- New budget accord saves $23B — after $65B spending spree
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Obama’s budget knife takes smaller cuts
The biggest fight this year, however, could be over Mr. Obama’s effort to end NASA’s Constellation Systems Program, which President George W. Bush pushed as part of his plans to send astronauts back to the moon and then to Mars.
The Obama administration says the program is behind schedule and misguided, given that the U.S. has already landed astronauts on the moon. Peter Orszag, Mr. Obama’s budget director, said the government instead will try to spur private companies to develop space vehicles to service the International Space Station.
“What we’re saying is, let’s redirect that toward longer-range R&D, advanced robotics, research and development, and find those new technologies that will actually allow us to go further in space and not just repeat what we’ve already done, especially in a program that is behind schedule and over budget,” he said.
But Sen. Richard C. Shelby, the top Republican on the spending subcommittee that controls NASA’s budget, said private companies aren’t ready to pick up the slack.”
“On Friday, India announced they will be ready for their first manned spaceflight by 2016,” Mr. Shelby said. “With this administration’s nonsensical NASA budget request, the U.S. will still be working on launching people on rockets that do not exist while Russia, China and India are actually doing it.”
Mr. Obama made other cuts to programs that were flooded with money the previous year. That was the situation for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Mr. Obama funded at $475 million in 2010 but proposed giving $300 million in 2011.
“Because this is a very large new program, it will be difficult for EPA and its partner federal agencies to spend all of the funds in 2010,” the administration said in proposing the reduction.
Mr. Obama also went after National Heritage Areas. The program, he said, which is supposed to provide seed money for localities to attract tourism, has wrongly become a permanent source of income for some of those areas.
He proposed cutting the $18 million program in half.
Mr. Obama said he had to make painful choices.
“We eliminate one program that provides grants to do environmental cleanup of abandoned buildings. That’s a mission I support, but there are other sources of private and public funds to achieve it,” he said.
Some programs saw big increases in the budget.
The Interior Department’s Land and Water Conservation Fund was boosted by 29 percent, drawing praise from Democrats who said it can help produce jobs but sparking concern among Republicans who said the National Park Service already has a $9 billion maintenance backlog and buying more land will only add to that.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
Kara Rowland, White House reporter for The Washington Times, is a D.C.-area native. She graduated from the University of Virginia, where she studied American government and spent nearly all her waking hours working as managing editor of the Cavalier Daily, UVa.’s student newspaper.
Her interest in political reporting was piqued by an internship at Roll Call the summer before her ...
- London Olympics not everyone's cup of tea
- Obama hits road to push jobs plan
- Obama calls for the end of 'political circus' on economy, seeks stimulus plan for jobs
- Brennan: Al Qaeda is 'organization in distress'
- Hoffa's words about labor's importance brushed off
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- New budget accord saves $23B -- after $65B spending spree
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- EDITORIAL: The shake that shook the world
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- GOV'T MOTORS: Obama fudges math on auto bailout, $15 billion loss for taxpayers
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Helping the YOUniverse conspire on your behalf.
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow