Well, now that spring has arrived, it’s time for Congress to get around to passing the 2018 budget that was due in time for the start of the fiscal year last Oct. 1 — that is to say, nearly two seasons ago.
Yes, we went through all of winter, most of fall and a couple of days of spring before Congress got around to cobbling together a spending bill. On Wednesday, the House released a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that is 2,232 pages long.
They say good things happen to those who wait; in this case, that patience may well pay off for NASA (not that the agency any choice in the matter).
The space agency’s budget would be boosted to $20.7 billion. The budget would be $1.1 billion above the $19.6 billion NASA received in FY 2017 and $1.6 billion above the $19.1 billion the Trump Administration proposed to spend in FY 2018.
NASA’s budget is facing deep cuts in January from two sources: sequestration and Mitt Romney.
If President Obama and Congress cannot work out a deal, sequestration will cut NASA’s budget by 8 percent or $1.458 billion in early January, according to a new report issued by the White House.
Meanwhile, Romney has promised if elected to send a bill to Congress on his first day in office, Jan. 20, that would slash non-security discretionary spending across the board. If the measure approved, it would result in a reduction of nearly $900 million from the space agency’s budget.
The White House has submitted a report to Congress on $100 billion in budget cuts under the sequestration law., NASA would experience a $1.4 billion reduction from its current $17.7 billion budget to $16.3 billion.
Below are the Office of Management and Budget’s estimates of NASA’s sequestration cuts unless Congress and the White House can work out a deal to avoid them.
ESTIMATED NASA SEQUESTRATION CUTS
Cross Agency Support
Construction, Environmental Compliance and Remediation