Today we are here to review NASA’s fiscal year 2001 budget request concerning its Aero-Space Technology Enterprise. I’m
pleased that NASA’s new plan for developing cheap access to space responds to many of the concerns we had expressed in the past. This budget significantly changes NASA’s approach to developing new RLV technologies by focusing on competition and
technology development instead of prototypes for operational vehicles.

It was always my belief that the Administration made a mistake in hoping NASA and industry would develop a commercial shuttle
replacement simply by funding one experimental demonstrator. By resisting the philosophy of “build a little, test a little”, NASA
had put all of our “cheap access to space” eggs into one fragile technology basket. Well, we intend to look very closely at that
fragility, and the recent problems that have plagued the X-33 Program. Nevertheless, given the substantial investment made
towards this program, I hope that the X-33 will continue to advance our understanding related to RLV technology, as one option
among many.

Turning to the issue of aeronautics, NASA’s research continues to provide valuable public benefits as it seeks to enhance safety
and capacity in our general aviation and commercial air transport industries. However, I want to raise a note of alarm over the fact
that the number of domestic major airframers has been reduced to one, and to some degree I think that presents a problem for
NASA as it undertakes future research projects having application for large civil transports. No longer would NASA be working
on behalf of an industry or for the greater public good; rather, one could argue they’re doing R&D work that benefits only one
corporate entity. Is this an appropriate use of taxpayer money? That question needs to be answered. It wasn’t too many years ago
that Lockheed, McDonnell Douglas, Martin Marietta, and Fairchild built civil transports for domestic and international markets.

Overall, I believe the new initiatives contained within NASA’s Aero-Space technology Enterprise enable us to begin seeing light at
the end of the proverbial tunnel. This is accomplished, in large part, by turning away from old-style industrial policies, in which
the selection of winners and losers most often results in impeding our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. By supporting NASA’s
program in aerospace technology, we promote private sector competition for the good of the country.