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House subcommittee cuts NASA exploration budget
Posted: Fri, Jun 5, 2009, 7:02 AM ET (1102 GMT)
US Capitol A House appropriations subcommittee cut several hundred million dollars from the exploration portion of NASA's proposed 2010 budget, citing uncertainties about the future direction of that program. The Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee marked up its version of the fiscal year 2010 spending bill Thursday, giving NASA $18.2 billion, down from the President's request of nearly $18.7 billion but up from the $17.8 billion the agency received for 2009. NASA's exploration program took the biggest cut, falling from $3.96 billion in the request to $3.29 billion in the subcommittee's markup. The chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), explained that this was only a "time-out" in spending while an independent panel examining NASA's human spaceflight program performs its work. The markup is only a first step in the overall appropriations process: the bill will have to be approved by the full committee and later the full House, and the Senate has yet to begin work on its version.
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