Report from Washington, D.C.

April Government Affairs Update

Written by: developer

by Charles A. Harris, Space Foundation Manager – Washington Operations

Space policy activity in April kicked off with the Space Foundation’s 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, where one of the more widely discussed policy topics throughout the week was Air Force Space Command. At the Symposium’s Government Affairs Breakfast, Chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee Mike Rogers (R-AL) talked at length about his vision for the future of the armed forces and its role in space endeavors. He advocated for the creation of a ‘space corps,’ a new, separate branch of the military to serve the U.S. military’s space interests.

General John “Jay” Raymond, USAF, Commander of Air Force Space Command, also spoke at the Symposium, announcing the creation of a new position, deputy chief of staff for space, within the Air Force. Several other speakers addressed various reforms and ideas about what the future of the military’s space organization and leadership should look like.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) attended the Space Symposium, speaking at multiple events throughout the week and voicing strong support for the nation’s military and civilian space programs. Previously, at the 2016 Space Symposium, Rep. Bridenstine unveiled his ‘American Space Renaissance Act’ as a conduit for a wide range of space-related policy ideas and reforms. He said he hopes to continue his strong focus and leadership on space issues in a similar fashion in the 115th Congress.

Toward the end of the month, there were several space-related hearings scheduled on Capitol Hill. On April 26, the Senate Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee held a hearing titled, “Reopening the American Frontier: Reducing Regulatory Barriers and Expanding American Free Enterprise in Space.” On the same day the House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a full committee hearing on “Advances in the Search for Life.”

The space policy community remains on the lookout for the Trump Administration’s full budget proposal after it released a budget ‘blueprint’ earlier this spring.

This article is part of Space Watch: May 2017 (Volume: 16, Issue: 5).