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Olson Statement on President Obama NASA Speech

Press Release From: Rep. Pete Olson
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

image Rep Pete Olson today issued the following statement in response to the President's speech on NASA's future in Florida today:

"The President has acknowledged that his initial budget proposal was untenable and unacceptable. The President needs to work with members of Congress to ensure American's continued leadership in human space flight. His announcement today does nothing to solidify that leadership over the long term and continues a flawed hope in what might be instead of what we already have.

"Our nation does not lack the resources, the capabilities, the infrastructure, or the workforce to maintain a robust space program to reach destinations in space. What we lack is a commitment to get there.

"Today's announced proposals continue that trend. The Administration has downgraded the Orion capsule, failing to realize its true potential if fully utilized as designed.

"If exploration is truly our goal, we can and should develop heavy lift capability right now. Stating that you may select a heavy lift design in five years is not a bold commitment to exploration.

"The only thing bold about this announcement today is the Administration's blatant focus on Florida in spite of the national impact this program has. The President committed to forming a Cabinet-level task force to analyze the job impact on the state of Florida and to assist them in the transition. While I understand the economic challenges the Space Coast faces, those challenges are not limited solely to one state.

"Earlier this week, Apollo Commanders Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan called the President's cuts "devastating." I agreed with them then, and nothing the President said today has changed my mind."

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