Asteroid Affirmative

AT Politics – Plan Popular

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AT Politics – Plan Popular

Science is uniquely popular seen as creating jobs and economic prosperity

Mervis 11 (Jeffrey Mervis, deputy news editor of Science magazine, based in Washington, D.C., where he oversees the journal's news coverage of science policy issues, “How Science Eluded the Budget Ax – For Now”, Science Vol 332 no. 6028 pp.407-408 , April 22nd, 2011,
When details of the 11th-hour budget compromise that kept the U.S. government running emerged last week, it became clear that science programs fared relatively well. True, most research agencies will have less to spend this year than they did in 2010 (see table), and the totals generally fall well short of what President Barack Obama had requested when he submitted his 2011 budget 14 months ago. But the legislators and Administration officials who struck the spending deal managed to slice $38.5 billion from a total discretionary budget of $1.09 trillion without crippling research activities. How did that happen? First and foremost, both Republicans and Democrats were working off a quiet but powerful consensus on the importance of science to economic prosperity. Last fall, Congress authorized steady increases for three key science agencies in a renewal of the America COMPETES Act, and Obama's recent statements on the 2011 negotiations emphasized the need to continue investing in clean energy and medical research as the overall budget is cut. Second, Senate Democratic leaders had crafted a spending plan in March that, although it failed to pass the full Senate, showed how it could be done. Finally, the so-called cardinals, who chair the 12 appropriations panels in the House of Representatives and the Senate that oversee every federal agency, found ways to protect research while trimming other programs to satisfy the deal's bottom line. “There was no magic to it,” explains Representative Frank Wolf (R–VA), whose panel has jurisdiction over the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the Commerce Department. “Science has been a priority for me and the other longtime members of the committee because you're talking about jobs and about helping America maintain its economic leadership,” says the veteran legislator, who entered Congress in 1981. “There has not been any controversy about this.” His appropriations counterpart, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D–MD), says she hopes that consensus will translate into “smart cuts that don't cost us our future. I support science funding that can spur American discovery and ingenuity to create jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow.”

AT Poltics – Lobbying

Major players like Boeing lobby for NASA. Political Capital not needed.

Associated Press 2011 [“Boeing spends $4.1M lobbying on space, defense” Associated Press, 06.30.11, 09:56 PM EDT , PN]

WASHINGTON -- Airplane maker and defense contractor Boeing Co. spent almost $4.1 million in the first quarter lobbying the government on space issues, pilot training, and other aerospace and defense issues. Boeing gets about half of its revenue from defense work and space exploration. Its lobbying included NASA funding, funding for the International Space Station, commercial spaceflight and science education. It also lobbied on commercial aviation issues including aviation safety, foreign repair stations, and a revamped, satellite-based system for air navigation. Boeing also took an interest in funding for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Alabama Congress-woman supports pushing plan in Congress.

Do in 2011 [Trang, Staff Writer for WAFF48News, “Rep. Terri Sewell to be voice for TN Valley on NASA affairs”, Jun 10, 2011 5:53 PM, , PN]

Huntsville, AL (WAFF) -North Alabama leaders are looking for help from other parts of the state to maintain Huntsville's space legacy. Alabama's 7th District Congresswoman Terri Sewell met with the Tennessee Valley's "Second to None" committee on space exploration Friday morning. Although Sewell represents a district to Madison County's south and west, she was actually born in Huntsville. She said ensuring that North Alabama continues to be at the forefront of space and technology is good for the entire state. "I believe that the city of Huntsville is a shining example of all that is right about American innovation and technology and science," Sewell said. "And so I'm here to listen and to learn and to be a better advocate on behalf of the whole state." NASA's Constellation program is essentially dead, but the Marshall Space Flight Center on Redstone Arsenal is now the program manager for the heavy-lift module of the next rocket to be developed. Though just a freshman representative, Sewell is a member of the House Science and Technology committee, which local leaders hope will give North Alabama an additional voice in Washington

Florida Senator not only personally supports NASA policy development, but also is key in his re-election.

Stern in 2011 [S. Alan | Guest columnist, S. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist and aerospace consultant. He formerly was NASA's associate administrator in charge of science. 12:00 a.m. EDT, June 24, 2011 “Commercial space ready to take the lead” Orlando Sentinel, , PN]

Earlier this month, I and several others spoke in the Florida Forward public event in Orlando, at which U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson outlined his work to forge a space future via the new NASA authorization bill he helped write. Authorization bills are important legislation, but they do not appropriate funds — appropriations bills do that. So the senator must now work to pass appropriations for commercial space activities that can bring needed jobs to Florida. I, for one, offer to help. Sen. Nelson has been a leader to whom other senators turn when considering issues relating to space. With NASA's crucial commercial space budget under attack, he has a golden opportunity to lead the fight for this funding. If he does, he'll be putting an ace in his deck for the 2012 campaign. If he doesn't, he'll cede this powerful card to others, including those who seek his Senate seat.

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