Report from Washington, D.C.

October D.C. Space Activities

Written by: developer

by Jillianne Pierce, Space Foundation Government Affairs Associate

On Oct. 8, the Space Foundation D.C. team attended lunch at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, where Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham presented an update of Space Foundation business.

That same week, the team attended briefings at the Embassy of Sweden about U.S.-Swedish space collaboration.

On Oct. 9, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology, Subcommittee on Space held a hearing entitled “Deep Space Exploration: Examining the Impact of the President’s Budget,” which looked at the future of NASA’s SLS and Orion programs and highlighted the unfortunate ramifications of politics on NASA’s long-term exploration plans.

Meanwhile, in late October, House Republicans voted to nominate Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker of the House. Ryan succeeds John Boehner (R-OH), who announced his resignation unexpectedly at the end of September after more than two decades in Congress. Ryan has stated his support for a bipartisan two-year budget package. The package will suspend the debt ceiling until March 2017 and set funding through September of 2017.

Through a rarely-used procedural tactic called a discharge petition, a bipartisan group of House members came together to thwart Export-Import (“Ex-Im”) Bank critics and get a reauthorization bill set for a floor vote on October 27. Though the House overwhelmingly agreed to pass a bill re-authorizing the Ex-Im Bank, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he does not intend to bring the issue for a floor vote in the Senate. In late June, the Senate approved to re-authorize the Ex-Im Bank as part of a national highway bill, but the House at that time didn’t take up the highway bill. The Ex-Im Bank provided loans and loan guarantees which allowed foreign customers to purchase U.S. goods and services. The bank’s charter expired in June, and has negatively impacted a number of American businesses, including many in the aerospace sector.

In November, the Space Foundation D.C. team is excited to host its first New Generation networking event in Washington, D.C. In partnership with the George Washington University Space Policy Institute, students and young professionals will have the opportunity to network in a casual forum with experienced members of the space community. For details, please contact [email protected].

This article is part of Space Watch: November 2015 (Volume: 14, Issue: 11).