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Planetary Science Funding – Advice from OMB and Congressional Staff

July 9, 2009

On Tuesday, the Planetary Science Decadal Survey Committee was briefed by a number of organizations, including representatives from APL, JPL, GSFC, OMB, OSTP, and Congressional staff.  We weren’t there, but initial reports are fascinating.  It seems that while OMB encouraged the community to fit all their plans and proposals within current financial constraints, Congressional staff had a different message.

The Space Policy Online blog reports:

The OMB/OSTP message also was in contrast to remarks by Dick Obermann and Ed Feddeman of the House Science and Technology Committee staff who reminded the group that it is Congress that ultimately decides budgets.   Representing the Democratic and Republican viewpoints respectively, both advised the committee to focus their deliberations on the top scientific priorities, not the budget.  While acknowledging that there are no blank checks, they stressed that if the science is sufficiently compelling, Congress could make additional funds available.

Read the rest at the Space Policy Online blog.

This is important news for our community.  The question is, how do we best communicate to Congress just how compelling our future science missions are?

Acronyms:
OMB = Office of Management and Budget
OSTP = White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2009 9:03 am

    This is great to hear — thanks for the comment, Abby!

  2. Abby Sheffer permalink
    July 10, 2009 7:13 am

    I was there, and I think that the overall theme was to give the science the utmost importance. OMB reminded everyone that the current budget is tight so the science must be prioritized, but Congress stressed that if the science is compelling, money can be found (and it would have to be mighty compelling, IMO). So I would just encourage everyone with an interest in planetary science to get involved – go to the decadal survey sessions/workshops/discussions at upcoming conferences and get groups together to write white papers. They would love to hear from scientists at all levels, including students!

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