The Honorable Roy Blunt Chairman Senate LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee
The Honorable Patty Murray Ranking Member Senate LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee
The Honorable Rosa DeLauro Chairwoman House LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee
The Honorable Tom Cole Ranking Member House LHHS-ED Appropriations Subcommittee
Dear Chairman Blunt, Ranking Member Murray, Chairwoman DeLauro, and Ranking Member Cole:
I write to express the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ strong opposition to the administration’s revised budget request,which would rescind $3.9 billion from the Pell Grant reserve to, in part, fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
In seeking a $1.6 billion increase in NASA’s budget for fiscal year 2020 to land astronauts on the moon in 2024, the Trump Administration has claimed that “no NASA programs were cut” to accommodate the new spending. However, to quote Obi-wan Kenobi, this is only true from a certain point of view.
The Administration’s original FY 2020 request would cut NASA’s current $21.5 billion budget by $488 million while shifting funds from other space agency programs to the Artemis lunar program. Thus, the claim of no cuts can likely be interpreted as no reductions beyond what the Trump Administration has already proposed.
Further, the overall increase is not as large as it sounds. The supplemental request would increase NASA’s budget by $1.1 billion from its current $21.5 billion to $22.6 billion.