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House Sends Crucial Commercial Space Bill to President’s Desk

Press Release From: U.S. House of Representatives
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2015

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Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today praised passage of crucial legislation that provides guidance and certainty for American commercial space partners. The bicameral, bipartisan agreement on H.R. 2262, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, consolidates language from the House-passed SPACE Act with provisions from the Senate’s commercial space legislation. It is now headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Today America stands at the beginning of a new era of innovation and adventure. Scientists --- engineers --- astronauts --- and entrepreneurs are working to embark on the next phase of our journey into space. Completing consideration of the SPACE Act in this chamber today helps ensure America remains the leader in space exploration and innovation in the 21st century. I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.”

Chairman Lamar Smith: “This bill is the product of over three years of work, 14 committee hearings, multiple markups, and input from industry, education groups, and grassroots citizen advocacy groups. Virtually every space stakeholder group supports this bill. It passed the Senate unanimously last week.

“H.R. 2262 keeps America at the forefront of aerospace technology, promotes American jobs, reduces red tape, promotes safety, and inspires the next generation of explorers. It provides the boost America’s private space partners need as they lead the world into the future.

“Thanks go to Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, an honorary member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, for sponsoring this important legislation. This bill encourages the private sector to launch rockets, take risks, and shoot for the stars.”

Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin: “This bipartisan, bicameral bill creates a framework that will attract private investment in space and secure American leadership in commercial space endeavors. None of this could have been possible without the tireless leadership of Majority Leader McCarthy and Chairman Lamar Smith, who sponsored the bill.”

Following last week’s Senate passage, McCarthy and Smith thanked Senators Thune, Cruz, and Nelson for their work on the bill. The House today passed H.R. 2262 with a broad bipartisan majority as well as support from space community stakeholders. Specifically, H.R. 2262:

- Extends the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory learning period through September 30, 2023

- Preserves the risk sharing regime that allows American companies to remain internationally competitive through September 30, 2025

- Provides a four-year extension of the International Space Station until at least 2024 that gives certainty for ISS National Laboratory users

The House-Senate agreement also includes three additional bills passed out of the House Science Committee:

- H.R. 2261, the “Commercial Remote Sensing Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)
- H.R. 2263, the “Office of Space Commerce Act” introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)
- H.R. 1508, the “Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).

In addition to McCarthy and Smith, H.R. 2262 was originally introduced in the House with the support of the following cosponsors: Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.).

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