Space Access Political Action Alert 9/22/99 

         HUD/VA Conference Due Late This Week Or Early Next 
             Money May Be Available for NASA Future-X -
                Fax or Call These Appropriators ASAP! 


The job now is persuading the HUD/VA (NASA) Appropriators to 
"designate $50 million for NASA Future-X reusable rocket flight 
demonstrators, out of the funds the Senate transferred to advanced 
launch technology." 

The HUD/VA Appropriations Conference will meet as soon as the Senate 
finishes its HUD/VA bill (likely to be wrapped up Thursday) and the 
staffs then thrash out the groundwork.  It is possible (not likely 
but possible) this conference could happen as soon as this Friday, 
9/24.  We ask you to, if you can, if you are from one of the listed 
Senators' states or Representative's districts, call or fax with the 
above message by Friday morning.  (If you're not from one of those 
places, contact the Senate and House Subcommittee chairmen, Bond and 
Walsh.)  Get their DC office numbers (and if necessary check for who 
your Representative is) from 

By Friday night we should know if the conference has taken place 
already or not - check  If, as we suspect, it 
doesn't happen until early next week, then we ask those of you who 
haven't been able to call or fax so far to do so over the weekend or 
first thing Monday.  If you're not sure, go for it - if you do get a 
staffer who tells you "we've already done that", thank them. 

We're almost there, folks.  If we can nail this one down now, we'll 
have had a stunningly successful summer, in terms of steering low-
cost launch development policy in a positive direction.  Once this 
one's done, absent surprises, that'll be pretty much it for this 
funding season's activist push.  Go for this one - and thanks! 
Senate HUD/VA Appropriators 

 Christopher S. Bond, Chairman, Missouri 
 Ted Stevens, Alaska 
 Conrad Burns, Montana 
 Richard C. Shelby, Alabama 
 Larry Craig, Idaho 
 Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas 
 Jon Kyl, Arizona 
 Barbara Mikulski, Ranking Member, Maryland 
 Patrick Leahy, Vermont 
 Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey 
 Tom Harkin, Iowa 
 Robert Byrd, West Virginia 

House of Representatives HUD/VA Appropriators 

 James T. Walsh, N.Y., Chairman 
 C.W.Bill Young, Fla. 
 Alan B. Mollohan, W.V. 
 Tom DeLay, Texas 
 Marcy Kaptur, Ohio 
 David L. Hobson, Ohio 
 Carrie P. Meek, Fla. 
 Joe Knollenberg, Mich. 
 David E. Price, N.C. 
 Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, N.J. 
 Robert E. (Bud) Cramer, Jr., Ala. 
 Roger F. Wicker, Miss. 
 Anne Northup, Ky. 
 John E. Sununu, N.H 


The good news is that the Senate appropriators worked out fiscal 
hocus-pocus that allowed them to fund NASA at the requested level - 
no overall cuts.  The better news is that the House leadership 
appears likely to adopt the Senate's fiscal maneuver, and will 
probably go along in conference with restoring the House NASA cuts. 

The best news, from our point of view, is that the Senate saw fit to 
move a hundred million dollars into NASA's Aero Space Technology 
account, "for the design, development, and testing of future launch 
technologies".  The Senate was vague about what specific programs 
this would go to, deliberately so, we are told.  We, on the other 
hand, are not vague at all about how best to spend this - we are 
asking you to push hard with the confereees for fifty million of 
this to be added to NASA Future-X for low-cost reusable launch 
flight operations demonstrators. 

(We do regret that this money was moved from NASA's space science 
account rather than added, but the Senate decided that, not us - we 
have always asked for an add.  We do note that the net effect is of 
a bit over a forty million dollar cut from last year's NASA space 
science funding level, a vast improvement on the cuts of hundreds of 
millions in the House version, and a wrist-slap in budgetary terms 
given the problems with NASA space science the Senate lists in their 
report on the bill.  We also note that the other justification we've 
heard for this transfer, that lower launch costs will benefit all in 
the long run, space science included, is one we quite agree with.) 

How To Do It 

Get the appropriate Senator's or Representative's DC office phone or 
fax number, via (have a piece of mail with your 
nine-digit zip handy) or by calling your local library's information 

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, 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 Senator X/Congressman Y to designate $50 
million for NASA Future-X reusable rocket flight demonstrators, out 
of the funds the Senate transferred to advanced launch technology.") 
If they sound totally baffled, tell them the program is described in 
the House NASA Authorization - then (unless they have questions) 
thank them for their time and ring off.