Dec 28 2015

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Probably a good thing wrapped in a bad thing

NASA got a huge bump in the recent Omnibus bill that was passed on the 18th: FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Clears Congress, Signed by President, which resulted in a gargantuan $1.3 billion increase over its 2015 budget. I was going to blog about days ago, but it was signed on the day after my boss quit, and I haven’t been able to go back and look at it in depth until now.

First off, the whole Omnibus bill is Congress’ cowardly way to avoid confrontation with the President, abdicating their one check to the Executive branch (the power of the purse). Basically, every liberal wet dream was in that budget (including the abomination Planned Parenthood), but the RINOs in Congress sprinkled that turd with some powdered sugar, like a big increase in NASA’s budget, to try to placate the masses.

But, if Congress insists on crony capitalism, they may as well increase NASA’s funding while they’re at it. At least the Commercial Crew Program got fully funded, which was a concern. Of course, the crony capitalism rocket known as the SLS got a $700 million bump from what the President asked for, which was $300 more than it got last year. And it gutted the RD-181 boycott. But that’s OK — the Democrats and the RINOs in Congress have more in common with the thug Putin than they do with the American people, so I’m not surprised.

Space Policy Online has an excellent, 10-page fact sheet if you’re interested in all the gory details. Two paragraphs stood out (i.e. disgusted me):

By comparison, NASA’s human exploration program – the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion,
and associated ground systems – and planetary science and astrophysics fare much better as
shown in Table 2. The President’s request would cut funding for SLS and Orion; this bill would
restore them to their FY2015 levels. Republicans and Democrats in Congress complain that the
Obama White House underfunds SLS and Orion knowing full well that they are congressional
priorities because the White House favors the commercial crew program. The House bill does
provide the full request for commercial crew in FY2016 ($1.244 billion) under the aspirational
scenario, but less ($1.136 billion) in the constrained scenario.

Of course Congress is against the Commercial Crew Program — less opportunity for graft compared to the CCP. And:

The President requested $1.361 billion for planetary science, a decrease of $76.6 million
compared to the FY2015 appropriations. Planetary science is very popular on both sides of
Capitol Hill and the decrease was certain to cause complaints.

I get that these budget conflicts are really just political games played by Calvin Ball rules, but sheesh! Who can possibly be against NASA’s planetary science role unless you’re just taking the contrarian position so that you can get concessions elsewhere? Sheesh, I say — SHEESH!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/28/probably-a-good-thing-wrapped-in-a-bad-thing/

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