WASHINGTON – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, today applauded the increased funding levels for NASA recommended by President Bush in the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget request. She stated the proposed 3.2 percent increase in NASA’s budget over last year is an important indication of administration support for NASA and the Vision for Space Exploration:

“I am pleased the president has recommended a 3.2 percent increase in NASA’s budget over last year, including increased funding for development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle. I will be working closely with my subcommittee members as we examine the details of the proposed budget in the course of our oversight of NASA.  Though the total amount requested is less than the levels authorized by Congress for Fiscal Year 2007, as a whole, the budget request demonstrates significant support for NASA and the Vision for Space Exploration.

“I am also pleased to see increased funding for activities to promote research, science and engineering opportunities and education.  The American Competitiveness Initiative is an exciting new feature in the budget request.  I will be examining various opportunities to blend the initiative’s proposed expanded research with new opportunities made possible by the designation of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory which is recognized in this budget request.

“I look forward to working with the administration, NASA and my colleagues in Congress as we determine the best allocation of resources and support for programs that will pay large dividends for America’s future.”