoring this important legislation. This bill will encourage the private sector to launch rockets, take risks, and shoot for the heavens.

“H.R. 2262, the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, or SPACE Act, facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space sector. It creates more stable regulatory conditions and improves safety, which in turn attracts private investment. The SPACE Act secures American leadership in space and fosters the development of advanced space technologies.

“This bill is the product of over three years of work, numerous committee hearings, and input from industry, education groups, and grassroots citizen advocacy groups. Virtually every stakeholder group has supported this bill.

“H.R. 2262 will keep America at the forefront of aerospace technology, promote American jobs, reduce red tape, promote safety, and inspire the next generation of explorers.” 

The bill represents substantial and necessary updates to the Commercial Space Launch Act, which gives guidance to the growing commercial space industry. It received broad support from space community stakeholders. 

In addition to McCarthy and Smith, the SPACE Act was introduced with the support of the following cosponsors:  Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.).

The SPACE Act also included three additional bills passed out of the House Science Committee, including:  H.R. 2261, the “Commercial Remote Sensing Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.); H.R. 2263, the “Office of Space Commerce Act” introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.); H.R. 1508, the “Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).