Press Release

IFPTE Applauds Senate Appropriators’ NASA Budget

By SpaceRef Editor
July 1, 2009
Filed under ,

Union praises Mikulski for restoring Obama’s proposed NASA funding

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE) issued the following statements in response to last week’s Senate Appropriations Committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) Commerce, Justice, Science, and related Agencies (CJS) spending measure.

NASA Council of IFPTE Locals (NCIL) President, Dr. Lee Stone, said the following:

“IFPTE applauds Chairperson Mikulski for recognizing the critical need to fully fund the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] at President Obama’s proposed FY10 level. We also commend Senator Mikulski for her continued leadership in protecting the vitality and independence of NASA’s civil-servant workforce; her bill provides legislative text that extends the Reduction-In-Force defund as well as report language that requires much greater transparency in NASA’s planned use of term positions in FY10 and in the way NASA accounts for civil-servant salary in its FY11 budget submission. IFPTE expects that this accounting change will begin the dismantling of the full-cost recovery policies of the Bush Administration that have systematically and intentionally harmed NASA employees since 2003. IFPTE strongly supports the effort to reverse this wasteful and destructive Bush accounting practice and will work diligently with the conferees to provide President Obama’s new Administrator with targeted authority to initiate the healing process even earlier through the FY10 Operating Plan this fall.

“IFPTE also thanks House Subcommittee Chairman Mollohan for his astute legislative skills. Given the austere fiscal constraints of the House Budget Resolution, IFPTE understands that the House was simply unable to provide full funding for NASA without causing severe and unacceptable adverse impacts on other critically important CJS priorities. The Chairman’s tactical decision to consolidate all of the cuts to NASA’s human spaceflight program set the stage for the straightforward full restoration of NASA’s top line by Senate Appropriators, who have greater budgetary flexibility and for whom Human Exploration is a high priority.”

IFPTE President Gregory Junemann also weighed in with the following statement:

“The nation owes Senator Mikulski a great deal of gratitude as she continues to adroitly shepherd our Aerospace Agency on its precarious journey through the appropriations process. The union remains optimistic that under President Obama’s leadership and that of Chairpersons Mikulski and Mollohan, NASA will once again prosper and be able to deliver fully on its promises to the American people. In this regard, we look forward to working with Administrator Bolden and Congress to support NASA’s broad portfolio of Science, Aeronautics, and Exploration investments. Providing NASA with sufficient resources will be crucial in fostering the innovation necessary for successful extended human spaceflight; for safer, faster, quieter, cleaner, more efficient civil aviation; for history-changing and awe-inspiring scientific discovery; and ultimately for maintaining America’s world leadership in Aerospace – all key factors in enhancing our economic competitiveness and maintaining our national security through the 21st century.”

IFPTE is NASA’s largest civil-servant union, representing thousands of NASA workers across the country.

SpaceRef staff editor.