Politics

Continuing resolution extends $1.4 million a day in waste until April 8

Photo of Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
Associate Editor

Congress approved nearly $6 billion in spending cuts in the most recent three-week continuing resolution. Avoiding the ax was a budget provision that mandates the spending of $1.4 million a day on a cancelled NASA program.

The provision, requiring continued spending on the Constellation Program, was inserted into the 2010 budget by Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby. In lieu of a new budget, continuing resolutions have included the language.

NASA inspector general Paul K. Martin wrote to Congress on January 11 to request “immediate action” to end the waste.

Martin wrote, “Without congressional intervention, by the end of February 2011 NASA anticipates spending up to $215 million on Constellation projects that, absent the restrictive appropriations language, it would have considered canceling or significantly scaling back.”

Following Martin’s plea, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson announced that he would introduce legislation to remove the provision.

Nelson press secretary Bryan Gulley told the Chicago Tribune, “There’s no reason for the spending provision that’s putting NASA in a jam, other than partisan politics over a broader government spending measure.”

“There’s no real opposition to Sen. Nelson’s proposal to remove the language in question, except that lawmakers aren’t able to agree on longer-term budget cuts,” Gulley said. “Still, Sen. Nelson is convinced the problem will be fixed, and soon.”

“This is just a case of congressional inertia failing to take care of the problem — at a cost to taxpayers,” Taxpayers for Common Sense vice president Steve Ellis told The Tribune.

“Maybe $1 million a day isn’t a big deal when you have a $1.6 trillion [federal] deficit,” president of Citizens Against Government Waste Thomas Schatz said to The Tribune, noting that the waste is “not the kind of decision any normal organization would make.”

The current three-week continuing resolution funds the government through April 8. Fifty-four House Republicans voted against it, many claiming that it didn’t reduce spending enough.

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  • Drahcir

    Thank you Right members, for allowing the other side to extend their lazyness and allow them to bring all their wants to be on the next budget.I’ve said this before; If you do he job you were elected to do, you need not worry about your job.(paraphrased)

    I’m starting to wonder if the vote I cast is worth anything.

    • virginiagentleman

      Hello there Drahcir, gentleman from Alabama. That vote that you are wondering about is your most important asset. The tide is ever so slowly turning on this so-called congress. More and more, they are cutting their own throats with the proverbial dull rusty knife and actions like these, or rather inactions like these, continue to paint a target on their backs for 2012! It may not always appear that Constitutionalists like us are winning, but Friend Drahcir,we are! There’s going to be more new faces in the 113th congress than old faces in 2012. I believe the era of life-long senators and representatives is finally coming to an end, so fight on my friend and fight hard, like the warrior you are.

  • baal

    Congrats! While we were distracted with the problems with Japan and Libya the congress did this. What was Nov 2nd about?

  • emem

    Bravo congress, bravo……..that’s really dealing with your overspending issue….. just put it on visa until next month.

    Lackluster, lazy, entrenched,

    • virginiagentleman

      Just what we’ve saying all along, emem. Both parties are at fault and neither one takes their oath seriously. The last line of your post sums it up pretty darn well,” Lackluster, lazy, entrenched”. I believe it’s about time to prepare the pink slip list on these chairwarmers in 2012, enforce term limits, and “bind them down with the chains of the Constitution,(Thomas Jefferson)”