Next CR cuts NASA earmarks, keeps Constellation provision

House appropriators released today details of their next planned continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded for three more weeks after the current CR expires on a week from Friday. The CR includes $6 billion of spending cuts, including $63 million from NASA's Cross Agency Support account. The CR specifically targets what NASA calls "Congressionally directed items", better known as earmarks; the FY10 appropriations bill contained $63 million of such items, which carried over into FY11 under the ongoing series of CRs. The text of the proposed new CR contains no other NASA-related provisions. That means that current language from the FY10 appropriations bill that prevents NASA from terminating Constellation programs will remain in force under the new CR, which extends to April 8. Last week, members of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the appropriations committee told NASA administrator Charles Bolden that they would get the agency "some immediate clarification" on that provision, but the new CR is silent on the subject.

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