Senator Nelson Breaks with White House on NASA Funding
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sparred with Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag in a Senate Budget Committee hearing Tuesday over what Florida lawmakers have complained is a shortchanged spending plan for space exploration.
Nelson said the White House ignored a special commission on space exploration that last fall suggested $3 billion in new money for additional human space exploration. Orszag said that the commission's chairman, businessman Norman Augustine, had put out a statement in support of the Obama Administration's NASA spending plan.
“I choose to disagree with that characterization,” Nelson responded. “It was a namby-pamby watered down statement that was oblique at best.”
Several Florida congressional members criticized the Obama budget for NASA this week, saying it will cede the U.S. role in space exploration and the cancelling of an effort to go back to the moon will cost Florida thousands of jobs.