Senate Commerce Committee Approves Crucial NASA Authorization, Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act, and Maritime Legislation

July 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held an executive session and favorably reported out the following legislation and nominations: 

Legislation and Nominations Reported Out Favorably:

NASA Authorization Act of 2010—This bill would authorize NASA appropriations for fiscal years 2011-2013 with the same top-line budget values as the President’s request to Congress. The bill would support an overall growth in science, aeronautics, and space technology and define a long-term goal for human space flight to expand a permanent human presence beyond low-Earth orbit. Additional information on the bill can be found here.

S. 3304, Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act—This bill would update existing disabilities law to reflect accessibility to new and emerging technologies. S. 3304 would improve access by disabled individuals to advanced communications and video programming. To this end, it updates policies designed to improve communications accessibility in the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act, the Television Decoder and Circuitry Act, and the Telecommunications Act. Additional information on the bill can be found here.

Maritime Administration Act of Fiscal Year 2011— This legislation would authorize appropriations for the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and its programs for fiscal year 2011. It would also clarify that the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is permitted to use its funds for research and development purposes. The bill would require a report and assessment of future marine transportation system requirements, including intercoastal and inland waterway needs; broaden the eligibility of Short Sea Transportation projects, and make modifications to the recycling and donation program for obsolete National Defense Reserve Fleet Vessels. Additional information on the bill can be found here.

Nomination for Promotion in the U.S. Coast Guard—Additional information can be found here.