The NASA Administrator will remain accountable to elected officials (and, indirectly, the American people), thanks to a bipartisan vote of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Space News reports that the committee voted 20-19 to accept an amendment offered by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), which removed language making the NASA Administrator a six-year appointed position. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), and Stephen Stockman (R-TX) joining with 17 Democrats to pass the amendment.

A fixed, six-year term would make it impossible for a President to remove a NASA Administrator for policy reasons. The language was introduced by Republican members who were angry over NASA attempts to cancel the Orion capsule and Space Launch System (née Ares V). It was intended to create greater “stability” by making it harder to cancel NASA programs.

Written by Astro1 on July 22nd, 2013 , Space Policy and Management

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