WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two NASA programs championed by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) were included in the bipartisan Congressional spending bill passed and signed into law earlier this month. The Commercial Crew Program and three popular NASA education grant programs received support from Fattah, who serves as Ranking Member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and related agencies. Fattah worked closely with Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) to fund NASA at $17.65 billion in the bill, $767.4 million (4.5%) above FY13 post-sequester levels.
The Commercial Crew Program—focused on supporting U.S. companies develop commercial human spaceflight capabilities, in order to partner with NASA on the transport of astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS)—received $696 million in funding, $171 million above last year.
"The Commercial Crew Program will reinvigorate America's leadership in space exploration and return millions of dollars of investment back to the United States," Fattah said. "This program is critical to preserve an American presence on the ISS, and most importantly, further our advancement of scientific understanding and discovery."
Additionally, three Fattah-supported education grant programs received increased funding. Space Grant, the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR), and the Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) were each funded at pre-sequester levels.
Space Grant, a national network of colleges and universities working to expand opportunities to participate in NASA's projects through research, and science and engineering education, received $40 million. EPSCOR received $18 million for their program that provides seed funding and establishes partnerships with government, higher education, and private organizations in order to enhance their R&D competitiveness, especially as it relates to aerospace and aerospace-related research. MUREP—funded at $30 million—is focused on recruiting and engaging underrepresented and underserved students in STEM disciplines to help ensure NASA can meet future workforce needs.
Fattah was also pleased to see increased funding levels for the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion crew vehicle. They received $1.9 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.
Click here to view remarks Congressman Fattah made on the House floor in support of the investments included in the 2014 spending bill.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah