Congress Approves Funds for Space Station
MONEY to keep the United States space station plan alive was included in a compromise appropriation bill approved by the House and Senate Wednesday, but other space programs were cut back.The $2 billion provided for the space station represents a victory for the Bush administration, which fought an attempt earlier this year by the House Appropriations Committee to kill the project, the eventual costs of which are estimated at $40 billion. The compromise bill worked out by House and Senate negotiators was approved by the House on a 390-30 vote and sent to the Senate which locked up the space station funds by voice vote. But the Senate added an amendment to another section of the bill requiring the Veterans Administration to require performance standards for VA medical laboratories equal to other labs under federal jurisdiction. The House was expected to accept the amendment and send the bill to the White House. The $80.9 billion measure also includes funds for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. While the space station project receives the full $2 billion requested for 1992, other NASA programs were cut sharply to provide the funds. HUD Secretary Jack Kemp was disappointed in the bill's funding for housing programs and indicated he would urge President Bush to veto the measure, but a veto was considered unlikely.