Rogers Remarks at FY24 Budget Hearing for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (As Prepared)

Apr 19, 2023

Good afternoon.

The Subcommittee will come to order. Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time.

Senator Nelson, it is good to have you back here visiting the Subcommittee to help us examine NASA’s fiscal year 2024 budget request.

The Biden Administration is requesting $27.2 billion in funding for NASA – a roughly 7% increase over the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. And as you know, Congress also provided $367 million in emergency funding for NASA Construction and Environmental Compliance in fiscal year 2023.

Funding NASA at the appropriate level while remaining focused on the continued growth in government is a difficult balance to strike. We want to ensure that the United States remains the world leader in space, particularly in light of the aggressive investments China has made in space exploration. We are also accountable to the taxpayer to ensure that NASA remains focused on its core mission.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded in 1958 to establish a civilian focused, peaceful, space science agency, in response to the “space race” to land the first man on the Moon.

The space race inspired many Americans, including a young man working at a radio station in western North Carolina, to pursue careers in space. After some effort in pursuit of that goal at the University of Kentucky, I realized I was better suited to be a lawyer.

I continue my fascination with space along with Americans across generations – including young Americans who watched the Artemis I launch or viewed with awe the remarkable images from the James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA’s major achievements in 2022 are almost too numerous to list. To achieve new levels of success, we now look toward Artemis II and III, and the goal of returning American astronauts to the Moon in 2025.

I’m pleased to see NASA and its diverse workforce of engineers, scientists, and explorers leveraging partnerships and competition to drive affordability and innovation. Our investments in NASA not only impact the current generation of engineers and scientists, but they also empower the next generation, such as the students at Morehead State University in my home district. At Morehead, students are doing critical research in space science and are entering the space workforce in a part of the country that is not traditionally known for space innovations. Further, through the NASA EPSCoR program, NASA is reaching into communities that might not otherwise have the same exposure to space research and innovation. NASA has set forth an ambitious, but important, agenda.

Today I will have some questions about NASA’s preparedness to explore the Moon and beyond, our efforts to outcompete China, and the impact of inflation on NASA projects and missions.

Thank you for joining us today.

At this time, I would like to recognize Ranking Member Cartwright for any remarks he may wish to make.