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Rep. Calvert Applauds Passage of the Iran Nonproliferation Amendments Act

Press Release From: Rep. Calvert
Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2005

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WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) supported S. 1713, the Iran Nonproliferation Act (INA), which passed by a voice vote.  The bill extends the INA to allow the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to cooperate with the Russian space program on the International Space Station until 2012.  Rep. Calvert is a cosponsor of the bill and is Chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee on the House Science Committee.

Rep. Calvert submitted the following statement for the record:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1713 as amended, which strengthens the Nation's nonproliferation principals and objectives while allowing NASA to meet its operational and programmatic needs with regard to the International Space Station (ISS), as called for in the President's Vision for Space Exploration.  I am pleased to be a cosponsor of such important legislation with my colleagues and friends, Chairman Hyde, Ranking Member Lantos, Chairman Boehlert, and Cong. Rohrabacher.  This amendment is timely. NASA must revise its agreement and contractual arrangements with the Russian Federal Space Agency quickly in order to ensure uninterrupted training beyond October 2005. The next ISS crew is scheduled to fly on the Russian Soyuz in April 2006.  If this amendment is not enacted, INA restrictions will prevent a continued presence of U.S. crew onboard the ISS and limit U.S. presence onboard the ISS to Space Shuttle visits.  We could lose our leadership role on the International Space Station. 

I know this amendment has been negotiated and discussed by many of my colleagues, who recognize the extreme importance of passing a measure which allows NASA to continue with its current role on the Space Station.  I am a sponsor of this legislation and, at the same time, I have been concerned that we not be so restrictive on NASA to prevent them from doing their mission.  S. 1713 as amended grants NASA the authority to procure urgent required goods and services from Russia, including crew rescue, to allow continuing ISS operations in the most safe and effective way possible.  Some of these goods and services will be required from 2012 to the end of the program's operation.  Moreover, ISS is an operational program that continues to evolve, requiring enough flexibility to deal with emerging issues over time.  Consequently, Congress may need to address this issue again at a later date.  We should be watchful as we move forward that we are able to maintain the ISS and to retain our leadership role. 

As the Chairman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, I am mindful of the importance of a continued American presence in space.  This amendment moves in the right direction by supporting those Russian entities which are compliant, while helping to solve near-term problems for NASA and its international partners. 

Without legislative action, NASA will have limited access to the ISS until the U.S.  Crew Exploration Vehicle is ready to be deployed.  I urge my colleagues to pass S. 1713 as amended as expeditiously as possible.  I also salute my colleagues for bringing this important legislation to the floor in such a timely manner and plan to offer my support as we pass this legislation today in the House of Representatives.

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