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house Bill H.R. 4412

NASA Funding: Liftoff?

Argument in favor

Bipartisan support. Reflects input from the scientific community. Addresses security issues.

Argument opposed

Funding guidelines are too broad. Forces a change in NASA review schedules.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed June 9th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 401 Yea / 2 Nay
      house Committees
      Space and Aeronautics
      Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    IntroducedApril 7th, 2014

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What is House Bill H.R. 4412?

NASA spending plan that would increase use of the International Space Station for science research, encourage commercial use of space, further develop protection from solar flares, remove space debris, and support development of a new space telescope that would aid in detecting Earth-sized planets. Would also provide funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.  This act was passed by the Space Subcommittee on April 9, 2014, and is now clear for full House consideration.


Impacts U.S. presence in space and illustrates federal openness to commercial use of space.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4412

$16.80 Billion
The CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2687 would cost about $16.8 billion over the 2014-2019 period. (That figure excludes the effects of funding already enacted for 2014.)

More Information


The Hill: House Passes NASA Reauthorization  

Of Note:

According to Vice Chairman of the Space Subcommittee, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), 

The NASA Authorization Act of 2014 increases by almost $220 million the President’s Space Launch System (SLS) funding level.  SLS, which is largely developed and produced at Marshall Space Flight Center, is funded at $1.6 billion, an increase of $190 million over FY2013.  The $1.6 billion funding level for SLS emphasizes Congressional support for SLS, human exploration, groundbreaking scientific missions, and national security priorities beyond low-Earth orbit.
In Detail: 

According to Space News, the Act would: 

-Bar NASA from using any of its 2014 budget to pay the cost of canceling the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a telescope-equipped 747SP airplane NASA proposed grounding as part of its 2015 budget request. Without tapping into the mission’s 2014 science budget, NASA may not be able to wind the mission down by the agency’s self-imposed deadline of September 30, 2015, NASA Astrophysics Director Paul Hertz has said;

-Require NASA to develop a 20-year plan for maintaining the space-based communications and navigation services currently handled by the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network;

-Direct the NASA administrator to coordinate with the Pentagon on development of a new U.S.-built, liquid-fueled rocket engine for military space launches. Such an engine could replace the Russian-made RD-180 that powers United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5;

-Require NASA to report to Congress about how the agency plans to address security weaknesses in the policies that govern access by foreign citizens to NASA’s network of field centers, as identified in a 2013 investigation by the National Academy of Public Administration;

-Require the National Academies to compile a lessons-learned report about NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services program, under which Orbital Sciences Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. are being paid a combined $2.5 billion to haul at least 40 metric tons of cargo to the international space station.
-Perform biennial reviews of all NASA science missions that are operating beyond their minimum mission lifetime to determine whether the cost of continued operations is worthwhile. Following any year in which NASA performs such a review, the agency must report the results to Congress at the same time it transmits its annual budget request to Capitol Hill. NASA already performs periodic reviews of operating science missions, but not on the schedule prescribed by the bill.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2014

Official Title

To authorize the programs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.

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