Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 451582 times)

Offline OpsAnalyst

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #20 on: 10/27/2010 04:02 pm »
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa

Humph.  While I'm all for analysis, that is unnecessarily fine-grained tracking at this point.  The issues are pretty simple. 

(1) When the Republicans take the House, will the Dems be able to get their act together to pass an omnibus spending bill before the new Congress is seated? 
(1a) If so, how much time is going to be spent on NASA Approps when the overarching political goal is to get the bill through?  I mean, really?  The biggest problems are that the Auth bill - which still takes my breath away for the sheer mastery of how that game was played - kudos to 51D_Mascot (again, but really can't say it enough) - still leaves more on the plate that the funding permits.  IMHO this issue is far more important than any other (see my earlier post).  It could be used as the justification for making another run at commercial in the House.  And doubtless we'll see some more language trying to lock in the remnants of CxP.  BUT - when push comes to shove - particularly if the WH and Congress are trying to get a omnibus bill passed, NASA is small potatoes/pretty much meaningless vis-a-vis the entire political/budgetary landscape.

(2) The Dems don't get their act together to get an Omnibus bill passed - likely, unfortunately - this is when it gets particularly deadly, and interesting.  The Repubs agenda is going to be first, second and third to derail the Dems so am expecting them to force a spending bill into conference committee, which will have the consequence of holding spending at FY 2010 levels IF they don't block a CR - and right now they're threatening to.  We could see a repeat of the bad old days of the Clinton Presidency when the gov't was "held hostage" (hopefully without the added entertainment of a intern hanging around the Oval Office this time around.)  The consequences for NASA HSF in the near term will be driven by whether STS 135 receives funding.  Beyond that the marks that have been flowed down basically have alot of the institutional orgs out of money by April 2011 - and all bets are off then.

(3) One of the measures of leadership within NASA at the line org level is how forward thinking execs are. How prepared are they?  What's the vision?  Is there one?  And there are some.  Those plans need to be in place now.  It's not like they haven't known for 8 months that all was in chaos.

To me - that's going to be at least as intersting as whatever Congress does.  But then again - I'm biased.  :)

4) Remember - there is a cut in discretionary coming, no matter what happens with NASA Approps.


And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #21 on: 10/27/2010 04:31 pm »
Quote
I'm just not one.

So uhhh....does that mean you throw like a girl? 

Whooops!  Gotta go!
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #22 on: 10/27/2010 05:53 pm »
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa
Republicans are promising a $100B discretionary spending cut by January if they take over.  That's a 21% across the board cut.  If that's applied to NASA, you're looking at a $4B cut!  So long to all the new toys for HSF and probably several robotic planetary/astronomy/Earth science missions. 

I would take this promise to cut non-defense discretionary spending with a grain of salt. Obama has also promised to cut non-defense discretionary spending in the last few months. But that was also just a promise.  Let's see what actually happens.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 05:58 pm by yg1968 »

Offline GClark

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #23 on: 10/27/2010 06:00 pm »
IIRC, the specific proposal is to immediately reduce all funding to the 2008 top-line amounts.

There's your point of departure.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #24 on: 10/27/2010 06:18 pm »
Drastic spending cuts before the recession is over could be really bad for the economy as a whole, but I have confidence that Republicans are more talk than walk (just like basically all politicians), and so will continue to keep spending very near current levels. NASA is probably safe.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline kraisee

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #25 on: 10/27/2010 06:24 pm »
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 06:25 pm by kraisee »
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Offline Pheogh

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #26 on: 10/27/2010 06:25 pm »
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.   We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

Ross.

Does that include appropriations? We have a bill, or authorization we just need the money now correct?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #27 on: 10/27/2010 06:28 pm »
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.
Sounds about right. Unless something else drastic happens. NASA could use a string of very large meteors right now.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline kraisee

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #28 on: 10/27/2010 06:30 pm »
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 06:36 pm by kraisee »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #29 on: 10/27/2010 06:41 pm »
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.

I will bet against you. Objecting to everything when you control the House would work against the Republicans. Being the opposition is very different from being in the majority. When you are in the majority, there is even more pressure to get things done. Having additionnal checks and balances for government is a good thing.  Both Bush and Clinton had to deal with similar situations. All of this has happenned before...
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 06:49 pm by yg1968 »

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #30 on: 10/27/2010 06:45 pm »
Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.
Little got to either floor on the appropriations side and CJS wasn't one of the two bills on the House side (nothing in the Senate):
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html

The options for the lame-duck session are an omnibus appropriations bill or a second CR that punts to the new Congress.  Neither one is likely to go through the appropriations committees in a formal manner; however, it sounds like negotiations have started.  (Although at this stage, I think the election takes priority.)
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 06:49 pm by psloss »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #31 on: 10/27/2010 06:47 pm »
{snip}

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

When the electorate is worried about jobs causing unemployment is going to be very unpopular.  Coach both the trade unions and the company spokesmen in how to blame the politicians for the lay-offs in the aerospace industry.  Every special interest group will be lobbying Congress so some budget will get passed.

If there is a really big political log jam try reducing NASA's entire budget to a single line item.  Money to be spent by the Administrator in accordance with the Authorisation Bill.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #32 on: 10/27/2010 06:56 pm »
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.

That's not actually true. A continuing resolution doesn't have to be clean. In other words, you could modify the next continuing resolution in order to provide that NASA spending must be done in accordance with the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. However, spending would likely be capped at 2010 levels (although even that is not certain as amounts can also be modified in a CR). The reason this wasn't done before the election is because there was no time for anything but a clean continuing resolution.   
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 07:01 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #33 on: 10/27/2010 07:08 pm »
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.

Just a clarification. The Senate has not adopted any NASA-related appropriations. The Senate Appropriations committee REPORTED out a CJS bill (S. 3636; Report No. S. Rept. 111-229), which had ncluded NASA numbers fairly closely tracking the eventually-enacted Authorization levels, but the Senate did not take that reported bill up before recessing for the elections. In the meantime, the CR is of course providing funding at 2010 enacted levels until December 3rd. There is currently an effort to "pre-conference" an Omnibus appropriations bill for consideration in the lame-duck session, which would wrap all twelve of the as-yet-unpassed appropriations bills into a single package. That is essentially a closed negotiations process within and among the staff and Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, so no info available on how that is proceeding. Generally, it is considered a long shot that they will be able to reach agreement and get an Omnibus bill passed by both Houses during the lame-duck session, but that, too, is unKNOWable at the moment. Failing that, the option will be another CR to replace the current CR. The questions will be the funding levels used as the benchmark, the degree to which account allocations will be modified within and among Agency accounts, the degree to which any directive language will--or will not--be included, and the effective period of the CR. It could be another short CR, covering appropriations into the next Congress, allowing for yet another attempt at an Omnibus or individual appropriations bills to be considered for the remainder of FY 2011, or it could be a full-year CR. A huge amount of uncertainty on what the numbers and terms or conditions for expenditure or use will be, not only in NASA, but across most of the government. Not a pretty picture, and a VERY dynamic situation. Meantime, remember that only a small portion of the Authorization bill actually deals with authorization of appropriations. The vast majority is "policy"-related, and where it says "shall," that is the direction that the authorizing Committees (at least the in the Senate, but perhaps debatable in the House, given the letter from the House Science Committee leadership to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership a couple of weeks ago) believe must be followed to the maximum extent possible  with the resources available to the Agency. That's when the focus will be on interpretations, legal primacy, intent, etc., etc....and still MORE discussion. Stay tuned!
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #34 on: 10/27/2010 07:11 pm »
Regarding Congress opting for the CR due to running out of time before the last adjournment, they're not going to have much time before the current CR runs out.  Last I read, the plan is to take the whole Thanksgiving week off, which would leave two work weeks or thereabouts.

(And regarding 51D Mascot's post -- thanks for the status update.)
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 07:12 pm by psloss »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #35 on: 10/27/2010 09:04 pm »
Just a clarification. The Senate has not adopted any NASA-related appropriations. The Senate Appropriations committee REPORTED out a CJS bill (S. 3636; Report No. S. Rept. 111-229), which had ncluded NASA numbers fairly closely tracking the eventually-enacted Authorization levels, but the Senate did not take that reported bill up before recessing for the elections. In the meantime, the CR is of course providing funding at 2010 enacted levels until December 3rd. There is currently an effort to "pre-conference" an Omnibus appropriations bill for consideration in the lame-duck session, which would wrap all twelve of the as-yet-unpassed appropriations bills into a single package. That is essentially a closed negotiations process within and among the staff and Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, so no info available on how that is proceeding. Generally, it is considered a long shot that they will be able to reach agreement and get an Omnibus bill passed by both Houses during the lame-duck session, but that, too, is unKNOWable at the moment. Failing that, the option will be another CR to replace the current CR. The questions will be the funding levels used as the benchmark, the degree to which account allocations will be modified within and among Agency accounts, the degree to which any directive language will--or will not--be included, and the effective period of the CR. It could be another short CR, covering appropriations into the next Congress, allowing for yet another attempt at an Omnibus or individual appropriations bills to be considered for the remainder of FY 2011, or it could be a full-year CR. A huge amount of uncertainty on what the numbers and terms or conditions for expenditure or use will be, not only in NASA, but across most of the government. Not a pretty picture, and a VERY dynamic situation. Meantime, remember that only a small portion of the Authorization bill actually deals with authorization of appropriations. The vast majority is "policy"-related, and where it says "shall," that is the direction that the authorizing Committees (at least the in the Senate, but perhaps debatable in the House, given the letter from the House Science Committee leadership to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership a couple of weeks ago) believe must be followed to the maximum extent possible  with the resources available to the Agency. That's when the focus will be on interpretations, legal primacy, intent, etc., etc....and still MORE discussion. Stay tuned!

Thanks for the update. My understanding is that the language in the 2010 Appropriation bill still stands. This means NASA cannot currently cancel Constellation. Commercial crew can also not start until the appropriation issue is resolved since it was not funded in FY 2010 (CCDev-1 was funded as part of the stimilus bill). Those two issues are paralysed until they are fixed during the appropriation process (CR or appropriation bill). Do you agree?

However, I am not sure that I understand the logic behind the Shuttle STS-135 flight having to wait for an appropriation bill (other than the fact that it provides certainty that the last mission will be funded).
« Last Edit: 10/27/2010 10:05 pm by yg1968 »

Offline madscientist197

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #36 on: 10/28/2010 11:16 am »
And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)

Cool.

While it's pretty hard to tell from usernames, space fora don't exactly appear to be gender balanced. I'm pretty sure most of us appreciate getting input from the full spectrum of society (actually, maybe this calls for a poll -- I am really quite curious how many females there are on this forum. It's not exactly an obvious thing over the internet.)
John

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #37 on: 10/28/2010 12:03 pm »
And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)

Cool.

While it's pretty hard to tell from usernames, space fora don't exactly appear to be gender balanced. I'm pretty sure most of us appreciate getting input from the full spectrum of society (actually, maybe this calls for a poll -- I am really quite curious how many females there are on this forum. It's not exactly an obvious thing over the internet.)

The ratio is 20.6:1 for those that bother filling in their personal details.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=stats

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #38 on: 11/03/2010 10:41 am »
Another lame duck session preview/overview, with small election factors:
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/127385-senate-democrats-will-have-smaller-majority-in-lame-duck-sesssion

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #39 on: 11/03/2010 12:56 pm »
The ratio is 20.6:1 for those that bother filling in their personal details.

No one way Mars missions for me.  Thanks for askin'.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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