Ronald Reagan picture

Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5495 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, 1987

September 16, 1986


(Fuqua (D) Florida and 19 others)

The Administration opposes enactment of H.R. 5495, unless it is amended as follows:

(1) Delete Section 109 establishing a National Aeronautics and Space Council within the Executive Office of the President to define space policy. This would create an unnecessary bureaucracy within the Executive Office when there is already sufficient Cabinet-level authority to achieve the interagency coordination required of such a proposed council.

(2) Increase the total authorization in Title I by $272 million for a fourth orbiter to replace the space shuttle Challenger, as requested in the President's proposed budget amendment.

(3) Delete the $95 million for the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) flight demonstration program, which the Administration has proposed to eliminate as an activity more appropriately and effectively undertaken by the private sector, and redistribute these funds for NASA's basic research programs as requested in the President's budget.

(4) Delete provisions in the bill that seriously restrict the Administration's flexibility to review the space program and fail to recognize the continuing changes in certain aspects of the program, such as redesigning the space station. These provisions include:

(a) Section 105, which requires the President to submit to Congress budget estimates for 1989 and 1990 for the space station at the same time the 1988 Budget is submitted;

(b) Section 110, which requires the NASA Administrator to submit to Congress by February 1, 1987, a long-range plan for implementing recommendations of the National Commission on Space, including budgetary and personnel implications;

(c) Section 305, which requires NASA to send to Congress by December 2, 1986, a ten-year plan of Defense reimbursements for space shuttle services and a schedule for the provision of such services; and

(d) Section 302(a)(2), which could restrict reprogramming of funds for at replacement orbiter.

(5) Amend Title II to increase the authorization of appropriations for the Department of Transportation's Office of Commercial Space Transportation to $2,275 million, as requested in the President's Budget, to develop fully the private launch regulatory process.

(6) Amend Section 302(d), which authorizes NASA to accept private donations for constructing a space shuttle orbiter, to require that such funds be subject to limitations contained in appropriations Acts.

(7) Delete Section 304, which requires NASA to develop a manifest setting forth space shuttle launch priorities as enumerated in the bill, and to submit the manifest to Congress by November 1, 1986. This requirement (a) could conflict with a pending Presidential decision on which existing launch commitments to honor; (b) fails to reflect foreign policy interests adequately in the launch of certain satellites; and (c) requires a report on budget decisions prematurely and in advance of the submission of the 1988 Budget to Congress.

(8) Delete Title IV, which establishes a new Shuttle pricing policy endorsing the Administration's previous floor of $74 million and requiring that the price be no lower than the price for a comparable launch on a U.S. expendable launch vehicle (ELV). Pricing policies for Shuttle-unique commercial customers are under review within the Administration.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5495 - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act, 1987 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives