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IFPTE Fax Sent to Senate Appropriations Committee Members Regarding NASA's Budget

Status Report From: IFPTE
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2006

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Dear Senator,

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and as you embark on the difficult task of crafting the Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07) Appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), we at IFPTE urge you to balance the need to fund NASA's new Vision for Space Exploration with the equally vital need to maintain NASA's core programs and capabilities in Aeronautics Research and Development, as well as in Space, Earth, and Life Sciences.

In that light IFPTE, NASA's largest labor union, would like to formally solicit your support for the Hutchison-Mikulski Amendment. IFPTE believes that NASA urgently needs this emergency funding to allow the Agency to recover from the Columbia and Katrina disasters without pilfering its Aeronautics, Science, and Technology Development missions. NASA deserves meaningful additional financial support through this difficult and critical time of Return to Flight while it also must implement the Vision for Space Exploration and maintain vigorous Aeronautics, Science and Technology portfolios.

Given the significant increase in the top line budget provided by the Hutchison-Mikulski amendment, IFPTE urges the Committee to make specific requirements for NASA to restore its compromised programs back to healthy levels. In particular, IFPTE urges the Committee to make three specific changes to the President's proposed budget:

1. Increase NASA's Aeronautics account by $179 million.

  • This is consistent with the FY07 Budget bill that passed by the Senate, yet still represents a decrease from the initial FY06 level and from the Authorized FY07 level.

2. Increase NASA's Science account by at least $160 million.

  • This represents $85 million more than that in the House bill, but still represents a decrease from the initial FY06 level.

3. Set-aside $60 million in the ISS budget for Life & Microgravity Science.

  • This is consistent with the minimum 15% "non-exploration" set-aside mandated by the NASA Authorization Act of 2005.

IFPTE asks that Congress provide NASA with a strong budgetary commitment and clear direction that assures the sustained health of the Agency and continued success in all of its missions.

We thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you have any questions please contact IFPTE Legislative Director Matt Biggs at (240) 535-3321.

Sincerely,

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