House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX) released statements today criticizing the NASA funding priorities in the 2021 appropriations bill passed today.
“The administration has set a bold goal to return Americans to the Moon in the next decade, and then venture on to Mars,” Lucas said. “This isn’t a symbolic effort: returning to the Moon will keep us on the leading edge of technological development, help us identify and manage lunar resources, and prevent China from gaining leadership in space exploration and utilization. Investing in our return to the Moon is critical, and yet this appropriations bill ignores the elements we most need to make that happen. In particular, we need funding now to move forward on the Human Landing System, but this legislation provides only a fraction of what’s needed to do that. As a nation, we need to prioritize human space exploration. This bill is shortsighted, and I hope we can do more to support NASA’s critical missions.”
“The FY21 Appropriations bill is a special interest wish-list that busts the Budget Control Act that Congress is lawfully bound to follow,” Babin said. “Rather than make hard choices, the Majority chose to simply fund every pet-project and increase every agency budget regardless of whether it is possible or realistic. That’s why it is surprising that they refused to prioritize America’s return to the Moon. I look forward to working with the Senate and the Administration to enable American astronauts to return to the Moon, inspire the next generation of explorers, and advance human discovery.”