WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a spending bill July 31 that includes $22.6 billion for NASA, making no major changes to what appropriators had previously approved.
On a 217–197 vote falling largely on party lines, the House approved a “minibus” spending bill that combined six separate bills, including the commerce, justice and science (CJS) appropriations bill.
During floor debate, members approved several sets of “en bloc” amendments on voice votes that were relatively noncontroversial. Those amendments included four that, while not changing overall NASA funding, set aside funding for specific programs. That included $30 million of overall science funding for small satellite mission launch services, $40 million of planetary science funding for the Near Earth Object Surveillance Mission, $15 million of aeronautics funding for advanced carbon fiber composite structures and $1 million in education.
Several Republican and Democratic members introduced an amendment that would have increased NASA exploration funding by $2.6 billion to match the agency’s request for fiscal year 2021. However, the amendment, which did not offer an offset for that increased funding, was ruled out of order by the House Rules Committee and not offered for a vote.
The bill, approved by the House Appropriations ...