NASA Administrator Statement About Budget Conference Agreement

Press Release From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2004

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe applauded a Congressional Conference Agreement today that supported the President's Vision for Space Exploration. The Conference Agreement for General Science, Space and Technology announced support for the Vision and committed to providing sufficient funding during fiscal year 2005 to initiate it.

Administrator O'Keefe said, "I am extremely pleased by the achievement last week of a House/Senate Conference Agreement on the FY 2005 Budget Resolution. It provides a total of $23.9 billion in budget authority for Function 250, General Science, Technology and Space, and the adoption by the House of Representatives, on May 19, of the Conference Report.

"The funding level for Function 250 will accommodate the President's FY 2005 budget request for NASA and funding of the Vision for Space Exploration in forthcoming action by the Committees on Appropriations.

"House and Senate managers for the Budget Resolution recognized the criticality of funding for NASA in the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference:

'The conferees support the President's Vision for Space Exploration and believe the fiscal year 2005 funding for Function 250 should provide sufficient funding to initiate the process. Additionally, the bulk of the requested increase for fiscal year 2005 is for Return to Flight of the Space Shuttle and continued assembly and operations for the International Space Station. The conferees hope that these two must-fund requirements will be taken into account during the consideration of the NASA appropriation.'

"This FY 2005 Conference Agreement is the culmination of hard work in Committee, House and Senate floor action, and, finally, weeks of Conference effort, led by Senate Chairman Don Nickles (R-OK) and House Chairman Jim Nussle (R-IA). The Chairmen were supported, in particular, by the efforts of Senators Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

"I look forward to the Senate taking up the Agreement following the current Congressional work period. The Conference Agreement on the Budget Resolution represents the critical first step in establishing an overall budget plan to guide subsequent action by the Committees on Appropriations, and now permits the setting of 302(b) allocations for Appropriations Subcommittees within which FY 2005 appropriations bills will be constructed."

The president requested a budget increase for fiscal year 2005 that begins the stepping stone approach to space exploration he announced in January 14. The bulk of the increase in the coming fiscal year will support return to flight efforts for the Space Shuttle, continued assembly and operations of the International Space Station.

For information about NASA, agency programs and budget on the Internet, visit:

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