May 13 2010

SHELBY: AMENDMENT PROTECTS CONSTELLATION PROGRAM

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, today cosponsored a provision added to the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill that clarifies and reinforces the intent of current law, which requires NASA to work with Congress and wait for approval prior to changing any current human exploration plans. 

Last year, Senator Shelby included language in the Fiscal Year 2010 CJS Appropriations bill that prohibits NASA from terminating or altering the current Constellation program without the consent of Congress.  Since President Obama signed that legislation, NASA has pressured contractors to self-terminate existing Constellation contracts to circumvent the law.  The provision added to the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill today makes clear that Constellation cannot be terminated unless it is done in a subsequent appropriations bill. 

Sen. Shelby released the following statement:

“The President’s NASA proposal has no clear direction other than to cancel Constellation, at any price, even if it means relinquishing our leadership in space,” said Shelby.  “NASA is now attempting to undermine current law as it relates to Fiscal Year 2010 Constellation funding by slow rolling contracts and pressuring companies to self-terminate.  It is disappointing that the political appointees at NASA have so much trouble following the letter and spirit of law.”