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WASHINGTON — A new appropriations bill the House plans to vote on next week would provide $21.5 billion for NASA in 2019 but warns that any further problems with the James Webb Space Telescope could lead to its cancellation.
House leadership announced late Jan. 17 that they plan to introduce a package of spending bills for most of the government agencies currently affected by the ongoing shutdown, now nearly a month old. The bills will be taken up by the House the week of Jan. 21, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement.
Package - Bills - Commerce - Justice - Science
That package of bills includes a commerce, justice and science (CJS) spending bill that provides $21.5 billion for NASA. That is slightly less than last year's House bill but above the $21.323 billion that the Senate version, passed by the House earlier this month, provided for the agency.
That bill includes the full $304.6 million requested for JWST in 2019, but the report accompanying the bill offered harsh language, and a warning, regarding the space telescope given the cost overruns and schedule delays announced last year.
Disappointment - NASA - Contractors - Mismanagement - Lack
"There is profound disappointment with both NASA and its contractors regarding mismanagement, complete lack of careful oversight, and overall poor basic workmanship on JWST," the report states. "NASA and its commercial partners seem to believe that congressional funding for this project and other development efforts is an entitlement, unaffected by failures to stay on schedule or within budget."
The bill does increase the cost cap for JWST by about $800 million, to a little more than $8.8 billion, to address the latest overruns. "NASA should strictly adhere to this cap or, under this agreement, JWST will have to find cost savings or cancel the mission," the report states.
Report - Language - Reaction - Appropriators - Report
The report language is the first formal reaction by congressional appropriators to the final report of...
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