IFPTE Letter Regarding Consideration of H.R. 3093


July 25, 2007

Dear Representative,

I am writing regarding today's consideration of H.R. 3093, the Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), NASA's largest federal employee Union, urges you to support this legislation.

This bill is an extremely thoughtful piece of legislation that manages to keep NASA's vital programs and key capabilities intact within the current severe fiscal constraints, as well as protects NASA's critically important workforce. The President's proposed FY08 budget improperly undercuts NASA's Science and Aeronautics missions in particular and its R&D functions in general. The modest plus-ups within this legislation prudently restore minimum funding levels to NASA's broad set of missions and will allow the Agency to stay on track as it works diligently to deliver a new Vision for Space Exploration to a new generation of Americans. Any cuts to the proposed funding levels in this bill would seriously jeopardize mission success and undermine the long-term interests of the American people.

IFPTE believes that America's future world leadership in Aerospace R&D is linked to proper investment today in NASA's Aeronautics and Science programs, as well as its Human Space Exploration program. Should Congress falter today, America's current unquestioned leadership in Aerospace R&D could soon be relinquished as Europe and China continue to aggressively pursue their keen interests in this endeavor so critically linked to national security, economic competitiveness, and technological leadership. For our children's sake, we must not abdicate our responsibility to keep America one step ahead of the competition.

IPFTE is particularly pleased to note the following key NASA related features included in this spending package:

  • Prevents continued abuse of executive authority to divert appropriated funds away from their congressionally intended use by specifying separate budgetary accounts for all major missions (in particular Science, Aeronautics, Education, Exploration Systems, and Exploration Capabilities) and properly prohibits transfer authority between these account
  • Provides a modest $180 million over the President's proposed level to minimally restore the health of NASA's Science mission so that it may deliver on its promise of inspirational scientific discoveries, and on its responsibility to help us understand climate change and ultimately to protect our home planet.
  • Provides a modest $146 million over the President's proposed level to restore the health of NASA's Aeronautics mission so that America may continue to enjoy the blessings of an efficient and safe civil aviation system, even as capacity must expand dramatically to meet economic demand and population growth.
  • Provides a modest $66.6 million over the President's proposed level to reinvigorate NASA's unique Education mission so that NASA may continue to educate and inspire the next generation of young minds as they consider careers in science and engineering.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Gregory J. Junemann

PRESIDENT

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