House Appropriators Propose $103 Million Budget Cut for NASA

The U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol (Image credit: Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol)

WASHINGTON — NASA’s budget would drop $103 million this year if Congress adopts spending cuts outlined Feb. 9 by the House Appropriations Committee.

NASA, like the rest of the federal government, has been operating since October under a stopgap spending measure that expires March 4. For NASA, the stopgap measure — known as a continuing resolution — has meant making do with the $18.724 billion Congress appropriated for 2010.

House appropriators intend to introduce a new continuing resolution soon that would fund the government through the end of September. Among the cuts they intend to include is a $379 million reduction to NASA’s proposed $19 billion budget for 2011. If enacted, that would leave NASA funded at $18.621 billion, or $103 million below the agency’s 2010 level.

The cuts outlined by the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee could have a hard time making it through the Democrat-controlled Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Feb. 4 wrote President Barack Obama urging him to exempt NASA from the three-year spending freeze the president outlined last month in his State of the Union address.

“As we approach the rollout of your [fiscal year] 2012 budget request, I look forward to a plan that is consistent with the NASA Authorization Act of 2010,” Reid wrote.

The NASA Authorization Act, which Obama signed into law in October, calls for funding NASA at $19.45 billion in 2012.

Obama is due to unveil his 2012 budget proposal Feb. 14.

This article was provided by Space News, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

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Editor-in-Chief, SpaceNews

Brian Berger is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews, a bi-weekly space industry news magazine, and He joined SpaceNews covering NASA in 1998 and was named Senior Staff Writer in 2004 before becoming Deputy Editor in 2008. Brian's reporting on NASA's 2003 Columbia space shuttle accident and received the Communications Award from the National Space Club Huntsville Chapter in 2019. Brian received a bachelor's degree in magazine production and editing from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.