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Senate increases NASA funding
Posted: Wed, Sep 22, 2004, 10:49 AM ET (1449 GMT)
US Capitol The Senate Appropriations Committee used a somewhat controversial technique Tuesday to increase NASA's fiscal year 2005 budget by $200 million over what President Bush requested. The committee voted to give NASA $16.4 billion in 2005, about $200 million more than what the President requested and over $1 billion more than what House appropriators approved in July. However, $800 million of that funding comes in the form of an emergency appropriation that senators approved during Tuesday's hearing: $500 million more for shuttle return-to-flight activities and $300 million to begin work on a Hubble repair mission. Emergency appropriations are a means of getting around budget caps on programs, and their use may meet with some opposition by other members of Congress as well as the Bush Administration. Besides the emergency funding, the committee fully funded the shuttle program but cut $120 million from the ISS because of continued reductions in capability while the shuttle is grounded. The committee also cut $160 million from the Crew Exploration Vehicle effort, $50 million from robotic a lunar exploration program that is part of the Vision for Space Exploration, and $10 million from the Centennial Challenges prize program.
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