Letter from U.S. House to President Bush Urging Support for NASA

Status Report From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2003

image Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

October 24, 2003

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

On February 1, 2003, you eloquently said, "Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on." We commend you for publicly recognizing that we are a nation of explorers, and for expressing your continued support for the U.S. space program.

As you know, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board has recently completed its investigation into the events and circumstances that led to the tragic Columbia accident. In its report, the Board observed that, "... we believe that the White House, Congress, and NASA should honor the memory of Columbia's crew by reflecting on the nation's future in space and the role of new space transportation capabilities in enabling whatever space goals the nation chooses to pursue."

We are writing to you as Members of Congress to express our strong support for a robust future for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is our vision that this future includes vigorous manned and unmanned exploration of the universe around us. We believe that a robust NASA, which partners as appropriate with other government agencies, should provide the foundation for the future of our nation's space strategy. NASA should be aggressively engaged in expanding the boundaries of human space exploration, improving our nation's access to space, enabling a safer and more efficient air transportation system, solving the scientific mysteries held in our solar system and the universe beyond, and understanding our own Earth and its environment. By tackling these challenges, our nation will maintain its technological edge over the rest of the world. A strong NASA will also play a critical role in strengthening the spirit of innovation which has made our country strong, educating our future high-tech workforce that is a prerequisite for our future national and economic security, and for inspiring the next generation of explorers. Recognizing that NASA is funded by valuable taxpayer dollars, NASA leadership should endeavor to focus the agency on an inspiring mission that reflects the priorities of our citizens, and strive to maximize the benefits of its work and accomplishments to the American public.

Historically, the funding requested for NASA from multiple Administrations, and provided to NASA by Congress, has not demonstrated an appropriate level of commitment to an agency that is so important to the future of our nation. According to the report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, between 1993 and 2002, the federal government's discretionary spending grew in purchasing power by more than 25 percent. In contrast, NASA's budget went from $14.31 billion in Fiscal Year 1993, to a low of $13.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2000, and increasing to $14.87 billion in Fiscal Year 2002. This funding profile represented a loss of 13 percent in purchasing power over the decade. We enthusiastically write to you today to clearly and unambiguously express our strong interest in reinvigorating NASA and turning this funding trend around.

On February 1 of this year, the world lost seven brave astronauts. Over seven months later, we continue to remember the ultimate sacrifice that these intrepid explorers made in the name of scientific discovery for the benefit of all mankind. The greatest tribute that we as national leaders can make is to ensure that their legacy of exploration is continued through a vibrant NASA. We eagerly look forward to working with you in a bipartisan manner to assure that America maintains the preeminent space and aeronautics program in the world, and we respectfully await your reply on this important matter.


Bud Cramer
Tom DeLay
Dave Weldon
Robert B. Aderholt
George R. Nethercutt, Jr.
Nick Lampson
Ken Calvert
Marcy Kaptur
Ralph Hall
Terry Everett
Mark Udall
Ellen Tauscher
Doug Ose
Jim Matheson
Lincoln Davis
Joe Barton
Raśl M. Grijalva
Todd Russell Platts
Tom Feeney
Chris Bell
David Vitter
William J. Jefferson
John T. Doolittle
Stevan Pearce
Brian Baird
Michael M. Honda
Artur Davis
Alcee L. Hastings
Ciro D. Rodriguez
Pete Sessions
Bob Etheridge
Edward L. Schrock
Dennis Moore
Mike Ross
Kevin Brady
Steny Hoyer
Max Sandlin
Curt Weldon
Martin Frost
Adam Putnam
Mario Diaz-Balart
Ginny Brown-Waite
Ray LaHood
Bobby Rush
David Price
Bob Beauprez
Bart Gordon
Melvin Watt
John Shimkus
Sherwood Boehlert
Michael C. Burgess
Silvestre Reyes
Lamar Smith
David Dreier
Trent Franks
David Wu
Chris Van Hollen
Jo Bonner
Spencer Bachus
William L. Jenkins
Jane Harman
J.D. Hayworth
Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Alan Mollohan
Roger Wicker
Mike Rogers
Sheila Jackson-Lee
Steven C. LaTourette
Rob Bishop
Chris Cannon
Gene Green
Charles A. Gonzalez
Michael K. Simpson
John Abney Culberson
Lois Capps
Katherine Harris
Michael Bilirakis
Frank Wolf
J. Randy Forbes
Adam B. Schiff
Anna G. Eshoo
Robert Wexler
Porter J. Goss
Cliff Stearns
Jo Ann Davis
Zoe Lofgren
James P. Moran
Kay Granger
Tom Davis
Richard W. Pombo
Eddie Bernice Johnson
John S. Tanner
Eric Cantor
Rick Boucher
Gene Taylor
Gary G. Miller
Zach Wamp
Randy Neugebauer
Henry Bonilla
Jeb Hensarling
Jerry Lewis

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.