Space Access Political Action Alert 9/14/99 

          Senate HUD/VA Markup Happens Wednesday, Thursday 

                  Fax or Call These Senators ASAP! 


The job this week is persuading the Senate NASA Appropriators to 
"add $30 million for NASA Future-X flight demonstrators, as provided 
for in the House NASA Authorization".  

The Senate HUD/VA (NASA) Appropriations Subcommittee will "mark up" 
tomorrow at 11 am and Thursday at 3 pm.  

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 - get their DC office numbers from and call or fax with the above message ASAP, 
Thursday morning at the latest, if one of these is your Senator.  

If you don't come from one of these states, contact Stevens and 
Byrd, the Senate Appropriations Chairman and Ranking Minority Member 
respectively.  If you're from Alabama, remind Shelby the project 
would be run out of NASA Marshall in Huntsville.  You Zonies, work 
Kyl hard on the benefits to the country and to Arizona of 
decentralized reusable space launch. 

(Decentralization looks real good right now, with Floyd bearing down 
on KSC - whether it hits or not, it illustrates graphically the 
downside of one massive centralized national launch establishment.  
But that's an editorial for another day.) 


The House passed its HUD/VA Appropriation last week with no changes 
in the NASA portion - no additional cuts, but also no restoral of 
the $900 million worth of existing cuts.  The Senate, meanwhile, is 
going into markup of their HUD/VA Appropriation with about $2 
billion *less* to work with than the House had.  (HUD/VA overall is 
around $80 billion.)  Absent fiscal hocus-pocus, there will be cuts 
in the Senate.  Our main hopes are twofold: One, fiscal hocus-pocus.  
Two, cuts will fall other than on NASA.  Well, there's three, that 
what we're pushing, multiple low-cost reusable-rocket flight 
demonstrators, is a damn good idea, but that may not count for much, 
this year at least.  But anything could happen, and it's too soon to 
say "wait till next year" - push hard on this, please. 

How To Do It 

Get the appropriate Senator's DC office 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 faxing, compose a polite concise one-page letter to them, 
saying who you are and where you're from, 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 phoning Wednesday or first thing Thursday, 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 Pocatello Idaho") 
and what you want them to do ("I'm calling to ask the Senator to 
support $30 million for NASA Future-X flight demonstrators, as 
provided for in the House NASA Authorization")  then (unless they 
have questions) thank them for their time and ring off. 

             Defense Appropriations Conference Due Soon 

In other news, House and Senate Defense Appropriators will be 
meeting soon in a "conference committee" to resolve differences in 
their versions of the DOD funding bill.  The Senate has $25 million 
for SMV, Space Maneuver Vehicle, a reusable upper stage project we 
support.  The House has nothing for this; we'll be asking you to 
contact members of the conference to support the Senate position on 
SMV as soon as we have details - stand by.