May 11, 2012
Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s (NASA). I appreciate hearing your thoughts and concerns on this important issue.
From 2004 to 2010, the priorities of NASA were governed by the Vision for Space Exploration, which was announced by President George W. Bush in January 2004 and furthered by Congress in the 2005 and 2008 NASA authorization acts (P.L. 109-155 and P.L. 110-422). The Vision for Space Exploration directed NASA to focus its efforts on returning humans to the moon by 2020, thereby ending the need for the space shuttle program.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267) authorized major changes in the direction of NASA and the Vision for Space. It called for the development of a new, crew-capable, heavy-lift rocket for long-range explorations missions and provided for the development of commercial partnerships to transport Americans to the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. I supported this legislation when it passed the House of Representatives on September 29, 2010, by a vote of 308 to 118, because it strikes a balance between reasonable budget solutions and continued manned space exploration.
As an engineer, I understand the important contributions NASA has made to the development of science and technology in the United States. Central New Mexico is an important stakeholder in the aerospace industry with the presence of Kirtland Air Force Base, White Sands NASA center, and the New Mexico spaceport.
That is one of the many reasons I voted in support of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which authorized $18.7 billion to NASA through FY 2011. President Obama signed this legislation into law on December 16, 2009 (P.L. 111-117). I also voted in support of the FY 2012 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which authorized $17.4 billion to NASA through FY 2013. President Barack Obama signed this legislation into law on November 18, 2011 (P.L. 112-055)
As you may know, President Barack Obama released his FY 2013 budget request on February 13, 2012, which authorizes government funding for many non-defense related department and programs in order to cut our budget deficit and national debt. The FY 2013 budget request provides $17.7 billion for NASA. Our country’s future depends on balancing the need for investments in scientific research and development with the need to make fiscally responsible budget choices. Please rest assured that I will keep your views in mind as the House of Representatives considers the president’s FY 2013 budget request.
Again, thank you for contacting me. For more information and additional details about legislation, please visit my website, http://heinrich.house.gov. While you are there, you can also sign up to receive periodic updates on my work in Congress.
As always, I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you.
Member of Congress
Web Site: http://Heinrich.house.gov
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