Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Congressman Bishop and NASA funding

Congressman Bishop feels your pain! At least that is what he says if you have been impacted by the numerous layoffs at ATK. The congressman wants to tell you that he has been trying to secure funding for ATK and NASA but his record on this issue shows something completely different.

When Obama entered office there were numerous concerns about the direction of the Constellation program and a commission was created to evaluate the long term viability of the Constellation program to replace the space shuttle. The commission was composed of a variety of stakeholders in the Constellation program along with experienced aerospace executives that could provide a complete view of the status of the Constellation program. The Augustine commission concluded that the Constellation program had been chronically underfunded during the Bush administration and could not successfully replace the space shuttle without significantly more funding.

During the entire process of the Augustine commission gathering feedback Congressman Bishop was strangely silent and did not provide any leadership with advocating for the importance of ATK to the Constellation program. Congressman Bishop could have provided some leadership in this process but decided not to. I wonder why Congressman Bishop didn't show any leadership but it appears that our congressman does not provide leadership on many issues. Ask yourself the last time Bishop was a leader on any issue that was important to you.

Obviously Bishop will dispute this characterization and I am sure he will say his lack of leadership was due to him being in the minority. If that is true then we would think those priorities would be present in the GOP alternative budget.

But this is not true!

Lets look at last year's GOP budget (page 52).

(click to enlarge)

The 2009 budget is rather substantial but then take a look at 2010 – 2015. The NASA budget is reduced and then is not raised at all for another FIVE YEARS! The exact next five years that the Augustine commission says are critical to the success of the Constellation program. And funding for NASA never recovers to the initial funding provided in 2009. This is the future of NASA under Republican leadership. This is the future of ATK with the leadership that Congressman Bishop has within his own party. When Congressman Bishop can’t even convince his own party to fund NASA appropriately then what makes us think that Congressman Bishop can convince the rest of congress to fund NASA appropriately.

Now let’s take a look at what the GOP budget for this year has to say about NASA funding.

Oh you aren’t seeing anything about NASA. Yea it looks like Republicans decided that NASA didn’t even deserve one word, one figure, one calculation in this year’s budget. But don’t worry Congressman Bishop got the Republicans to spend paragraph after paragraph on political theory and the thoughts of Adam Smith. When Congressman Bishop can’t even convince his own party to include one word in the budget then what makes us think that Congressman Bishop can convince the rest of congress to fund NASA appropriately.

Rob Bishop is a sub-par congressman that barely lifts a finger in properly representing our district and depends on us blindly voting for him every two years. Well I have had enough, Bishop has been MIA on one important issue too many. Send Rob a wake up call and vote in Morgan Bowen for Congress (


PS - This is an excellent letter to the editor about NASA and ATK and what is at stake and the challenges that President Obama is tackling.

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