NASA and NOAA Appropriations Bill Passes
On July 13, the House Committee on Appropriations passed its FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) bill, which includes funds for NASA and NOAA. The CJS bill would appropriate $16.8 billion in spending for NASA, which is $1.9 billion less than the President requested for FY 2012.
In formulating the budget decrease, the committee recommended funding a number of space programs at equal or lower levels than the President's FY 2012 request:
- $4.5 billion for NASA science programs ($512 million below request); the bill terminates funding for the James Webb Space Telescope, which the committee stated was "billions of dollars over budget and plagued by poor management"*
- $569 million for aeronautics research to fully fund the President's request
- $375 million for space technology ($649 million below request)
- $3.65 billion for space exploration ($300 million below request), including funding for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), Multi-purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Commercial Crew program
- $4.1 billion for space operations ($282 million below request); the legislation continues the closeout of the Space Shuttle program
- $138 million for education to fully fund the President's request
- $3.05 billion for cross-agency support ($142 million below request)
- $424 million for construction and environmental compliance and restoration ($25 million below request)
- $36 million for inspector general ($1 million below the President's request)
In addition, the CJS bill would appropriate $4.5 billion in spending for NOAA - $1 billion less than the President requested in FY 2012. In formulating the budget decrease, the committee recommended funding the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) at $901 million, which is $168 million below request.
The CJS bill now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.
The Space Foundation has produced a NASA FY 2012 Budget Comparison document that is available here.
*The Space Foundation has also has taken a position of strong support of funding for the James Webb Space Telescope; for details, click here.