Author Topic: Impact of a new House Majority Leader on House space policy  (Read 3918 times)

Offline Blackjax

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I've been watching the events unfold with the defeat of Eric Cantor and trying to understand who is likely to replace him and what their agenda might be in general terms.  Since it seems like Kevin McCarthy has a strong chance of stepping into the vacancy I started learning about him, and during that I came across this:

http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=02769590-4971-4916-AB64-4C8174FD758E
(or here if the first link doesn't work)
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/kevin-mccarthy-eric-cantor-107805.html#ixzz34cbzxMaV

You don't even need to get through the first sentence to see why there might be space related implications of this shift in power.  So I wanted to throw it out there and see if we can crowdsource putting together a picture of his actual history on space related topics and figure out whether/how he'd be likely to assert himself in the future on space policy.


Offline deltaV

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Kevin McCarthy's district includes the Mojave spaceport with Virgin Galactic etc. His biggest impact is therefore likely to be on the suborbital tourism market. He recently introduced legislation to simplify the regulation of that industry:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/03/10/mccarthy-virgin-galactic-hope-commercial-space-measure-soars/ .

Online mike robel

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Absent a compelling reason to increase US space activities, like an asteroid forecast to hit the Earth in 4 - 10 years, I don't predict there will be no significant change to funding or activities  in the near future, say 10 - 15 years.   Defense use of space will probably be stable.  Commercial shall be a plaything for rich tourists, if it is even sustainable for manned activities.

Unmanned exploration may will probably continue, and if HSF funds were diverted to it, would vastly increase our knowledge.  It costs markedly less money and is much less risky.  On the down side, it does not return samples.  Its capability will likely increase as technology, particularly software, advances.

I am confident I will see all living moonwalkers die before we see a manned return to another planetary body.

The recovery from Columbia was botched by Congress and NASA from the get-go.  I think a program, particular HSF, has to be structured so it reaches milestones within the term of a given US President, that is, in four year chunks.  Sort of like the Soviet Union tried.

YVMV.

Online ThereIWas3

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Kevin McCarthy's district includes the Mojave spaceport with Virgin Galactic etc. His biggest impact is therefore likely to be on the suborbital tourism market. He recently introduced legislation to simplify the regulation of that industry:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/03/10/mccarthy-virgin-galactic-hope-commercial-space-measure-soars/ .

Except he pals around with Elon Musk as well, according to that article.  On the other side, his other acquantainces include people from TBTF banks, and those people typically look for very short term returns.
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Offline Blackjax

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Kevin McCarthy's district includes the Mojave spaceport with Virgin Galactic etc. His biggest impact is therefore likely to be on the suborbital tourism market. He recently introduced legislation to simplify the regulation of that industry:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/03/10/mccarthy-virgin-galactic-hope-commercial-space-measure-soars/ .

Thanks for highlighting the Mojave connection, but it is worth pointing out that suborbital tourism isn't the only thing happening there:

http://kevinmccarthy.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mccarthy-statement-on-new-space-travel-venture


Offline jongoff

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Kevin McCarthy's district includes the Mojave spaceport with Virgin Galactic etc. His biggest impact is therefore likely to be on the suborbital tourism market. He recently introduced legislation to simplify the regulation of that industry:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/03/10/mccarthy-virgin-galactic-hope-commercial-space-measure-soars/ .

Yeah, Kevin seems to be one of the better informed congresspeople about suborbital issues. We met him once in person after our NGLLC award ceremony. My guess is that there are more than enough other issues he'll have to deal with to prevent him from having much bandwidth for space policy, but when it matters he may be easier to get on a good page.

~Jon

Offline TomH

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Since the Speaker is always from the majority party (s)he is the one with the actual power. In the minority party, the leader is #1, and the whip #2. In the majority party, the speaker is #1, the leader #2, and the whip #3. With Boehner still at the top, I'm not sure how much difference a new leader could enable, even if (s)he wanted to.

Offline JohnFornaro

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The opening sentence made me wonder how the NSA knows all that stuff about my schedule.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Blackjax

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Since the Speaker is always from the majority party (s)he is the one with the actual power. In the minority party, the leader is #1, and the whip #2. In the majority party, the speaker is #1, the leader #2, and the whip #3. With Boehner still at the top, I'm not sure how much difference a new leader could enable, even if (s)he wanted to.

I dunno, it doesn't sound like at toothless position, among other things he seems to have the ability to prevent bills from coming up for a vote and can control the makeup of committees.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-house-gop-leadership-primer-what-do-the-speaker-majority-leader-and-whip-actually-do/2014/06/16/3abdcb80-f57c-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_leaders_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives

http://congressionalresearch.com/RL30665/document.php?study=The+Role+of+the+House+Majority+Leader+An+Overview

It seems like a lot depends on the interpersonal dynamics with the speaker and how strong the speaker is.  Boehner isn't exactly in the strongest position these last few years and there are rumors he might retire in the next year or two.

What I am wondering is whether he might be able to act as a somewhat of a counterbalance to some of the more egregious actions which sometimes come out of committees.  A good example of which is presently being illustrated over in the Senate:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/06/15/space-frontier-calls-opposition-senate-commercial-crew-provisions/


Offline Rocket Science

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Since the Speaker is always from the majority party (s)he is the one with the actual power. In the minority party, the leader is #1, and the whip #2. In the majority party, the speaker is #1, the leader #2, and the whip #3. With Boehner still at the top, I'm not sure how much difference a new leader could enable, even if (s)he wanted to.

I dunno, it doesn't sound like at toothless position, among other things he seems to have the ability to prevent bills from coming up for a vote and can control the makeup of committees.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-house-gop-leadership-primer-what-do-the-speaker-majority-leader-and-whip-actually-do/2014/06/16/3abdcb80-f57c-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_leaders_of_the_United_States_House_of_Representatives

http://congressionalresearch.com/RL30665/document.php?study=The+Role+of+the+House+Majority+Leader+An+Overview

It seems like a lot depends on the interpersonal dynamics with the speaker and how strong the speaker is.  Boehner isn't exactly in the strongest position these last few years and there are rumors he might retire in the next year or two.

What I am wondering is whether he might be able to act as a somewhat of a counterbalance to some of the more egregious actions which sometimes come out of committees.  A good example of which is presently being illustrated over in the Senate:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/06/15/space-frontier-calls-opposition-senate-commercial-crew-provisions/
Might be time to crowd source a White House Petition... Unleash the SpaceX'ers through social media... ;D
« Last Edit: 06/17/2014 01:35 AM by Rocket Science »
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Online docmordrid

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Re: Impact of a new House Majority Leader on House space policy
« Reply #10 on: 06/17/2014 04:53 AM »
There has been a lot of talk in Republican circles that Boehner could lose his speakership. Many reasons. What's prevented it so far was that Cantor wasn't considered significantly better.  McCarthy may change that calculus.
DM

Offline Blackjax

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Offline Lar

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Re: Impact of a new House Majority Leader on House space policy
« Reply #12 on: 06/25/2014 05:00 AM »
Despite what the article says it's not clear to me that ExIm is needed. Get launch costs way down instead, far better approach.
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Online AncientU

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Re: Impact of a new House Majority Leader on House space policy
« Reply #13 on: 09/08/2014 03:09 AM »
A new mention of McCarthy's leanings:

Quote
McCarthy brings delegations of colleagues to tour tech companies. He lured Musk onto Capitol Hill for a private chat with GOP leaders and then persuaded the innovator to headline a lecture series in Bakersfield. When Musk's SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket, McCarthy swept aside grumbling from colleagues about all the tax money the company spends to declare the event a "pivotal moment for the future of spaceflight."

http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-gop-silicon-valley-20140908-story.html#page=1
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Impact of a new House Majority Leader on House space policy
« Reply #14 on: 09/08/2014 04:21 AM »
A new mention of McCarthy's leanings:

Quote
McCarthy brings delegations of colleagues to tour tech companies. He lured Musk onto Capitol Hill for a private chat with GOP leaders and then persuaded the innovator to headline a lecture series in Bakersfield. When Musk's SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket, McCarthy swept aside grumbling from colleagues about all the tax money the company spends to declare the event a "pivotal moment for the future of spaceflight."

http://www.latimes.com/local/politics/la-me-gop-silicon-valley-20140908-story.html#page=1

And this quote was relevant too:

"A bromance of sorts has kindled between Elon Musk and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield."
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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