Policy and Legislation News
Stopgap spending bill carves out exception for U.S. weather satellites
11 September 2013
The stopgap spending measure the U.S. House of Representatives had been expected to pass this week to keep federal agencies operating past the end of the month would hold NASA's budget flat through year's end but allow the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fund two weather satellites programs above 2013 levels.
The so-called continuing resolution, or CR, that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) introduced 10 September would keep the federal government funded at $986 billion through 15 December. That is about $2 billion below the U.S. government's budget for fiscal year 2013, which ends 30 September. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rogers counterpart in the Senate, told Capitol Hill reporters she would prefer a shorter CR, one that runs through 28 November, which is Thanksgiving in the United States.
Rogers' bill makes no explicit mention of NASA, which ended up with $16.86 billion this year, according to the 2013 operating plan the agency released at the end of August. However, the bill does mention two satellite programs NASA is managing on NOAA's behalf: the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite System (GOES) and the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS).