From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Congressman John Culberson (TX-07), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee today issued the following statement after chairing a budget oversight hearing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
“Today during my Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, I asked NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden about the long-term impact of President Obama cancelling the Constellation Program back in 2010. In the last 20 years, NASA has spent more than $20 billion on cancelled development programs. This is an extraordinary waste of taxpayer dollars.
“The President’s irresponsible cancellation of the Constellation Program placed our human spaceflight capability at the mercy of Russia. Today, our astronauts have to fly on Russian spacecraft to get to the International Space Station.
"Administrator Bolden made it clear in his answers that the Obama Administration has no contingency plan in place to send U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station if Russia chooses to end the current agreement that allows our astronauts to travel to the space station on board its Soyuz capsules.
"Given the current instability in Russia, it is irresponsible for our human spaceflight program to rely on Russia transporting U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station until U.S. commercial crew capability is available in 2017 or beyond.
"Restoring NASA to its glory days of the Apollo Space Mission is one of my highest priorities.
“In order to do this, we must get politics out of the way and let science drive the priorities of NASA – especially the priorities found in the decadal survey.
“It’s also important that we look for ways to get the most out of our NASA investments. Our budget allocation is going to be tight again this year. We need to look for efficiencies, streamline programs and make sure the agency stays focused on its core mission.”
The Subcommittee heard testimony from NASA Administrator, General Charles Bolden, who outlined the Administration’s $18.5 billion fiscal year 2016 budget request, an increase of $519 million above the current fiscal year.
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