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Lucas and Babin Send Oversight Letters to Commerce, Defense, and State on U.S. Space Activities

Mar 5, 2021
Press Release

(Washington, DC) – Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas(R-OK) and Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Ranking Member Brian Babin (R-TX) sent letters to the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, and Department of State requesting information on proposals regarding U.S. space policy. 

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Lucas and Babin requested information on the Department’s plans to manage commercial space activities, including space situational awareness and space traffic management. Lucas and Babin asked the Department to provide a detailed spending plan for Office of Space Commerce funding as well as comprehensive information on employee duties and any potential employee transfers. 

“Your attention to SSA and STM during your tenure could have a profound impact on the future of U.S. leadership in space,” the letter says. “We look forward to working with you going forward and hope you can provide additional information on the Department’s plans.”

Lucas and Babin also sent letters to the Departments of Defense and State regarding efforts to create a binding United Nations resolution on rules of behavior in space, referenced by U.S. Space Command’s Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt in an interview with SpaceNews in February.

Presenting recommendations to the UN “will have a significant impact on not only the future of U.S. government activities in space, but also the U.S. private space sector’s ability to continue to prosper,” the letter notes. “Without coordination with the Congress and specifically the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, any proposal offered to the United Nations could create confusion, complicate the enactment of statutes implementing such proposals, and conflict with existing statutes, policies, and constitutional rights. Failure to keep Congress informed could also be viewed as an attempt to limit private sector activities.”

Lucas and Babin directed the Departments of Defense and State to share all current information on the development or drafting of proposals to the UN. 

Read the full letters here:

To the Department of Commerce

To the Department of Defense

To the Department of State

 
Issues: 
117th Congress