The 60-member House Appropriations Committee will soon vote on whether or not to block the recent NASA administration attempt to enforce the Anti-Definciency Act (ADA), requiring contractors to set aside funds for potential contract termination costs. At issue with the House (and Senate) is whether or not this move is an attempt to dodge language in prior legislation that prevents the termination of Constellation, the program of record, during FY2010. From Houston Chronicle article Does moon plan have a pulse?:
After four months of word wars, news conferences and letter writing challenging Obama’s new direction for the space agency, lawmakers will finally be voting for the first time on spending for NASA for the next fiscal year.
The House Appropriations Committee panel with jurisdiction over NASA will vote on whether to continue financing the Constellation program, launched by the Bush administration in 2004 after the loss of shuttle Columbia.
“We have reached a pivotal moment in this debate,” said Culberson, a member of the appropriations subcommittee. “Members of Congress must ask themselves: Do we maintain American leadership in space, or do we cede the high ground and put our manned space program on indefinite hiatus?”