While I appreciate
the time and effort expended by the task force Chairman, Mr. Tom Young, and other members of
the task force, I am concerned that this Administration may be forging the future of human
space policy based on ten weeks of work. NASA has certainly not done itself any favors in
recent years with mismanagement of ISS and other key programs, and I find their
communication with Capitol Hill to be significantly lacking. But that does not eliminate one
key fact-NASA is not solely responsible for the problems it faces today.

This report, in fact,
very directly states that fact, and this must not be overlooked. Section 3.3, page 68 in the
appendix, clearly states that budget caps instituted by the previous Administration are the
greatest single factor in the cost growth of the Space Station program. Indeed, I remember
taking testimoney in this committee in years past where officials said that the cost caps were
going to lead to cost growth in the out years.

I challenge the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) to lay out its role in these past budget increases, and as well describe their proposal for
ISS to become the world-class science lab it was intended to be. OMB has been the driving
force behind NASA’s policy for far too many years, and we now need the White House to
provide substantial leadership for our nation’s manned spaceflight program.

Despite my
strong support for the Bush Administration in many other policy arenas, they have failed to
provide even a minimum level of the leadership needed on civil space policy. Frankly, I haven’t
even gotten a straight answer on who I should call at the White House to voice my concerns
about space policy, and multiple letters on this topic have gone unanswered. So my frustration
increases when I see this type of report, one that was hastily completed, and have every reason
to fear it will serve as the template for OMB’s FY03 plans for NASA’s budget.

We find our
nation on the verge of ending up with a bargain basement Space Station with a 3-person
capability and little real science, rather than a world class research facility. This
administration needs to present to this Committee clear and unequivocal assurances that it
intends to pursue the world class version of ISS, not the limited platform we have today.

OMB needs to provide this Committee with a better understanding of what
policy framework-if any-is used to assess the relative value of ISS, the Space Shuttle, space
science, and aeronautics as the Administration makes budgetary decisions. Only with an
understanding of an overall civil space policy framework can key decisions about ISS be made.

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