Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Senate Votes to Cut NASA FY2012 Budget

Florida Today reports that the U.S. Senate voted today to cut NASA's Fiscal Year 2012 budget by $509 million.

This is less than the $1.6 billion cut by the House. The Democratic Party has the majority in the Senate, while the Republican Party has the majority in the House.

The Obama administration proposed $18.7 billion for FY 2012. The Senate would reduce that to $17.9 billion, while the House would reduce that to $16.8 billion.

The House would cancel the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble telescope.

The Obama administration asked for $850 million for commercial space. The Senate reduces that to $500 million, while the House would lower it to $312 million.

Once both bills clear their respective houses, the proposals will go to a reconciliation committee where the houses iron out the differences. Once the reconciliation bill is passed by both houses, it will go to the President for signature. NASA will be one small part of a much larger budget bill.

The 2012 Fiscal Year began October 1, so Congress is already a month late in delivering the new budget. NASA and other agencies operate on a "continuing resolution" at FY2011 levels until Congress passes the budget bill and it's signed by the President.

UPDATE November 2, 2011 — Florida Today reports more details on the FY12 budget.

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