May 15, 2011 —– For Immediate Release
TEA Party Catches Congress Hiding Earmark In Space
(Cape Canaveral, FL)— TEA Party in Space, a non-partisan organization, announced Monday that it had discovered an earmark worth approximately 9 billion dollars in the NASA authorization act. The cleverly written language, combined with pressure from members of Congress whose districts would benefit from this earmark would guarantee that only Alliant Techsystems (ATK) of Utah could be awarded the contract for the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) with the new Space Launch System (SLS).
ATK was originally awarded the Ares I contract on August 10, 2007 on a sole source, cost plus contract worth 1.8 billion dollars. The Ares I rocket encountered numerous problems that caused years of delays and costs have spiraled out of control. After spending 4.79 billion dollars on Ares I, the US government wisely decided to cancel this program that was behind schedule and over budget. But hidden in last year’s NASA Authorization is an attempt to restart this failed project, in the form of a new NASA program called the Space Launch System.
“ATK was awarded a no bid cost plus contract for Ares, which before cancellation, resulted in a vehicle that had gone massively over budget and was years behind schedule. Now some in congress wants to give ATK another chance, including more billions of dollars, to help develop a rocket that is supposed to be more capable, without even considering whether we should be rewarding this type of behavior. This is not the fiscally responsible thing to do.” said Everett Wilkinson, spokesperson for TEA Party in Space.
This earmark in Public Law 111-267 stifles not only NASA, but the free market. Companies like Aerojet of Sacramento California could file a protest with NASA and request open competition for the RSRM contract. NASA will be forced to build a rocket that will not have a single payload that can use the full capability of 70 metric tons by 2016.
The congressional TEA Party caucus and the republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives have vowed to remove earmarks from the legislative process. Members should openly question how this law was allowed to pass and work to remove this language. This law is just another example of how legislators try to manipulate the flow of tax payer’s hard earned money into select states and districts for personal gain.
# # #
TEA Party in Space (TPIS), www.TEAPartyinSpace.com is a non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the American people and their elected representatives in applying the core principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets to the rapid and permanent expansion of American civilization into the space frontier, focusing on strategies for privatization, deregulation, and appropriate technology development partnerships between government institutions and the private sector. TEA Party In Space is proud to be part of a coalition of individual tea party groups with Tea Party Patriots.
Tea Party Patriots, Inc. (“TPP”) is a non-partisan, non-profit social welfare organization dedicated to furthering the common good and general welfare of the people of the United States. TPP is the original and largest national grassroots tea party organization that is composed of over 2700 individual tea party groups. There are over a 130 tea party groups in Florida. TPP furthers this goal by educating the public and promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Tea Party Patriots has not endorsed candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.TeaPartyPatriots.org