Status Report

Letter from U.S. House to President Bush Urging Support for NASA

By SpaceRef Editor
November 4, 2003
Filed under , , ,
Letter from U.S. House to President Bush Urging Support for NASA

Congress of the United States

House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

October 24, 2003

President George W. Bush

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

On February 1, 2003, you eloquently said, “Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.” We commend you for publicly recognizing that we are a nation of explorers, and for expressing your continued support for the U.S. space program.

As you know, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board has recently completed its investigation into the events and circumstances that led to the tragic Columbia accident. In its report, the Board observed that, “… we believe that the White House, Congress, and NASA should honor the memory of Columbia’s crew by reflecting on the nation’s future in space and the role of new space transportation capabilities in enabling whatever space goals the nation chooses to pursue.”

We are writing to you as Members of Congress to express our strong support for a robust future for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is our vision that this future includes vigorous manned and unmanned exploration of the universe around us. We believe that a robust NASA, which partners as appropriate with other government agencies, should provide the foundation for the future of our nation’s space strategy. NASA should be aggressively engaged in expanding the boundaries of human space exploration, improving our nation’s access to space, enabling a safer and more efficient air transportation system, solving the scientific mysteries held in our solar system and the universe beyond, and understanding our own Earth and its environment. By tackling these challenges, our nation will maintain its technological edge over the rest of the world. A strong NASA will also play a critical role in strengthening the spirit of innovation which has made our country strong, educating our future high-tech workforce that is a prerequisite for our future national and economic security, and for inspiring the next generation of explorers. Recognizing that NASA is funded by valuable taxpayer dollars, NASA leadership should endeavor to focus the agency on an inspiring mission that reflects the priorities of our citizens, and strive to maximize the benefits of its work and accomplishments to the American public.

Historically, the funding requested for NASA from multiple Administrations, and provided to NASA by Congress, has not demonstrated an appropriate level of commitment to an agency that is so important to the future of our nation. According to the report of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, between 1993 and 2002, the federal government’s discretionary spending grew in purchasing power by more than 25 percent. In contrast, NASA’s budget went from $14.31 billion in Fiscal Year 1993, to a low of $13.6 billion in Fiscal Year 2000, and increasing to $14.87 billion in Fiscal Year 2002. This funding profile represented a loss of 13 percent in purchasing power over the decade. We enthusiastically write to you today to clearly and unambiguously express our strong interest in reinvigorating NASA and turning this funding trend around.

On February 1 of this year, the world lost seven brave astronauts. Over seven months later, we continue to remember the ultimate sacrifice that these intrepid explorers made in the name of scientific discovery for the benefit of all mankind. The greatest tribute that we as national leaders can make is to ensure that their legacy of exploration is continued through a vibrant NASA. We eagerly look forward to working with you in a bipartisan manner to assure that America maintains the preeminent space and aeronautics program in the world, and we respectfully await your reply on this important matter.


Bud Cramer

Tom DeLay

Dave Weldon

Robert B. Aderholt

George R. Nethercutt, Jr.

Nick Lampson

Ken Calvert

Marcy Kaptur

Ralph Hall

Terry Everett

Mark Udall

Ellen Tauscher

Doug Ose

Jim Matheson

Lincoln Davis

Joe Barton

Raúl M. Grijalva

Todd Russell Platts

Tom Feeney

Chris Bell

David Vitter

William J. Jefferson

John T. Doolittle

Stevan Pearce

Brian Baird

Michael M. Honda

Artur Davis

Alcee L. Hastings

Ciro D. Rodriguez

Pete Sessions

Bob Etheridge

Edward L. Schrock

Dennis Moore

Mike Ross

Kevin Brady

Steny Hoyer

Max Sandlin

Curt Weldon

Martin Frost

Adam Putnam

Mario Diaz-Balart

Ginny Brown-Waite

Ray LaHood

Bobby Rush

David Price

Bob Beauprez

Bart Gordon

Melvin Watt

John Shimkus

Sherwood Boehlert

Michael C. Burgess

Silvestre Reyes

Lamar Smith

David Dreier

Trent Franks

David Wu

Chris Van Hollen

Jo Bonner

Spencer Bachus

William L. Jenkins

Jane Harman

J.D. Hayworth

Lincoln Diaz-Balart

Alan Mollohan

Roger Wicker

Mike Rogers

Sheila Jackson-Lee

Steven C. LaTourette

Rob Bishop

Chris Cannon

Gene Green

Charles A. Gonzalez

Michael K. Simpson

John Abney Culberson

Lois Capps

Katherine Harris

Michael Bilirakis

Frank Wolf

J. Randy Forbes

Adam B. Schiff

Anna G. Eshoo

Robert Wexler

Porter J. Goss

Cliff Stearns

Jo Ann Davis

Zoe Lofgren

James P. Moran

Kay Granger

Tom Davis

Richard W. Pombo

Eddie Bernice Johnson

John S. Tanner

Eric Cantor

Rick Boucher

Gene Taylor

Gary G. Miller

Zach Wamp

Randy Neugebauer

Henry Bonilla

Jeb Hensarling

Jerry Lewis

SpaceRef staff editor.