Economic Stimulus Package Contains $1 Billion for NASA
WASHINGTON - NASA stands to receive $1 billion of a $789 billion economic stimulus package negotiated by House and Senate conferees and headed for a vote in both chambers as soon as today, congressional sources said.
The conferees reached a deal Wednesday that reconciles the differences between the House and Senate versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The compromise roughly split the difference between the Senate's proposed $1.3 billion for NASA and the $600 million included in the House version of the bill.
The compromise spending plan includes $400 million to narrow the gap between the planned 2010 retirement of the space shuttle and the first flight of its successor. The Senate measure had called for $450 million; the House version included no money for narrowing the gap.
NASA also would receive the House request of $400 million for Earth science and climate monitoring projects and $150 million for aeronautics under the compromise. The Senate had proposed spending $50 million more in each area.
The Senate bill had included $250 million to repair NASA facilities damaged by Hurricane Ike last summer, but the measure now headed for vote includes the House request for $50 million.
NASA's Inspector General's Office would receive $2 million, a figure that has remained unchanged from the House and Senate versions of the stimulus package.
NASA's 2008 budget was $17.3 billion. The agency has estimated it would cost an extra $5 billion to extend the space shuttle fleet?s service beyond 2010 to about 2012.
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