Status Report

IFPTE Supported NASA Aeronautics Amendment – Sen. Mike DeWine To Offer

By SpaceRef Editor
March 15, 2006
Filed under , ,

IFPTE Supported NASA Aeronautics Amendment – Sen. Mike DeWine To Offer

To All IFPTE Locals,

Attached is a letter we sent yesterday to every Senate office expressing IFPTE’s support for two potential amendments to be offered by Sen. Mike DeWine (R, OH) this week.  As you can see, the amendments are intended to be offered during consideration of the FY07 Budget bill, and are aimed at restoring the funding for NASA’s aeronautics programs to last year’s levels.

Without going to much into detail (the letter explains it pretty nicely), the administration has drastically underfunded several important programs at NASA that will not only impact those members we represent in both the federal and private sectors, but it will also threaten the future viability of aeronautics R&D all together.  Much to the credit of Senator DeWine, his office has worked closely with IFPTE to try to remedy this issue.

There may or may not be a vote on one, or both of these amendments.  However, I think it is best for us to assume that there will be a vote.  Having said that, I would like to ask that all the Locals re-send the attached letter, and try to contact your respective Senators offices asking that they support the amendment(s).  

We also are continuing to address the shortages in the Science related funding, but will likely not be able to get a vote on that particular issue at this time.  But we will continue to pursue that issue, as well the aero issue as the year progresses.

Obviously, this is particularly important to the aeronautics centers we represent, as well as to those Boeing workers doing NASA related aeronautics work.  For those locals representing these workers in particular, please be sure to make sure your Senators get this letter.

I thank you in advance for your support.  Please do feel free to contact me directly if you should have any questions.

In Solidarity, Matt

Matthew S. Biggs
Assistant to the President/Legislative Director
International Federation of Professional &
Technical Engineers (IFPTE), AFL-CIO
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD  20910
T- (301) 565-9016
F -(301) 565-0018

March 14,2006

Dear Senator,

As President of NASA’s largest union, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), I am writing regarding this week’s consideration of the Fiscal Year 2007 budget bill. It is my understanding that there may be two critical amendments offered by Senator Mike DeWine that aim to correct the flaws in the President’s budget proposal with respect to key NASA programs.

The President’s budget proposal fell well short of the necessary finding needed for NASA to continue its world-renown research and development (R&D) in the area of aeronautics. Not only do the numbers fall well short of those in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 that the President signed into law after unanimous approval by Congress not more than three months ago, it fails to even maintain level funding. Without Congress’ stepping in to correct this, NASA’s ability to support the nation’s leadership in aeronautics R&D will be jeopardy. Abdicating our responsibility to maintain America’s leadership in this area will have a considerable adverse consequence for our national security and prestige as Europe and Asia are threatening to assume world leadership in many aerospace related areas if the United States should falter.

I therefore urge that you to support the following amendments, should they come up for a vote this week in the Senate:

  • An amendment to increase funding for NASA aeronautics programs by $179 million in fiscal year 2007;
  • A sense of the Senate legislative proposal to increase the level of funding provided for Aeronautics Research within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration by $179 million in fiscal year 2007 thereby maintaining continuity with Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations;

It is clear that NASA is at a crossroads. Either Congress can add the monies necessary to continue these critical programs, or the United States will lose some of its competitive edge perhaps for good. I am hopefbl you will strongly consider voting to approve these amendments.

Should you have any questions, please feel fiee to contact me, or IFPTE Legislative Director Matt Biggs at (301)565-9016.


Gregory J. Junemann

SpaceRef staff editor.