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IFPTE: NASA Aeronautics Amendment Passes

Status Report From: IFPTE
Posted: Friday, March 17, 2006

To All IFPTE Locals,

The IFPTE supported NASA Aeronautics funding amendment described in the attached letter passed the Senate yesterday by Unanimous Consent.  The amendment passed as a part of the Senate's consideration of the FY07 Budget bill. 

While this represents a nice victory, it is also just the first step in a long process of ensuring for adequate funding for NASA aeronautics programs.  Having said that, we will continue to work this issue, as well as work to restore the funding to NASA's science programs.

Many thanks are in order to Sen. Mike DeWine (R, OH), who offered the amendment.  Sen. DeWine continues to lead the way in the Senate when it comes to issues of importance to NASA's workforce.

In Solidarity,

Matt

Matthew S. Biggs
Assistant to the President/Legislative Director
International Federation of Professional &
Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD  20910
T- (301) 565-9016
F -(301) 565-0018
mbiggs@ifpte.org


March 14,2006

Dear Senator,

As President of NASA's largest union, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), I am writing regarding this week's consideration of the Fiscal Year 2007 budget bill. It is my understanding that there may be two critical amendments offered by Senator Mike DeWine that aim to correct the flaws in the President's budget proposal with respect to key NASA programs.

The President's budget proposal fell well short of the necessary finding needed for NASA to continue its world-renown research and development (R&D) in the area of aeronautics. Not only do the numbers fall well short of those in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 that the President signed into law after unanimous approval by Congress not more than three months ago, it fails to even maintain level funding. Without Congress' stepping in to correct this, NASA's ability to support the nation's leadership in aeronautics R&D will be jeopardy. Abdicating our responsibility to maintain America's leadership in this area will have a considerable adverse consequence for our national security and prestige as Europe and Asia are threatening to assume world leadership in many aerospace related areas if the United States should falter.

I therefore urge that you to support the following amendments, should they come up for a vote this week in the Senate:

  • An amendment to increase funding for NASA aeronautics programs by $179 million in fiscal year 2007;
  • A sense of the Senate legislative proposal to increase the level of funding provided for Aeronautics Research within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by $179 million in fiscal year 2007 thereby maintaining continuity with Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations;

It is clear that NASA is at a crossroads. Either Congress can add the monies necessary to continue these critical programs, or the United States will lose some of its competitive edge perhaps for good. I am hopefbl you will strongly consider voting to approve these amendments.

Should you have any questions, please feel fiee to contact me, or IFPTE Legislative Director Matt Biggs at (301)565-9016.

Sincerely,

Gregory J. Junemann
President

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