Republicans to NASA: More space exploration, less global warming

Republicans to NASA: More space exploration, less global warming

Republican control over both houses of Congress put NASA’s spending under the microscope.

According to the April 17 Daily Caller, U.S. Republican lawmakers rebuked the head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) April 17, saying the agency’s obsession with global warming is undercutting space exploration programs.

Republicans are concerned that NASA is spending too much money on Earth sciences while cutting funding for space exploration. President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget requests asks for $18.53 billion, a $519 million increase from 2015, but lawmakers worry the president’s budget underfunds certain space exploration programs.

For example, Republicans say Obama’s 2016 budget would cut $400 million from the Space Launch System and Orion programs, which are key programs for a manned space flight to Mars. In total, Republicans argue, Obama has increased funding for NASA’s Earth Science Division –which includes climate science — by 63 percent in the last eight years while cutting funding for human space exploration.

The Daily Caller reported that in March, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told NASA administrator Charles Bolden the agency needed to worry less about global warming and more about space exploration.

“Almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space,” Cruz said. “That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country… and you know that I am concerned that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

Bolden defended the Obama administration’s budget saying “it will allow NASA to continue to lead the world in space through a balanced program of exploration, science, technology, and aeronautics research.”

Not only have Republican lawmakers criticized NASA’s spending habits, but they also called into question the agency’s global temperature records. Republicans in the Senate and the House have promised to hold hearings on allegations that NASA tampers with the data to make global warming seem worse than it actually is.

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