Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 544832 times)

Offline HappyMartian

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And remember, this isn't JUST about BEO, or the jobs, or the skilled workforce (which is still the biggest portion in my view), it's also about the ISS as well. This does nothing to secure it's future, or more to the point, puts it in jeapordy.


Amen. Thank you once again Robertross.

The ISS is the mission we are currently flying and sometimes that fact is ignored by some politicians. Placing it in jeapordy for local political gains or pork or ego or whatever else that may float their individual boats seems pretty crazy. If we end up having major problems with or even losing the ISS during the upcoming US human spaceflight capability gap, Congressional members as well as the previous and current President would bear the responsibility for their gross inability to do their jobs and work out an effective replacement for the Space Shuttles.

Politicians, of whatever party, who talk a lot of hot air but fail to maintain our ability to robustly support the International Space Station are sending out mixed messages. Such mixed messages are confusing political and technical invitations for trouble of one sort or another.

Does the information in this article have any relevance on the political possibilities of a Congressional compromise or is it political noise? 
NASA administrator draws an ethics reprimand
By Robert Block and Mark K. Matthews, Orlando Sentinel
7:18 p.m. EDT, September 20, 2010

At:  http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-administrator-embarrasses-oba20100920,0,503695.story


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Offline mr_magoo

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Horrible news.   The worst possible case is NASA getting dragged into the coming post-election political food fight.    I think there is a risk of returning to the drawing board again.

Offline mmeijeri

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Without it, under a clean CR (which is what is expected), the layoffs continue, no real work gets done in the direction of a new HLLV, whatever the design concept, and, in all likelihood, LON goes away and complete shuttle termination/eradication remains the agency focus. I don't see how that helps anyone, except those who prefer those outcomes anyway.

It would certainly be good for those who oppose SDLV. It would also be good for SpaceX and to a lesser extent ULA. It would probably be bad for Boeing and especially for LM, which would be only partially offset by good news for ULA. It would be really bad for SDLV supporters. But a CR might not be the worst thing in the world for all of them. If ATK expects SDLV to fail reasonably soon, no matter which one is chosen, then they're better off with continuation of Ares I and 5 seg development, even if it is only for a year. If the Shuttle workforce is dispersed then that means less competition for that chunk of NASA's budget, which would be good for other NASA centers. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the players are expecting SDLV to continue in some form for a short while, before giving up the ghost eventually. Those players may be positioning themselves for what happens then. In that case they're not trying to save SDLV, but trying to salvage as much from the wreckage as possible.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 04:41 PM by mmeijeri »
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline yg1968

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For opponents of SDLV/HLV this is actually a reason to support a CR.

Remember there are two separate functions in play. One is authorizations and one is appropriations. There has to be a CR, in order to continue funding for ALL those agencies, not just NASA,  whose separate appropriations bill has NOT yet been passed by the House and Senate. It's not a choice between a CR and something else. But the CR, if it's what they call a "Clean CR", means that there is no language directing different spending authority than that already in place. It would take an enacted (i.e., passed by both Houses and signed by the President) to provide a changed set of policies and priorities for NASA. Without it, under a clean CR (which is what is expected), the layoffs continue, no real work gets done in the direction of a new HLLV, whatever the design concept, and, in all likelihood, LON goes away and complete shuttle termination/eradication remains the agency focus. I don't see how that helps anyone, except those who prefer those outcomes anyway.

Thanks for your comments. I have a follow up question. Why is a clean continuing resolution likely? It would seem prudent to have a continuing resolution with language directing a different spending authority in case the 2010 NASA Authorization bill isn't passed on time. I imagine that it is a clean continuing resolution because passage of a NASA Authorization is expected.

Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 04:35 PM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Congress delays NASA decision

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20100922/NEWS02/9220325/1086/Congress+delays+NASA+decision

WASHINGTON Congress isn't expected to make spending decisions about NASA until after the election, lawmakers said Tuesday.

That article is confusing. The core of the article appears to contradict its title.

Offline yg1968

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For opponents of SDLV/HLV this is actually a reason to support a CR.

Remember there are two separate functions in play. One is authorizations and one is appropriations. There has to be a CR, in order to continue funding for ALL those agencies, not just NASA,  whose separate appropriations bill has NOT yet been passed by the House and Senate. It's not a choice between a CR and something else. But the CR, if it's what they call a "Clean CR", means that there is no language directing different spending authority than that already in place. It would take an enacted (i.e., passed by both Houses and signed by the President) to provide a changed set of policies and priorities for NASA. Without it, under a clean CR (which is what is expected), the layoffs continue, no real work gets done in the direction of a new HLLV, whatever the design concept, and, in all likelihood, LON goes away and complete shuttle termination/eradication remains the agency focus. I don't see how that helps anyone, except those who prefer those outcomes anyway.

Thanks for your comments. I have a follow up question. Why is a clean continuing resolution likely? It would seem prudent to have a continuing resolution with language directing a different spending authority in case the 2010 NASA Authorization bill isn't passed on time. I imagine that it is a clean continuing resolution because passage of a NASA Authorization is expected.

Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   

Part of the answer to my question is in this article. It's a clean continuing resolution because Republican Senators are insisting on it.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20100921/pl_cq_politics/politics000003736425;_ylt=AlBIA.08eNaqpS.fGAPjUCmHgsgF;_ylu=X3oDMTJxajI4aWdyBGFzc2V0A2NxLzIwMTAwOTIxL3BvbGl0aWNzMDAwMDAzNzM2NDI1BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2V4dHJhbmFzYWZ1bg--
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 04:52 PM by yg1968 »

Offline FinalFrontier

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CR. Oh well everyone tried. But as usual D.C. is broken beyond repair.
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Offline yg1968

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CR. Oh well everyone tried. But as usual D.C. is broken beyond repair.

The issue has yet to be decided. Senator Nelson and Representative Gordon are still working on a compromise NASA Authorization bill. Funding will not increase under a continuing resolution but the way that that the money is spent can still change if a NASA Authorization bill is passed.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 04:49 PM by yg1968 »

Offline sdsds

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Regarding the assertion that no one benefits from a continuing resolution, and regarding the expectation this would result in continued "impound" of NASA funds to contractors:

a) Under a continuing resolution nothing forces those funds to be impounded, and it is not a given that they would be.

b) Even if they were, some might benefit from that.  Holders of U.S. government bonds, for example, since lower spending reduces the likelihood of a default.  Holders of assets tied to the dollar benefit too, because lower government spending reduces the chances of inflation.  Taxpayers might benefit too if lower government spending reduced the tax burden they bear. 

Wouldn't RSC Energia also benefit from a NASA funding stalement?  ;)


EDIT to add:  Oh, unless this meant none of the pirates marauding in the halls of power would benefit from a stalemate?  Too bad for them if they can't figure out a way to divide the plunder!
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 04:51 PM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline psloss

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Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   
It could, but it doesn't have to and that's one of the scenarios that I think many of us are wondering about.  I would think that 'clean' in this sense means that there are no exceptions to the FY2010 spending levels.  NASA is probably not a high enough national priority to be granted an exception, even in this case -- although we still have to wait and see what happens between now and when Congress recesses for the election.

Federal government spending restraint is often a campaign issue and it definitely is this time; a "clean" CR effectively caps federal spending.  (Whether the CR is absolutely 'clean' also remains to be seen.)

The Library of Congress web site (a.k.a. 'Thomas') has several examples of enacted continuing resolutions (at least one was passed in every recent fiscal year):
http://thomas.loc.gov/

Offline yg1968

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Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   
It could, but it doesn't have to and that's one of the scenarios that I think many of us are wondering about.  I would think that 'clean' in this sense means that there are no exceptions to the FY2010 spending levels.  NASA is probably not a high enough national priority to be granted an exception, even in this case -- although we still have to wait and see what happens between now and when Congress recesses for the election.

Federal government spending restraint is often a campaign issue and it definitely is this time; a "clean" CR effectively caps federal spending.  (Whether the CR is absolutely 'clean' also remains to be seen.)

The Library of Congress web site (a.k.a. 'Thomas') has several examples of enacted continuing resolutions (at least one was passed in every recent fiscal year):
http://thomas.loc.gov/


Senator Nelson seems to believe that the amounts will be capped in the continuing resolution for NASA regardless of what happens to the NASA Authorization bill (which can be defended on the basis that NASA isn't more important than the rest of the government). But what remains to be seen is whether the amounts for NASA must be spent on the "same projects" as FY2010. My understanding from the article that I linked and from 51D Mascot's post is that if a NASA Authorization bill isn't passed, Republican senators will not accept changing the policies for NASA in a continuing resolution. They will only accept it if it's part of an enacted NASA Authorization bill.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 05:05 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Pheogh

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I'm sorry to be so slow on the uptake here,.. but... So the gist of this is that the House has dug in its heels so much on this that they are willing to sacrifice their own constituents? Is that right, did I here that right?

Offline mmeijeri

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More likely their colleagues' constituents.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline psloss

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They will only accept it if it's part of an enacted NASA Authorization bill.
We could have an enacted reauthorization for NASA, but still have a 'clean' CR that only refers to the FY2010 enacted appropriations, without explicit language for NASA.  In that case, I don't believe the newly authorized numbers would apply.  The oft-used phrase 'unfunded mandate' comes to mind, but I would welcome corrections.  This is an unique situation.

Also, as referred to in that CQPolitics article, the CR enacted in this session will probably only cover a month or two.  If that's the case, the current Congress will have to come back after the elections to at least pass another CR to extend into next year to let the next Congress deal with it; however, that's only one scenario and there are lots of others. 

Nothing's decided yet and we have to "stay tuned," so to speak.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 05:25 PM by psloss »

Offline Pheogh

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Well It pains me to say this but if I was a shuttle worker (and thankfully for all I am not) I wouldn't hang on especially if I had a family like I do. This has been a very sobering and first hand illustration of how our current congress has failed us all. In spite of near heroic efforts from so many people on all sides of the debate.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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For opponents of SDLV/HLV this is actually a reason to support a CR.

Remember there are two separate functions in play. One is authorizations and one is appropriations. There has to be a CR, in order to continue funding for ALL those agencies, not just NASA,  whose separate appropriations bill has NOT yet been passed by the House and Senate. It's not a choice between a CR and something else. But the CR, if it's what they call a "Clean CR", means that there is no language directing different spending authority than that already in place. It would take an enacted (i.e., passed by both Houses and signed by the President) to provide a changed set of policies and priorities for NASA. Without it, under a clean CR (which is what is expected), the layoffs continue, no real work gets done in the direction of a new HLLV, whatever the design concept, and, in all likelihood, LON goes away and complete shuttle termination/eradication remains the agency focus. I don't see how that helps anyone, except those who prefer those outcomes anyway.

Thanks for your comments. I have a follow up question. Why is a clean continuing resolution likely? It would seem prudent to have a continuing resolution with language directing a different spending authority in case the 2010 NASA Authorization bill isn't passed on time. I imagine that it is a clean continuing resolution because passage of a NASA Authorization is expected.

Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   

As I said, the CR will include a number of agencies, not just NASA. Yes, we would love to be able to have a passed authorization bill and use that as the basis for inserting more directive language regarding NASA programs. But the focus of the CR is NOT NASA; therefore, the decision is made by leadership that opening the door to specific directive language in one area simply leads to similar requests or efforts in other areas, and the only way to avoid that is to agree to NONE for any area.  Does that help?
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline marsavian

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Could the NASA Administration though take a new authorized bill and decide actions on that even though there is a CR without any specific NASA directive language ? So if you passed the Senate bill in Congress they could act on that basis even with a CR with FY2010 funding ?
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 06:00 PM by marsavian »

Offline Pheogh

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Does that preclude an Authorization Bill in the 11 hour if say the house decides to go along with the Senate Bill as being the lesser of 2 evils the CR being the other evil?

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Not that it matters but I imagine that even if the NASA Authorization bill is passed next week, "a clean continuing resolution" would still have to refer to the enacted 2010 NASA Authorization bill to provide a different spending authority from FY2010.   
It could, but it doesn't have to and that's one of the scenarios that I think many of us are wondering about.  I would think that 'clean' in this sense means that there are no exceptions to the FY2010 spending levels.  NASA is probably not a high enough national priority to be granted an exception, even in this case -- although we still have to wait and see what happens between now and when Congress recesses for the election.

Federal government spending restraint is often a campaign issue and it definitely is this time; a "clean" CR effectively caps federal spending.  (Whether the CR is absolutely 'clean' also remains to be seen.)

The Library of Congress web site (a.k.a. 'Thomas') has several examples of enacted continuing resolutions (at least one was passed in every recent fiscal year):
http://thomas.loc.gov/


Senator Nelson seems to believe that the amounts will be capped in the continuing resolution for NASA regardless of what happens to the NASA Authorization bill (which can be defended on the basis that NASA isn't more important than the rest of the government). But what remains to be seen is whether the amounts for NASA must be spent on the "same projects" as FY2010. My understanding from the article that I linked and from 51D Mascot's post is that if a NASA Authorization bill isn't passed, Republican senators will not accept changing the policies for NASA in a continuing resolution. They will only accept it if it's part of an enacted NASA Authorization bill.

Not "Republican" or "Democrat" in this case...the points of resistance on getting something exist on BOTH sides.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Could the NASA Administration though take a new authorized bill and decide actions on that even though there is a CR without any specific NASA directive language ? So if you passed the Senate bill in Congress they could act on that basis even with a CR with FY2010 funding ?

Yes, strictly speaking they could, though with some limitations due to overall less money in continuing at FY 2010 levels.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

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