Space Access Political Action Alert 9/3/99 

 - Contact Your Congressman by Wednesday! 
 - Senate HUD/VA Markup Likely Week After Next 

          Write, Fax or Call Your Congressman by Wednesday! 

Congress will come back into session after their August break this 
coming Wednesday, September 8th.  The full House is currently 
expected to debate and vote on their HUD/VA (NASA) Appropriation 
that same day.  As it emerged from committee, that bill contains 
roughly $900 million in NASA cuts, about two-thirds of that in 
space-based science.  We are asking you all to contact your local 
Congressman and ask him or her to restore the NASA space science 
budget cuts in the HUD/VA Appropriation. 

This may seem a bit outside our area, but we do have what we think 
are good reasons.  First, unless these cuts are in large part 
restored, there is very little chance we'll get an "add" for NASA 
Future-X.  Restoring some significant part of the cuts in the House 
improves odds of getting Future-X money added in the Senate, in our 
estimation.   Second, these parts of NASA being cut are those that 
tend to be most flexible about buying commercial launches when 
appropriate; they are good for the market that we're trying to 
encourage.  Third, these parts of NASA being cut tend to be places 
where better-faster-cheaper has actually been happening; this is a 
trend we'd like to encourage. 

Note that we are taking no position on the Shuttle and Station cuts 
that make up the other third of the overall reductions.  The message 
we recommend is "restore the NASA space science cuts".  "Restore the 
NASA cuts" period is of course an option if you prefer. 

How To Do It 

Get your Congressman's DC office address or phone or fax number, via (have an old bill with your nine-digit zip handy) 
or by calling your local library's information desk. 

If you're writing or faxing, compose a polite concise one-page 
letter to them, identifying yourself as a constituent of theirs, 
telling them what you'd like them to do, then briefly explaining why 
- just hit one or two high points, don't overexplain.  Thank them 
for their attention, sign the letter, and send it.  

If you're writing, remember Monday is a holiday - get it to the Post 
Office Saturday or you'll have to overnight it Tuesday. 

If phoning during Tuesday or first thing Wednesday, dial their DC 
office number, ask for whoever handles NASA appropriations 
questions, then when connected to that staffer (or more likely their 
voice mail) tell them briefly who you are ("I'm Joe Smith from 
Peoria") and what you want them to do ("Restore the NASA space 
science budget cuts"), then (unless they have questions) thank them 
for their time and ring off. 

             Senate HUD/VA Markup Likely Week After Next 

The next key item is going to be persuading the Senate Appropriators 
to "add $30 million for NASA Future-X flight demonstrators, as 
provided for in the House NASA Authorization".  The Senate HUD/VA 
Appropriations Subcommittee is currently expected to "mark up" 
sometime during the week of September 13th.  There is a small chance 
they might get to that late next week; we'll be putting out a 
specific Alert on that either way.  Meanwhile, for you self-starters 
out there, the subcommittee members are Stevens AK, Byrd WV, Bond 
MO, Burns MT, Shelby AL, Craig ID, Hutchison TX, Kyl AZ, Mikulski 
MD, Leahy VT, Lautenberg NJ, Harkin IA - call fax or write with the 
above message, if one of these is your Senator.