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Space policy stocking stuffers

24 Dec 2012, 18:44 UTC
Space policy stocking stuffers
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A few items of interest related to space policy over the last few days, to tide you over the holiday celebrations:
The passing last week of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, set off a chain reaction of events that led to Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) being selected to replace Inouye as committee chairman. Mikulski has been chairing the committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) subcommittee, whose oversight includes NASA, and has been influential in space policy, influence that may increase by running the full appropriations committee. A Mikulski spokesperson tells Space News that the senator plans to retain chairmanship of the CJS subcommittee in addition to chairing the full committee; Inouye chaired the defense subcommittee in addition to the full committee.
There remains no signs of progress in averting the “fiscal cliff,” including the automatic across-the-board budget cuts (aka “sequestration”) that would take effect on January 2. Last week NASA administrator Charles Bolden sent a memo to agency employees about what would happen if those cuts take effect. “I do not expect our day-to-day operations to change dramatically” immediately after the cuts take effect, he wrote, including any furloughs of employees. However, he added, “Should ...

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