Take this for a what it is worth. We are in a political season. Bill Nelson is a Democrat. Is he making trouble for the GOP, or is he truly concerned about NASA?
What is truly annoying is the fact that once again we are down to a battle over every single dollar. I thought those days were over, that the morons in power finally comprehended how important NASA is. Evidently they do not.
Why have a strong space program? Just chuck the money into entitlements.
There is one aspect of Federal spending that is an excellent investment with anywhere from a $8 to $15 return on every Federal dollar INVESTED.
The US Government does not need to be all things to all people, but there are times when spending brings back so many positive results that it simply MUST be continued.
NASA is one of those causes.
Every dollar spent on NASA has a return of up to $15 dollars that is generated within a community. When dollars are generated within a community people make money. They pay taxes. NASA is the ultimate stimulus – that actually works. It has been proven, over and over.
What the Obama Administration has done to NASA is deplorable. Even worse, according to Bill Nelson of Florida is what is being planned once Jim DeMint allegedly comes to alleged power. This is not the first time the Dems have slammed NASA. That is what they do. They are Dems.
Nelson has specifically singled out Jim DeMint in his criticism.
“…The latest NASA plan calls for $19 billion in spending next year to fund several costly initiatives, including beginning work on a new “heavy lift” rocket, intended to one day take humans to an asteroid, and paying commercial rocket companies to gear up to take crew members and cargo to the International Space Station. Also included are plans to modernize Kennedy Space Center in Florida and launch an additional shuttle in mid-2011.
But congressional Republicans, who are expected to make gains in next week’s election, may have the muscle to block increases in the federal budget — including an additional $300 million for NASA — during this year’s lame-duck session….Indeed, space program supporters worry that NASA’s 2011 budget could be reduced below its 2010 level of $18.7 billion as Congress looks to cut the deficit by curtailing government spending. Congress has yet to pass a budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
…Talk of a funding decrease comes as NASA and congressional officials acknowledge that the new blueprint will cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the $19 billion budgeted.
As a result, officials have begun eyeballing what can be cut. One possible item: the $500 million or more it would cost to launch one more shuttle. Other possible targets: a new research effort to develop technologies that would enable humans to fly regularly well beyond low-Earth orbit, and multiyear plans to upgrade launch facilities at Kennedy Space Center.
“NASA has to decide between its children,” said one Senate staff member not authorized to speak on the record. “We can’t fund everything.”…”
Space Politics suggests that Nelson could be attempting to take on DeMint with a little political grand-standing. We know DeMint is capable of political grand-standing. There is a possibility that the Washington Monument Syndrome is going on, so that NASA can pad a budget to protect what they have.
“…Nelson’s statement, then, could be seen as a preemptive strike of sorts, a variant of the “Washington Monument Syndrome”: since the additional shuttle mission has bipartisan support, and is eagerly anticipated on the Space Coast, where it will keep thousands of shuttle works employed for a few additional months, saying it’s in danger of being cut may be a strategy for keeping it funded….”
From Palmetto Morning comes the following:
“…Just weeks after President Obama signed into law a new blueprint for NASA — one that was supposed to add another space shuttle launch next year — the compromise is in danger of coming undone by a lack of money. Indeed, space program supporters worry that NASA’s 2011 budget could be reduced below its 2010 level of $18.7 billion as Congress looks to cut the deficit by curtailing government spending. Congress has yet to pass a budget for the 2011 fiscal year. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said that Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma are insisting that all appropriations go back to the 2008 level. “That, of course, would be devastating to NASA,” Nelson said, noting that the agency’s 2008 budget was about $17.3 billion…”
ADDITIONAL SHUTTLE MISSION IN DANGER
“…If such cuts were made in FY2011 spending, one potential item that would be cut would be the additional shuttle mission, STS-135, with an estimated price tag of $500 million. Technology development and spaceport infrastructure work at KSC could also be cut, but local officials quoted in the article said they’d prefer to see the extra shuttle mission cut before losing those funds.
It’s not clear, though, just how much STS-135 is currently in danger of being cut. While Republicans are poised to win back control of the House, and at least significantly reduce the Democratic majority in the Senate, Democrats will still be in control when Congress returns in mid-November for a lame duck sessions, primarily to handle the outstanding appropriations bills. Republicans could try to slow down or block those bills, though. Recall that in 2006, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, they decided to sweep aside the appropriations bills that had not passed for FY2007 and instead passed a year-long continuing resolution that funded agencies like NASA at FY2006 levels….”
There are times when earmarks are required and spending is required. Political grandstanding is nice, but not when it costs jobs and threatens to ruin human lives.
“...Two nationally known Republicans who may run for president came down on different sides of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s stand against earmarks during separate visits Thursday to Greenville. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said the Constitution gives Congress control of the purse strings and that he supported earmarks for port deepening while a senator – the opposite of the position that DeMint is taking. But former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia said DeMint has shown “moral courage” in refusing to support any earmarks, including one that the State Ports Authority says is needed to study the deepening of Charleston Harbor….”
Then again, Jim DeMint is currently grand-standing the Charleston Harbor issue. Considering that the ramifications there could cost his home state upward of a quarter million jobs, does this man really care about anything but his personal ambition? If he continues his unholy alliance with libertarians, God Help Us All!