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Rep. Posey’s Statement on the President’s Space Speech at KSC

Congressman Bill Posey released the following statement regarding the President’s speech today on the future of NASA and human space flight:
“I am pleased that the President has come to KSC today to learn a little more about our nation’s space program and see up close what KSC’s incredible workforce does. 
“I am committed to helping the President keep his August 2008 commitment to Brevard and the nation; first to close the space gap and second to keep America first in space.  I do, however, align my concerns with those recently expressed by astronauts Armstrong, Lovell, and Cernan about the President’s current plan which falls short of these commitments. He has not budged on his plan to retire the shuttle eight months from now and that is deeply disappointing to me but I will continue to press for Shuttle extension.

“I am very concerned about the impact this plan will have not just on the workforce at KSC, but also the adverse impact on our nation’s military industrial base and America’s economic competitiveness.  Let’s remember the benefits of space extend far beyond the direct actions related to launching rockets.
“With regard to the prospective jobs for the Space Coast that are presented by NASA in the documents released this week, I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking those job numbers to the bank.  There have been a lot of numbers tossed around, and NASA told us just last week they could not translate the top line budget numbers into center specific jobs numbers because those decisions would be made by the contractors once those contracts are let.  This week NASA has a different story. 
“I believe that the bipartisan bills that I have introduced, H.R. 1962, and a second bill along with Rep. Kosmas, H.R. 4804, put our nation’s space program on a strong path with specific time tables and goals.  H.R. 4804 calls for a final decision on a heavy lift vehicle within six months of enactment, rather than 2015 as the President announced today.
“Finally, I am a strong supporter of commercial space.  I spent a decade working with Space Florida to promote our state’s commercial space efforts.  I am concerned, however, that NASA’s current plan bets too much of our nation’s space future on commercial space companies.  We must also remember that our space efforts have national security implications and a clear federal government role. Additionally, there is really no foreseeable return on commercial investment except as sub-contractors for a federal program.”

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