13 November 1997
CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900
(Washington, DC) -- November 13, 1997 -- The National Space Society today voiced its strong support for a letter from Congressmen Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and signed by over 200 other Members of Congress that urges House Speaker Newt Gingrich to begin work now to boost funding for NASA in FY 1999.
The letter asks the Speaker to "confer with the various Committees for next year's fiscal plan" because the nation has "reached a point at which further cuts could inflict irreparable harm on the Agency's mission and personnel, particularly NASA's ability to plan long-term initiatives." Signatories request the Speaker to help ensure increased funding for the space agency at four percent above the current budget ($13.6 billion) after adjustments for inflation, and two percent thereafter in the out-years (2000, 2001).
"Even with these increases, it's a process of climbing back slowly," said Charles Walker, President for the National Space Society. "NASA would still be less than half way back to recouping the funding that's been lost since 1992, while NASA's commitments to the nation and accomplishments have dramatically increased in the same period of time. Is continuing to cut NASA's budget any way to reward one of the best and most successful returns on the American taxpayer's dollar? We encourage Speaker Gingrich to take a hard look at the members' proposal."
The National Space Society is an independent, nonprofit space advocacy organization with headquarters in Washington, DC. Its 25,000 members and 95 chapters around the world actively promote a spacefaring civilization. For a series of reports on conference presentations, visit NSS's Space Exploration Online at America Online, keyword "space."