Democrat's in the U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate, along party lines, their version fulfilling President Obama's request for massive federal spending, Wednesday. With interest and debt service, the final package is expect to fund, above and beyond the budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2009, $1,174 Billion.
From the Houston Chronicle, early Thursday:
President Obama has said repeatedly that the $819 billion economic plan approved Wednesday night by the House is just a first step along the road to the final stimulus package.
NASA and its supporters certainly hope so.
The House on Wednesday rejected pleas from pro-NASA lawmakers to include up to $2 billion for space exploration and accelerated construction of the next generation of manned spacecraft. The measure, approved by a vote of 244 to 188, allotted just $50 million to NASA to repair Houston-area facilities damaged by Hurricane Ike, along with a half-billion dollars for non-space activities.
NASA’s prospects seem much brighter in the Senate, where astronaut-senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., succeeded in inserting $1.5 billion in the Senate’s version of the measure, including $500 million for the manned space program to shorten the five-year gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the initial flight of its successor.