Letter to President Bush from Robert Walker, chair of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry


Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry
1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 940
Arlington, Virginia 22202

December 18, 2001

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

Dear Mr. President:

As you know, your Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry is chartered to study federal department and agency actions to maintain a robust aerospace industry in the 21st Century and report its findings and recommendations to you and the Congress. Within that charter, the Commission was specifically asked to assess the adequacy of projected aerospace research and development and procurement budgets.

The Commission held its first public meeting at the U.S. Department of Commerce on November 27th, 2001, at which time we received testimony from Dr. John Marburger, Congressman Dave Weldon, our Commissioners, and senior representatives from a number of government departments and agencies. An initial determination from our deliberations was that federal government aerospace sector spending is currently spread across multiple government agency budgets, with oversight by numerous and different Congressional committees. As a result, none of these government groups has an integrated view of our national aerospace efforts. We further determined that the current process and structure lack the necessary overall insight and accountability for development and implementation of a coherent national strategy and program — making it difficult to provide overall national aerospace leadership and oversight.

From these findings, the Commission unanimously voted to issue this interim report recommending that the following sectoral budget analyses be conducted of federal government and industry aerospace spending and submitted to the Commission on or before March 15, 2002:

(1) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) prepare a spending breakout, by category, as an addendum to the FY03 President’s Budget Request;

(2) The Department of Commerce compile and present baseline statistics on the economic performance and investment expenditures of each aerospace industry sector for the purposes of comparison to the federal outlays; and

(3) The Congressional Budget Office provide an FY02 sectoral budget breakdown that parallels the OMB FY03 submission.

The Commission staff will work with OMB to develop an acceptable categorical definition of the aerospace sector for this analysis.

As the Commission continues moving forward with its assessment of our national aerospace enterprise in the upcoming year, it is my intent to provide you and the Congress with timely interim products to help strengthen and improve the U.S. aerospace enterprise. Your support for this critical work is greatly appreciated.

An identical interim report has been submitted to the Congress.

Respectfully yours,

Robert S. Walker Chairman

cc: The Honorable Donald L. Evans, Secretary of Commerce

The Honorable Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Director, Office of Management and Budget

Dan L. Crippen, Director, Congressional Budget Office

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