- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined a group of Republican senators, notably Orrin Hatch of Utah, in an Aug. 2 letter to Bolden and OMB Director Jacob Lew also urging quick action on SLS. But that letter, co-signed by Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo, James Risch, and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), objects to the call for a propulsion competition endorsed by Shelby and the California senators until after initial flight testing with the solid-fuel boosters built by ATK in Utah.
“We strongly believe conducting a competition earlier in the development of the SLS will only create further delays and cost overruns,” Reid and his Western Senate colleagues wrote. “…[D]uring this period of fiscal austerity, it is irresponsible to spend funds on the development of a new system, such as an enhanced liquid engine, to accomplish what is already possible through existing technology, specifically solid rocket motors.”