House Appropriations Committee Boosts Budgets for NASA, NOAA


WASHINGTON (House Appropriations Committee PR) — The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Friday, May 17. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.

The text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – NASA is funded at $22.32 billion, $815 million above the 2019 enacted level. This funding includes:

  • $7.16 billion for NASA Science programs – $255.6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
  • $123 million for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, $13 million above fiscal year 2019 and rejecting the Administration’s request to eliminate funding for these programs, which help inspire and train the country’s future STEM workforce.
  • $5.1 billion for Exploration – $79.1 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. This includes funding to continue the development of the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and related ground systems.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.48 billion for NOAA, which is $54.28 million above the fiscal year 2019 level and more than $1 million above the Administration’s request. Funding will help address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management.

Editor’s Note: The measure does not seem to take into account the supplemental request made earlier this week for NASA.

Working on a freelance project right now, so I don’t have time to go through the bill. For anyone who has time to take a look at the text of the House markup (link above), here are some resources for comparison purposes:

  • Saturn1300

    They say draft. I will try to watch the hearing. Members offer amendments, Artemus? may still come up.

  • ThomasLMatula

    So they are going along with cutting WFIRST?

  • windbourne

    spend $1T here, $1T there & pretty soon, we are talking real money.

    Frigging CONgress needs to rope in this deficit. We can not leave this to our kids.
    reagan, W, and now Trump create massive deficits like there is no tomorrow.
    CONgress needs to address this via taxation change.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Don’t leave out President Obama, he added $8.5 trillion placing him fifth on the all time list this website keeps. President Trump may be able to replace him, but only if he gets a second term.

    https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

    US Debt by President by Dollar and Percent

  • windbourne

    actually, he did not.
    He inherited the deficit, which added to the debt. In fact, he brought the deficit down.

  • duheagle

    You’re a leftist. It is part of the leftist catechism that the solution to deficits is always more taxation. You see taxpayers as an infinitely deep piggy bank that can always be tapped harder to fund the latest leftist enthusiasm. But there is no “taxation change” – I presume, here, you are weaseling your way out of explicitly saying “taxation increase” – that will solve the current deficit problem. Deficits are a spending problem and the out-of-control part of spending is entitlements, specifically, Social Security and Medicare. Get that fixed and everything else, including interest on the debt, falls into line.

    Entitlements, as presently structured, are unsustainable because they rise more every year than does the taxation base that is supposed to sustain them. The population ages and lives longer, but the payouts are made on a pay-as-you-go basis from current FICA tax revenues paid by those still working. At the same time, the U.S. birthrate has fallen below replacement level so each new generation is a smaller percentage of the total population than its predecessors and still has to pay the taxes which are the only current source of revenue to meet the expenses of the growing cohort of retirees from previous, larger, generations.

    Raising taxes is not a solution as it will simply have to be done again and again until taxation reaches 100% of income – well before which point, the whole system will utterly collapse. This is not a road it is possible to go down. There is a bridge out up ahead that cannot be repaired and when the bus we are riding gets there, it will go into the gorge and take us all with it.

    Any mathematically reasonable solution to this dilemma requires that the funding of entitlements be switched from a funding base that is fundamentally declining to one that is fundamentally growing. That means severing entitlements funding from pay-as-you-go taxation of working age people and transitioning it to something that will grow in step with the entire U.S. economy. The only thing big enough to generate the required average rate of return needed to keep the entitlements system solvent and generate the necessary funds is the U.S. equities market, both stocks and bonds. Social Security and Medicare must both be transitioned from a purely tax-supported to an all or mostly investment-supported funding base.

    The other reform needed to keep even an all or mostly investment-based entitlement funding structure from still generating requirements faster than they can be covered is to index the retirement age to the average U.S. life expectancy so that the retirement age rises as Americans live longer.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It is also appropriate to point out that the modern national debt started with the income tax since it made it easy for Congress to say “Yes to all of the above” spending requests instead of determining priorities and looking for ways other than raising the income tax to pay for it.

    The Transcontinential Railroad is a good example. The government didn’t pay the railroad directly for miles of track built, it issued long term bonds that the railroad had to pay off. They finally were in the 1930’s.Today the government would just take tax payer dollars to pay for it, like the failed California High Speed rail system.

  • windbourne

    Too funny.
    What I find funny. is that from the far left communist types, I am called far right wing nazi,
    while those on the far right nazi side, will call me a leftist.

    Why do you call me a leftists? Because you are incapable of getting past your NAZI side, and can not read.
    I Wrote:

    CONgress needs to address this via taxation change.

    Does that mean raise taxes? Nope. BUT, I will say that taxes are NOT covering the deficit.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYONGDA188S

    Obama brought it down basically, by building up the GDP, as well as not spending like a GOPer.

    But it gets better.
    Your fuher reagan had a tax rate above Obamas and well above Trump. And yet, you scream that ppl are STATIST, if they want a BALANCED BUDGET.
    No doubt you spend a lot of time on daily stormer.

  • windbourne

    uh no.

    The gov gave LAND to the railroads who were then free to sell it to whomever.
    We were LOADED with land.
    In addition, states and US gov issued bonds that the GOV paid, NOT THE RAILROADS.
    The railroads DID have some loans, but they were paid by the above mentioned land that was sold.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Transcontinental_Railroad

    And CA’s high speed rail failed because idiots were involved and allowed other nations to push their junk on us.
    Even now, CA fights Boring company because it will make them look bad.
    Hopefully, CA will get a decent GOv again. Schwarzenegger and Jerry brown were excellent. They each had issues, but overall, they did the right things, that enabled both SpaceX, Tesla, and Boring company.

  • windbourne

    BTW, I ignored that one comment where you called me a statist for claiming that Europe has safer food than America. It is obvious that you do not have a CLUE about what you speak of.
    You took Europe in 1970s, which was around 20 years past WW2 (and that does not include WW1), which means that Europe was still a disaster area. BUT, once they got EU going, they put in place decent regulations (stuff that only a CIVILIZED nation would have). Since 2000, EU has had their food recalls and infections PLUMMET.
    OTOH, I still have friends in the industry, and have told me that they are SHOCKED at how bad our food is becoming. For starters, most of our fish now comes from Chinese ships. They crawl across the ocean in multiple ships that are old and FILTHY. The fish processing just BARELY passes. They dump this off for the idiots that are willing to eat that horrible stuff (and loaded with lead from China’s coal plants).
    It is no different for our beef. You made WILD claims about what reagan and W did to USDA/FAA. I was shocked at how little you understand about this. I worked at Monforts back in the day. If you do not know who Monfort’s or Conagra is, well, I would not be surprised. Those inspectors did a great job on our food because of what had happened in the 20-40s. Back then, loads of ppl died from salmonella and e. coli. That is why we became the BEST during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. But things are so bad, that the GOP actually passed a bill that FORBIDS meat processors from testing for prions in more than 1/10 (50?) cattle. INSANE.

    EU tests EACH AND EVERY STEER for prions. That is the CORRECT solution.
    But it gets better. The biggest indicator of how bad things are, is the number of food recalls and how often ppl are getting sick and dying from our foods.

    So, what is happening?

    http://time.com/5504355/food-recalls-more-common/
    https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/banned-europe-safe-us/
    https://www.ecowatch.com/13-ways-the-eu-beats-the-u-s-on-food-safety-1881850175.html
    https://www.quora.com/Who-has-the-safest-and-best-food-safety-regulations-the-EU-or-the-US
    https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/64715/food-safety-2018/

    Eu food is currently safer than America’s. I do not like ALL of their regs, but, the fact still remains, that they have far less recalls and food sickness.

    And as one that grew up in American aircraft (i used to ride in cockpit jump seats in 727s and dc-10), it kills me to see our FAA headed down the same road as USDA/FDA.

  • therealdmt

    Strange to cut money for “Exploration research & development” — even if we ignore the 2024 Moon rush request, it’s still time to get to work on the Gateway (I mean, I don’t want any of this architecture really, but if we’re gonna do it, let’s do it).

    However, I t can be tricky to see without the numbers in front of you, but they didn’t actually *cut* anything real (as in decreasing spending on stuff) in relation to Exploration R&D, they’re just appropriating an amount lower than the amount requested. Nevertheless, it’s still an overall minor boost to Exploration research & development funding (though perhaps not when accounting for inflation).

    Exploration R&D was $395 million in FY2018 and $958 million for FY2019, while 1.27 billion was requested (after supplemental request) by the administration for FY2020.

    Here, the House Appropriations Committee is issuing a (draft) authorization of $962.1 million for Exploration R&D. That’s an approximately $4 million increase over last year, and a not-so-paltry approximately $1 billion dollars for Exploration R&D. For comparison, Russia’s entire Roscosmos budget seems to be about $2 billion a year

    Meanwhile, “Other parts of the NASA budget increased by the House bill include space technology, which receives an increase of $277 million to $1.29 billion.”. Hmmm. I wonder what got boosted there. Looking into it a bit, I see they’re providing $125 million for nuclear thermal propulsion technologies and are requiring a 5 year plan for a flight demonstration – dang. The other big bit is to restore Restore-L

  • therealdmt

    Election’s still 18 months away, let’s keep it cool here. You both support commercial space and actually achieving things rather than letting manned space continue to devolve into a jobs program. Ultimately, you just disagree on a specific tax rate.

    Now, let us sing: “Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbayaaaa!” 😀

  • ThomasLMatula

    You are confusing the other transcontinental railroads with The Transcontinental Railroad, the Union Pacific/Central Pacific. Land grants were part of it, but the land only had value AFTER the railroads were built and were more important to the railroads that followed the original Transcontinental Railroad by over a decade.

    When you build something like a railroad you need money up front, which was the purpose of the $500 millions in long term government loans used for the first Transcontinental Railroad.

    Once the railroad was built than the land, which was worthless before, had value for both the railroad and the government. But it wasn’t until the success of the Transcontinental Railroad that this was proven to where railroads could borrow from private markets against it, hence more then decade lag between the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 and the second one in 1881. The land grants were more beneficial to that second wave of railroads. But the proceeds from land sales at the Union Pacific/Central Railroad were used for other more immediate needs than paying off the long term bonds that were at a very low interest rate.

    The government also benefited from the land grants because the land went from being worthless to productive, producing wealth in various forms that the government was able to tax. Remember in that period the more source of government revenue were excise taxes, tariffs and land sales.

  • ThomasLMatula

    That is the excuse of every President, which is why that article ranks them on the percentage each added to the National Debt. Only two presidents in the last 100 years left a National Debt lower when they left office than when they entered, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. All the rest added to it.

    By percentage President Obama was fifth, but dollar amount he would be first.

  • therealdmt

    Man, I hope not

  • duheagle

    windbourne is a rational player on space matters because he applies, logic, science and intellectual resources to his views on such matters. So do I. That’s why we generally agree. It’s also why even our disagreements are often minor or are in terms of degree rather than fundamental thesis.

    On political issues, though, he’s pretty much Pavlov’s dog, mindlessly regurgitating whatever the leftist conventional wisdom happens to be no matter how ahistorical or devoid of sense. He’s been a staunch Trump-Russia collusionist, for example, though that was obviously nonsense from the start for anyone paying even cursory attention. His failure to note that Obama made the single largest addition to the national debt in the nation’s history as part of his anti-deficit screed is, regrettably, also fairly typical. In his mind, the Left is the source of all goodness and light and the Right is responsible for all the ills of the world including toenail fungus and male pattern baldness. Like most of the Left, politics is a substitute for religion and belief in eight impossible things before breakfast is simply one of the prices of admission to the fold.

  • duheagle

    WW2 ended in 1945. The mid- and late-70’s were 30 – 35 years after the war, not 20. Except for all the violent Marxist militias running around loose in those days – Baader-Meinhof, Red Brigades, South Moluccans, etc. – Europe was in pretty good shape. I saw no unrepaired WW2 damage in Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands and only a little bit in Italy. Europe was no disaster area.

    The EU didn’t exist yet at that time – it formed as a political entity in 1993 at the time the Euro was introduced as a common European currency. But the so-called European Community, more usually referred to as the Common Market – had been around for decades. The EC, as it was also known, got started in 1951 and included most of Western Europe by 1957. Brussels had long been its “capital” – that was a main theme of the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair – and that didn’t change anent the EU once that was a thing. Just the free movement of goods, including food, within the EC had necessitated a lot of upgrading and harmonizing of national food safety regulations. I can assure you that European food safety laws did not just magically appear from nowhere in 2000.

    There certainly are differences between European and American food and regulation. Something I’d never seen before going to Europe, for example, was super-pasteurized dairy products that were safe to store at room temperature for extended periods. At the time I was in Europe, a lot of people in the poorer European nations did not routinely have home refrigerators so there were products reflecting this.

    As for your links:

    One sees more food recalls and warnings these days than formerly because the ability to detect problems has improved, not because there are actually more problems.

    The linked stories touting the alleged superiority of European food regulation are all from leftist publications that uncritically regard more regulation as automatically superior to less. One of your cites is also obviously a part of the anti-scientific leftist movement to stigmatize and ban GMO foods and to do the same to pesticides/herbicides.

    None of your cites actually has any figures on relative instance of food-borne illness in the U.S. vs. Europe. That incidence, in fact, is pretty high in both places. Given that there is no good reporting system aimed specifically at identifying food-borne illness in either the EU or here, both transnational comparisons and even trendlines are all but impossible to pin down with any exactitude.

    The one pattern that is pretty clear is that most food-borne illness results from insufficient cooking or from actual contamination along the food growing-production path. The more one’s diet consists of pre-cooked and packaged food, the safer one tends to be from food-borne illness. The majority of recent food-borne illness “outbreaks” have been related to raw fresh vegetables. Salad bars are cesspools.

    Another thing about European food is that, compared to American food, it’s expensive. One of the reasons is that a lot of European agriculture is a lot less economically efficient than its U.S counterpart. The U.S. has a “farm lobby” to be sure, but it’s far less influential than it used to be because there are far fewer farmers than there used to be. This is much less true in Europe, where much of EU agricultural policy is aimed at sustaining uneconomic agriculture by keeping out competition, often using “safety” as a pretext.

    The only real analog to European average food costs you’ll find here is the scam-tastic “organic” food industry. The products of this industry are routinely inferior to efficiently produced food while still being two to four times more expensive. There’s a reason the unofficial nickname of Whole Foods Markets was “Whole Paycheck.” At least it’s mostly urban hipster leftists and not real people who are mostly the victims of this decades-long scam largely started by the late J. I. Rodale and continued by – whaddyaknow – one Jeff Bezos.

  • duheagle

    Nazi-ism is not a right-wing political philosophy, it is a left-wing political philosophy. “Nazi” as a term, in fact, is based on the German-language acronym of Hitler’s National Socialist Worker’s Party. The idea that Nazi-ism is “right-wing” is a trope of international Communists who were, at one time, happy to make common cause with the Nazis, then turned on them when Hitler double-crossed them and invaded their sacred Soviet Union. This trope has since become an article of faith among pretty much every left-of-center political faction in the U.S. and many other places. As with many other left-wing lies, repetition does not make it true.

    You deny “taxation change” means taxation increase, then note that current taxes don’t cover the deficit. You do the math. Have the courage of your maggoty convictions, and quit weaseling around the obvious truth.

    Obama did not bring down deficits. They exceeded a trillion dollars a year for the first time during his administration and did so during half of the eight years he was in office. This is such a transparent and easily checked lie I wonder that you bothered to tell it.

    Nor did he do any yeoman work growing the GDP. During no single year of Obama’s presidency did the GDP grow by even 2%. He turned in the worst economic performance by the U.S. economy since the 30’s under FDR. The Obama years were Great Depression 2.0. Another lie so transparently ridiculous as to hardly be worth the effort.

    When Reagan took office, the top federal income tax rate was 70% as it had been for most of the time since JFK had cut it to that level from the 90% of the Eisenhower era. Reagan dropped it to 50% which both increased government revenues and, as with Kennedy’s cut, ignited an economic boom. In 1986, he dropped the top rate to 28% and eliminated most deductions. By the end of the Clinton administration, the top rate was back up to 39.6%. Bush 43 brought it back down a bit to 35%. Obama put it back up to 43.4%. Trump has brought it down again to Clinton levels.

    Neither you nor any other leftist really wants a balanced budget. If you did, you wouldn’t have consistently done everything in your power to unbalance it.

  • duheagle

    Schwarzenegger talked a good game but, when the chips were down, he was a girly man. The Governator’s time in office was an enormous wasted opportunity.

    Jerry Brown is, without question, the worst governor in the history of the state. Gavin Newsom would probably give him a run for his money in that respect, except poor Gavin would have to double Jerry’s rate of damage to the state to succeed because he’s going to have only two terms, at most, in which to lay all that waste instead of four like Jerry. And Gavin would have to come up with something even more injurious to the state than Jerry’s first-term masterpiece, allowing public employees to unionize. That’s a pretty tall order even for an ardent idiot Progressive. But I know we can count on Gavin to do his best (i.e., worst) despite the daunting stern chase involved.

    SpaceX, Tesla and the Boring Company were not “enabled” by Democratic rule in CA, they were enabled by one Elon Musk despite Democratic rule in CA.

  • duheagle

    He inherited both a deficit and a national debt, then proceeded to make both far worse. He roughly doubled the debt by running up big deficits during his remaining time in office.

    The spending he did is a matter of record, starting with his idiotic “stimulus”-that-wasn’t during his first year. Search engines are your friend.

  • windbourne

    whoa…
    at least some money is flowing to Nuclear Thermal, but we really need to increase that.

  • Saturn1300

    They just voted it up to next level. Artemis is just included in SLS. It has not been cut, so it keeps going. No funds for it , so that will be decided later. They want to try nuclear thermal. 2024 test. Steam rockets?