From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2005
WASHINGTON - The House Science Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today reached agreement on a bill to reauthorize the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The House and Senate had passed differing versions of the bills (H.R. 3070/S.1281) this summer and fall. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) chaired the conference Committee, which approved the agreement today. The conference report will be filed Friday morning and passage is expected in both bodies on Friday and Saturday. The President is expected to sign the bill.
The final version of the bill includes most of the provisions from both the House and Senate bills. The bill directs NASA to carry out programs in human space flight, aeronautics, space science, earth science and microgravity research, and it endorses President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration. The bill authorizes about $17.9 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2007 and about $18.7 billion in fiscal year 2008 - significantly more than provided for the outyears in the Administration's fiscal year 2006 budget request.
House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), the lead House conferee, said, "This bill is a true compromise, and it shows what we can accomplish when everyone is willing to work together. Most importantly, the bill makes clear that NASA is to be a multi-mission agency with robust programs in science and aeronautics as well as in exploration. The bill also underscores that NASA cannot carry out all the tasks currently on its plate without significantly more money. We will have to review NASA's programs in the light of the fiscal 2007 budget request, but this bill sets out the minimum needed to carry out NASA's current plans."
Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA), lead sponsor of the House bill, said, "The NASA Authorization Act conference report is forward-looking legislation that will help NASA excel during the Second Space Age. I believe that investing in NASA is an investment in our nation's future. Even in this time of budget deficits, the United States cannot abandon NASA's research and technology, and exploration programs - it is not in the American spirit to shy away from this investment in our global leadership. This report continues our legacy as a leader in space exploration and technology advancements. I wish to thank Chairman Boehlert, Chairman Stevens, Chairman Hutchison, and all the conferees for their commitment and work."
In addition to Boehlert and Calvert, the Republican House Conferees on the bill were Reps. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Ralph Hall (R-TX), and Lamar Smith (R-TX). Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) and Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) served as conferees on specific sections of the bill.
Major provisions of the bill include:
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