Just a quick review–this Act is to support America’s human space flight program and is the result of efforts by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Kay Hutchison, respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Science & Transportation, and Senators Bill Nelson and David Vitter, respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Science & Space. That is a long way of saying that this proposed Act has strong bipartisan support.
With the House Science Authorization Committee busy with the data dump from the White House in response to the Committee’s request for pre-decisional information on the genesis of the White House’s proposed changes to NASA, its Senate counter-part is likely taking the lead, at least for now, in crafting legislation. Senator Mikulski and Representative Mollohan, respectively the Chairmen of the Senate and House Science Appropriations Subcommittees, have in the past openly stated that they wanted to work closely with the Authorizing Committees on re-writing the White House’s proposed changes to NASA. In short, this proposed Act is likely to be very close to the final one that arrives on the President’s desk.
Yes, the White House and its “space” staffers will fight the efforts of Rockefeller, et. al. So far, the Administration has had great difficulty in forming a coherent plan for hunan space flight. So, one must be forgiven for assuming that the White House will likely be no more successful in derailing this legislation than it has been in gaining support for its own human space flight proposals.