Statement on President Trump Signing NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 into Law

Legislation provides stability for NASA to advance space exploration and science

March 21, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump, today at a ceremony attended by members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, signed into law S. 442, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Transition Authorization Act of 2017. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), along with Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas), authorizes and sets priorities for the nation’s space exploration agency.  

“I am grateful for the President’s action today which will restore stability and certainty to NASA and the future of the U.S. space program,” said Cruz who chairs the committee’s Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness. “Space exploration has fostered extraordinary economic growth and job creation for the State of Texas and the entire nation. Drafted and passed in a bipartisan manner, this legislation enables commercial space ventures to flourish and ensures NASA has the clarity of purpose and confidence it needs to continue to grow and improve upon what it does best: lead the world in space exploration.”
“It took a lot of work to get this through Congress,” said Nelson, the ranking member of the Commerce Committee. “I’m pleased we were able to get a bipartisan bill to the president that supports sending humans to Mars, expands the commercial space industry and calls for a robust NASA. Now we must roll up our sleeves to find the funding needed to carry out these lofty goals.”
“This is an important bipartisan victory for space and science in the opening months of the new administration,” said Thune who chairs the Commerce Committee. “I congratulate the membership of the committee and our colleagues at the House Science Committee on getting this course-setting legislation enacted into law.”
“NASA conducts incredible research that not only helps us explore the universe, but strengthens our competitive advantage in the global economy,” said Peters, an original cosponsor of the legislation. “I was proud to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation that ensures NASA can continue their cutting-edge research and exploration missions, educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and astronauts, and ensure critical programs like the Orion and Space Launch System missions to Mars stay on track. I look forward to seeing NASA continue to lead the way in innovative solutions and pioneering discoveries for years to come.”
The legislation provides stability for NASA to sustain and build upon existing national space investments designed to advance space exploration and science with an overall authorization level of $19.508 billion for fiscal year 2017.
Full text of the bill may be viewed here.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation exercises legislative jurisdiction over NASA.