Congressman Parker Griffith was invited by Congressman Ralph Hall, Ranking Member on House Science and Technology Committee, to participate in a committee hearing today on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) budget. The Committee on Science and Technology held a hearing on NASA's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget Request.
During the meeting, Republican members expressed a number of concerns to Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Administrator of NASA.
"I was grateful for the members of the committee to invite me to address Administrator Bolden. The committee recognizes that the Constellation Program is not just about north Alabama and jobs, but that it is an essential component of our national security," said Griffith. "I explained to Administrator Bolden that privatizing manned space flight would be seen as an unfriendly take-over.
"The Administration's decision to cut funding for the Constellation program was done without deliberation - which makes the decision a questionable one. A bidding war between private companies on our space program not only will interrupt four and half years of investment and research, but will also jeopardize our national security.
"The Administration is making a huge mistake not funding this program, and I welcomed the opportunity to convey my disappointment about the decision."
The House Science and Technology Committee held the hearing to question the President's 2011 NASA budget request. Members questioned Bolden why the program had been cut from the President's budget proposal. The hearing consisted of more than two hours of tense questions to Bolden from House members. Members on both sides of the aisle voiced serious concerns about the shift in direction the Obama Administration has proposed for human space flight. Griffith, a member of the NASA Caucus, continues to meet on a regular basis to oppose the President's budget suggestion.