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Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)  (Source:
The new bill would help NASA budget its funding over the long term

Two House Representatives are creating a NASA reform bill in an effort to help the agency with funding and long-term projects.
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) have joined forces to propose the new NASA reform bill. The bill aims to help NASA budget its funding over longer periods of time and also eliminate the politics that affect long-term projects.
Money is a huge factor in determining what NASA can and cannot do. Last October, the space agency urged Congress to provide $850 million in full for commercial crew vehicle development after NASA's space shuttle fleet was retired. This was necessary so that the U.S. wouldn't have to depend on Russia for a flight to the International Space Station (ISS), which is expected to increase to about $63 million per set by 2015. 
The new bill wants to place funding on a multi-year cycle rather than just an annual cycle. This will allow NASA to budget its funding over a longer period of time, rather than have to beg for more money each year in order to finish a project. NASA will know exactly how much it has ahead of time, and will be able to allot the total amount more efficiently. 
Aside from money, politics has become an issue for NASA. The Obama administration ended the Constellation Program rather quickly after $10 billion had already been spent on what was meant to put the U.S. back into space after the retirement of the space shuttle fleet. 
The reform bill's attempt to not only create a fixed, long-term budget, but also appoint a NASA administrator to a 10-year term, will make NASA a well-oiled machine for a longer period of time and help progress the U.S.' space program without any intrusion from politics or begging to Congress. 

Source: Examiner

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More details!
By Ringold on 8/14/2012 10:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
The idea is probably still-born in an election year, but more details would be good to know for future Congresses. I'm not sure I like the idea of potentially having a NASA administrator that has a longer term then a term-limited president, but longer-term funding only seems logical.

A good idea would be far greater independence. NASA gets line-itemed or ear-marked to death, with politicians micro-managing funding. I think giving NASA some sort of appointed oversight committee with lengthy appointments and giving that committee an annual (or perhaps every 3 years, to give every President a shot at an impact) block grant with no strings attached would be a sound way forward.

That'd give NASA political independence, some clarity on its budget, and still leave room for politicians to put NASA back in line if it got out of hand. If ear-marks are agreed to occasionally be very useful and necessary, maybe stipulate in law they make up no more than 10% of the total?

Just ideas off the cuff, but this sort of discussion is great for NASA's future. It's been sick watching the future of projects like the TPF hang in the balance of some House committee.

RE: More details!
By kattanna on 8/15/2012 11:32:53 AM , Rating: 2
i can agree, more details would be great.

its nice some can realize that NASA needs a longer term outlook. where it doesnt have to worry that what it is doing is going to change every 4 years, which results in lots of waste and little progress.

RE: More details!
By OdinOrion on 8/15/2012 3:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with this. As much as a hate to say so, the fact is that everything needs to be downsized if we have any chance to come of this debt. I will never ever get over the absolute stupidity of going into an unnecessary war. Those wasted trillions could do wonders for us right now. Talk about fiscal irresponsibility, we borrowed the money to go to war. But we can't go back and undo it. We just have to move forward.

Its a sad state of affairs when we are pulling so much money out of basic research and education. Research that, in the past, has shown to be of great benefit to this country, its people, and economy. People don't understand that many of "our" scientists are not ours. They come from countries that value science and math as a part of education and as a part of society. If the money dries up here, they will go elsewhere to do their research. The detrimental long term effects of this cannot be underestimated. New technology brings about new jobs.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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