House Passes Senate NASA Bill


AmericaSpace Note: The passage of S. 3729 tonight marks the end of this drama and the beginning of another. The Senate will be back in session on November 12th and the House on November 15th. At that point, the Appropriations Committee of each chamber will begin to craft how fundings is apportioned to NASA. It is here that the ills of S. 3729 spoken of at length during the House floor debate will be adjusted. And should the elections on November 2nd have changed the balance of power, that too will come into play. In other words…the fat lady hasn’t even warmed-up.

The House of Representatives just approved by recorded vote the Senate’s version of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, S. 3729.

With this vote, we can declare that the Obama Administration’s attempt to take NASA out of human space flight has failed. And that is cause for celebration by all who want to see our nation maintain a strong and vibrant national program.

The common theme of the House floor debate on S. 3729 was that while all did not like the Senate Bill, its failings could be addressed by the House Appropriations Committee, as emphasized twice by Rep. Culberson, a member of the full House Appropriations Committee. It was clear that many were not comfortable turning over our nation’s ability to reach low-earth orbit to commercial providers who have never launched astronauts. Or of supporting these companies should they get into the sort of trouble GM and Chrysler.

While the sense of Congress has now been expressed, the fight over the details of our nation’s human space flight program is not done. And that fight will be just as, if not more, vigorous as the one we’ve just witnessed.

What will be interesting is the reaction by NASA’s leadership. Will they both continue to use the Anti-Deficiency Act as a means of strangling Constellation, large parts of which make up the Bill approved by both houses of Congress? Or will NASA’s leadership recognize that the President’s proposal has failed, that Congress has spoken, that it is time to make sure that our human space flight infrastructure and investments are not laid to waste.


  1. The only fight left is how big of a shovel to use to bury our Human Space Flight program. I do truly believe this is the end of America’s leadership in space thanks to Obama, Senator Bill “Judas” Nelson, and his cohort in this betrayal Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas. What a ^%$*(&$# shame!

    • It seems that all of the errors pointed out in crystal clarity by the Columbia Accident Investigation Report have been forgotten. The easy and best solution to maintain our nation’s leadership in human space flight was to give the budget-starved Constellation the additional $3B/year that the Augustine Committee said was necessary to put Constellation on a sustainable path. Instead, a good program has been financially strangled and an industry important to our nation in a myriad of ways deeply harmed all to assuage the egos and vanity of self-annointed policy wonks who sought a crowning achievement rather than doing what was best for the nation.

  2. Well at least Congresswoman Kosmas, who “represents” KSC and sold them out, is running behind in the polls. Her office called a friend of mine today while he was getting ready for his last day at KSC before being laid off asking for his support in the upcoming election. Boy he tore into her and said that he nor anyone in his household would ever support that woman.

  3. I think it’s medicating that politicians learn that their votes really do have consequences. Kosmas thinks that by supporting Nelson’s S. 3729 that the Party will protect her. But it won’t. And so long as the GOP doesn’t nominate a total moron in 2012, FL will definitely not be in the Obama camp. And that will mean the White House. I have spoken to Dems who are horrified that the President, along with those of his Party in Congress unwilling to go against him, are unraveling our HSF program and not supporting extension of the Shuttle when the clearly logical thing is to do just that.

    Space voters need to always remember–elections have consequences.

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