Friday, February 11, 2011

House GOP budget priorities: Walking the fine line between "doomed" and "less-doomed"?

You can't make this stuff up:

A group of Republican lawmakers have written to the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and its Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee recommending that funds for NASA's climate change research satellites be shifted to human spaceflight, reports Space News today.

The letter to Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) reportedly was signed by Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX), Bill Posey (R-FL), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Sandy Adams (R-FL), Rob Bishop (R-UT), and Mo Brooks (R-AL). All have districts with interests in the human spaceflight program.

Many Republican Members of Congress are skeptical that climate change is human-induced and in the past have not been particularly supportive of NASA programs focused on climate change research. Recommendations to cut those programs thus are not surprising, whether the money is reallocated to other space activities or to deficit reduction.

The House Republican leadership is expected to introduce the latest Continuing Resolution (CR) later this week, perhaps Thursday, with a vote anticipated next week.

As TPM dryly observes about the "Abandon Earth letter:"

Although the signatories don’t explicitly state that the goal of shifting funding from climate research into manned spaceflight is to find a new home for the 350 million people of the United States, one can only assume that they support that goal.

The logic might run approximately as follows: Rather than spend all that money on climate-change science (in someone else's district) in a futile effort to rescue our doomed planet, we should divert the funding to manned space flight projects -- bringing more federal money to their own districts in the near term and presumably allowing us eventually to move to another, less-doomed planet later on.

Well, actually, as it turns out, you really can make this stuff up:

Surprising as it feels to say it, the Abandon Earthers could be onto something here. The only question is: Who do we put in the B Ark?

Personally, I think it would be really nice to know I'm going to be relocating to a planet where someone had already established limited government and low taxes for us. Don't you?

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