Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pelosi: Shuttle Retirement Date Could Be Settled in Conference Committee (Source: Orlando Sentinel)

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had not taken a position on whether the space shuttle should fly beyond its scheduled retirement in 2010, but expected the White House would have a “strong role” in pushing that date. In its 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration noted it would continue a Bush-era policy of retiring the shuttle next year, a blow to Florida aerospace workers who had hoped that the new president would extend the shuttle and delay thousands of job losses.Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, inserted language into the Senate version of the 2010 budget that would allow for shuttle flights beyond 2010 and would give NASA an extra $2.5 billion in 2011 to conduct those flights. Under Pelosi's leadership, the House did not insert similar language into its budget proposal, which prompted U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach, to break party ranks and oppose the bill. Pelosi said this issue would be settled in a House-Senate conference committee that would convene to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. But she warned that money is limited. (4/4)


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