House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) today said the Science, State, Justice and Commerce spending bill, which includes $16.5 billion for NASA, will continue Congress' work to implement President Bush's bold new vision for space exploration. The bill, which includes far more than space spending, past the House of Representatives by a large, bipartisan vote.
"The return of the shuttle to flight is the first step in a long process that, truth be told, may outlast most of our careers," DeLay said. "We're still years away from the moon, and even further away from Mars, but make no mistake - we're going.
The funding bill passed today sets aside $16.5 billion for NASA, an increase of $275 million above last year's bill and $15 million above the administration's request. In addition to providing the full request for the Space Shuttle program, this legislation funds the president's vision for space exploration at $3.1 billion.
DeLay is known as one of Congress' strongest proponents of space exploration.
While many people, in the face of a record and growing national debt, would like to limit government expense, many of the same people would love to see Tom DeLay travel to the moon or Mars.