A bill of appropriation was signed and drafted into law on February 15, 2019, has given NASA an allotment of $21.5 billion in the fiscal year of 2019. This marks a figure exceeding the original request by the administration by a whopping margin of $1.6 billion.
The bill comes as a combination of several different appropriations bills and also a package of border security. It has previously been approved by a wide majority in both the Senate as well as the House on February 14thin order to avoid yet another partial shutdown of the government shutdown. The bill was signed on February 15th by President Trump, preceding the continuation of the resolution funding the relevant government parts was due to expire.
The provisions regarding NASA in the bill were similar to those recorded in the one passed by the House in January. These included both the report language as well as the level of overall funding — a hike amounting to $1.6 billion up and above the original request from the agency. Notably, retention of the firm language expressing “profound disappointment” about the Space Telescope of James as well as the latest overruns in its schedule and cost was observed in the report. It also warned that JWST will look to find ways of saving cost or have the mission cancelled altogether if further problems were encountered.
The final version of the bill rejected the proposal of reorganizing the accounts which are used in funding the agency NASA has included within the budget request nearly a year back. That particular proposal called for replacement of the accounts of Space Technology as well as Exploration by two new accounts, named Exploration Research and Technology and Systems of Deep Space Exploration respectively. This can potentially bring about a shift in certain technology programs since it has brought the gamut of the agency’s Space Tech Mission Directorate and its future under consideration. However, the current accounts of Space Technology as well as Exploration have been retained by the final bill.