U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette (OH-14) released the following statements today applauding the Senate-House conference bill that provides funding for NASA, including the Glenn Research Center and Plum Brook Station. The conference agreement includes the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Both Senator Brown and Rep. LaTourette were members of the conference committee that completed work on the measure Monday.
"Glenn Research Center--and the many local and state businesses in Ohio that rely on NASA --are vital to our state's economic livelihood. Even in this era of belt-tightening, we must work to ensure that new missions and research endeavors are brought to NASA Glenn, which will further help solidify our state's status as a space and aerospace leader," Brown said. "NASA Glenn's interests are best served when members of the Ohio delegation--Democratic and Republican--can work together to preserve jobs and bring new missions to the center. This compromise legislation will help grow NASA Glenn's already-diverse portfolio of work."
"This funding will provide a path to growth. Congress sent a clear signal to the Administration: NASA is a jobs creator and an investment in technology, research, and jobs. It is an investment that pays off," Brown added.
"I'm pleased NASA will fund the rocket that was envisioned under the Constellation program and one day we will get America back into Space and back to the moon," LaTourette (R-OH) said. "This is a tough year for funding at all federal agencies and for all federal programs. As appropriators, Sen. Brown and I have the ability to ease the sting of cuts and advocate for programs of great local importance, like NASA Glenn. In the big scheme of things, NASA Glenn fared well and the funding will help avoid job losses."
"This bill allows NASA to begin development of a suite of cutting-edge technologies that will accelerate the pace of our future in space while creating high-tech jobs and fueling American innovation at home," said Bobby Braun, NASA Chief Technologist from Feb 2010 to Sept 2011. "Creating the breakthroughs of tomorrow requires investing today in basic research and technological development."
NASA's top-line budget will be funded at $17.8 billion, while space technology work--a specialty at GRC--will be funded at $575 million. Aeronautics, another Glenn strength, will be funded at $569.9 million. A Reduction-in-Force (RIF) moratorium--which prevents layoffs of civil servants--will remain in effect, protecting thousands of critical jobs. Closure of NASA Glenn will also be prevented.