President’s NASA Speech Disappoints Local Politicians

The local reaction to the President’s NASA speech is mostly negative and critical of his plan to delay the production of a space transportation vehicle. Houston lawmakers are unified in their response — with both Democrats and Republicans saying the President’s making the wrong decision. Laurie Johnson has more.


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The President’s much-anticipated speech at the Kennedy Space Center fell flat with local officials.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says she had high hopes of hearing Mr. Obama articulate goals for NASA that would inspire and reassure her about what’s going to happen to all of the NASA complexes.

“And I’m sure that the folks in Florida may have been happy with what they heard, but I didn’t hear the word ‘Texas’ at all. Very clearly, the President gave Florida the moon and left us with the vague hope for Mars in 20 years.”

Texas lawmakers and officials have been aggressive in their support for NASA and their call for the President to restore funding for manned space flight. As many as 7,000 Houston jobs are in jeopardy under the current plan.

“This isn’t just about Houston — although my responsibility is to make sure that the potentially devastating impacts on Houston don’t occur — it is about what is the best for our space agency and how human beings can return to space and begin to explore our solar system.”

It’s an issue that has politicians from both sides of the aisle unified in their response.

Republican Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison say the President’s space policy fails to guarantee American leadership in exploration.

Congressman Gene Green released a statement on President Obama’s plan for NASA jobs, saying as a “fellow Democrat, I find it unacceptable that the President hasn’t developed the same plan for the nine other NASA centers.”

Local lawmakers say the White House has not responded to invitations to visit the Johnson Space Center.

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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