Congress Returns to Work, Unlikely to Achieve Very Much

Capitol Building
Jeff Foust of Space News reports on the dismal prospects for a federal budget before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

Legislators return to work on Monday after their traditional August recess. The House has only 12 working days until it adjourns on Oct. 2 for a six-week break. That recess is needed so representatives can return home to campaign for re-election based on their stellar records of achievement.

With much to do and little time, legislators are expected to pass a continuing resolution that will keep the government operating for a few more months based on the current budget. Foust reports that NASA is unlikely to have a new budget until at least December, and most likely sometime in 2015.

On the plus side, it appears unlikely the government will be shut down again as it was last year when legislators and the White House could not agree on a continuing resolution.

Legislators have a number of other space-related measures to consider, including amendments to the Commercial Space Launch Act, the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, and re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.

No progress is expected on any of these measures until after the election. In fact, action is likely to be delayed until after the next Congress convenes in January.