Today, Rep. Adam Schiff, released the following statement after the Appropriations Committee posted language for the omnibus spending bill late last night:
“I am pleased that the spending bill contains strong funding for the continued development of the Mars 2020 rover and for a mission to Jupiter and its moon Europa. I hope that this will dissuade the Administration from putting forward a 2015 budget that again seeks to cut funding for NASA’s pathbreaking exploration of our solar system. Congress has now sent a clear message time and time again to NASA and OMB about the importance of sufficient funding for the planetary science program, but I continue to hear disquieting rumors that there may be further attempted cuts in the FY 2015 budget, including possible delays to the next two Mars missions and shutting down some current missions. If any such proposals are included in the upcoming budget, my colleagues and I will fight them.
“Chairman Frank Wolf and Ranking Member Chakkah Fattah have been steadfast in their support of planetary science and I am deeply grateful to them for recognizing the importance of this endeavor and the need to support the most specialized workforce in the world, many of whom are my constituents working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”
The omnibus spending bill contains a total of $1.345 billion for planetary science spending, including $65 million for a return to Mars (known as Mars 2020) and $80 million for a mission to Europa.