Senator Says Continued NASA Funding Is Crucial to Local Economy

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz says a lot of Houston-area residents could wind up unemployed if NASA doesn’t get proper funding. He brought his case to local business leaders.

By Gail DelaughterAugust 9, 2016 9:56 am| , , ,

From Houston Public Media

Cruz told members of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership that he hopes Congress can reauthorize funding for NASA before the end of the current session.

The Houston lawmaker is Chairman of the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee. He says he’d like to schedule hearings next month.

“In my view space exploration is a critical priority,” says Cruz. “And it is a priority that I would like to see elevated.”

The last time the Senate passed a NASA authorization bill was in 2010. The House has passed additional measures in the years since but the Senate hasn’t taken action.

Cruz says with a new president coming in that could mean a lot of uncertainty for NASA.

“We’ve seen what happens when major programs get cancelled, when Constellation was cancelled, when the shuttle was wound down,” adds Cruz. “That provides enormous dislocations, enormous challenges, enormous inefficiencies. A whole bunch of wasted money.”

NASA estimates it will need about $19 billion to continue its exploration and research programs in Fiscal Year 2017.