WASHINGTON – The Democratic members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation – Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Jamie Raskin, David J. Trone, and Glenn Ivey – joined by Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Representative Bobby Scott urge Senate and House Appropriations leadership to prioritize funding of NASA Goddard, which also manages Wallops Flight Facility in Accomack County, Virginia. In a letter to Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), and House Appropriations Chair Kay Granger (R-TX) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the lawmakers ask for consideration in any appropriations package for the remainder of fiscal year 2024. The legislators are key
decisionmakers in the government funding process.
“We write to urgently bring to your attention the critical implications of the possible fiscal year 2024 (FY24) budget cuts to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), particularly concerning their impact on the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. While we understand the constraints imposed by the debt limit agreement reached in June, which limits federal discretionary spending in FY24 and fiscal year 2025 (FY25), we seek a strong commitment to balance NASA’s priorities in science and exploration,” the lawmakers began.
“NASA Goddard faces constraints because of impending budget cuts and the associated Agency plans to allocate funding. While much attention has been devoted to efforts to return humans to the Moon and, ultimately, a crewed mission to Mars, we are concerned that missions across the NASA science divisions have received uneven support and that the Science Mission Directorate will disproportionately bear the brunt of the budget cuts,” they continued. “These cuts will inhibit NASA Goddard’s ability to continue conducting critical research and testing, impacting many NASA facilities nationwide. As a result, NASA Goddard and its partner NASA facilities risk losing jobs, innovation, scientific discovery, and technological advancement in Maryland, our nation, and the world.
After stressing the need to fund several NASA Goddard-led projects that will support our national security and strengthen our understanding of our universe, the lawmakers concluded: “The success of NASA is critical to ensure that the United States remains a global leader in innovation and space exploration. We thank you for your leadership and attention to this matter. We look forward to your continued support in maintaining critical expertise at NASA Goddard, its partner NASA facilities, and the broader goals of space exploration and scientific advancement.”
The full congressional letter follows and can be found attached or click here.