WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House today approved the conference report
for H.R. 1654, the NASA Authorization Act of 2000. The bill authorizes
appropriations of $42.4 billion for the fiscal years 2000 through 2002.
Rep. Ralph M. Hall (TX), Ranking Democratic Member on the Science
Committee, reacted to the House passage of the conference report: “We hope
that the Senate will expeditiously pass, and the President will then sign,
this conference report. It has been too long since the authorizing
committees in the Congress – the House Science Committee and the Senate
Commerce Committee – have assumed their rightful role in setting policy for
the Nation’s civil space program. We look forward to continuing progress on
NASA issues in the next Congress.”

Rep. Bart Gordon added, “I am pleased that the House has endorsed
the conference report for H.R. 1654, the NASA Authorization Act of 2000.
While not perfect, the bill is a constructive piece of bipartisan
legislation that endorses – and in some cases augments – the
Administration’s funding priorities for NASA. I look forward to its
enactment into law in the near future.”

In addition to fully funding all of NASA’s major programs, including
the International Space Station, Space Shuttle, Space Launch Initiative,
science programs, and aeronautics, the conference report augments the
Administration’s request in a number of areas. These include NASA’s
educational programs – in particular, the National Space Grant College and
Fellowship Program and the Minority University Research and Education
Program. In addition, the bill increases funding for NASA’s research into
aircraft noise reduction and cleaner, more energy-efficient aircraft engine
technology – two critical areas for improving the quality of life around the
nation’s airports.

The next step for H.R. 1654 will be its consideration by the Senate.
H.R. 1654 would be the first NASA Authorization since 1992 if enacted into