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Senate Proceeding 07-20-10 on Jul 20th, 2010 :: 1:58:05 to 2:16:45
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Bill Nelson

1:58:02 to 1:58:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, what is our parliamentary position? are we -- do i need to ask --

Bill Nelson

1:58:05 to 2:16:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

1:58:24 to 1:58:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the presiding officer: we're operating postcloture. mr. nelson: i ask consent that i be allowed to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, i want to compliment a lot of senators on both sides of the

Bill Nelson

1:58:46 to 1:59:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: aisle for the extraordinary bipartisanship -- no, the extraordinary nonpartisanship that occurred coming together unanimously to passing the nasa authorization bill out of the full commerce committee last week.

Bill Nelson

1:59:09 to 1:59:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the budget for nasa was about to be blown apart by centrifugal force, having different elements, different interests all go off in different directions. everybody seeme -- everybody seemed to have

Bill Nelson

1:59:30 to 1:59:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: their own agenda, geographical circumstances came into it as to whose states were being affected. the companies were at war with each other. there was a lack of cooperation that was going on between the legislative branch and the executive branch.

Bill Nelson

1:59:52 to 2:00:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: mr. president, all i can say is hallelujah, it all came together, and we passed the nasa bill out of the commerce committee last week unanimously, with all the senators that spoke singing its praises. i'm going to outli a minute, but let me makeote

Bill Nelson

2:00:14 to 2:00:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of another fact. we had unprecedented cooperation between the authorizers -- that's the authorizing committee -- and the appropriators. and as we speak, the

Bill Nelson

2:00:39 to 2:00:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: appropriations subcommittee on commerce-state-justice which includes the nasa appropriations, as we speak, they are meeting and marking up. and we'll find out their result later this afternoon, but i can tell you that the cooperation, the communication, the cooperation was extensive and so

Bill Nelson

2:01:00 to 2:01:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: was the communication, the likes of which we have not seen arod here, particularly in this year when there's so much gridlock out here and we have so much difficulty getting anything done. well, that has not been the case with the nasa bill.

Bill Nelson

2:01:23 to 2:01:44( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and so, there are a host of senators. they all know who they are. this senator wants to express his appreciation for coming together as the good book says, "come, let us reason together." and it happened.

Bill Nelson

2:01:45 to 2:02:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: i think it's, as i said at the time that we passed it, i think it was a near miracle, but i believe in miracles. and, now, let me tell you, mr. president, what is in the bill.

Bill Nelson

2:02:07 to 2:02:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: a good part of what the president requested is there, and that is why we had the verbal and the written support of the president of this consensus that developed of which we passed.

Bill Nelson

2:02:28 to 2:02:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: so, the president's recommendations on the top line, the spending for nasa about $19 billion for this next fiscal year, starting in october. the fact that the president recommended the extension of the

Bill Nelson

2:02:49 to 2:03:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: international space station to 2020, which was originally supposed to expire in 2015, which was absolutely ridiculous, because we're just now getting it built. and it's about a $100 billion investment. the president wanting to start a

Bill Nelson

2:03:11 to 2:03:32( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: commercial rocket industry already under contract with nasa to companies, space x and orbital sciences, to deliver cargo to the international space station. those contracts are already underway, and the testing is beginning.

Bill Nelson

2:03:33 to 2:03:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and we put in the president's recommendation on that commercial cargo in this bill, which was a recommendation for $300 million. and, we agreed with the president to start the process of human rating commercial

Bill Nelson

2:03:55 to 2:04:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: rockets for the purpose of being, in effect, a taxi service to and from the international space station. human rating of a rocket is no small measure because when you strap in to a rocket, there has to be all kind of redid you know

Bill Nelson

2:04:16 to 2:04:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: dan seus in order to -- redundancies in order to protect human life. and safety is one of our major watch words. an so, that was authorized as well at a different level from what the president had originally recommended and over six years as opposed to five

Bill Nelson

2:04:37 to 2:04:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: years that the president had recommended. but, nevertheless, it gets the project started. now, the main thing that we did different in the president's recommendation, when the president came to the kennedy space center a few months ago and said he wanted to develop a

Bill Nelson

2:04:59 to 2:05:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: new heavy-lift rocket that will ultimately take us out into the cosomos, that the president set the goal -- and i give him great credit for this, because you've got to have a goal when you're developing cutting-edge technology. and he set that goal of going to

Bill Nelson

2:05:23 to 2:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: mars by a fxible path. the first weigh station he pointed with a date -- 2025 -- to an asteroid. he said he wanted that heavy-lift rocket start to be developed by 2015.

Bill Nelson

2:05:44 to 2:06:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: that's a five-year wait. our committee did not want to wait that long. we want to get started now. and in the authorization bill, we set in a congressional committee -- and a congressional committee cannot design a rocket, but we can set policy guidelines to the executive

Bill Nelson

2:06:06 to 2:06:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: branch of government and to the agency, in this case nasa, as to using of shuttle-derived technology, and building on that, making it, in the parlance of the space community, evolvable. and that's what we did in the authorization bill. we want to start it now instead

Bill Nelson

2:06:30 to 2:06:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of waiting until 2011. we also did another thing different, although the white house was contemplating this. and by them embracing the consensus that we built, now they have supported it.

Bill Nelson

2:06:51 to 2:07:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and that is to fly an extra flight of the space shuttle. this is not a space shuttle that we have to go out and build the parts for. it's a space shuttle, a stack with the external tank and the two solid rocket boosters as well as the orbiter that we will already have and ready to be on

Bill Nelson

2:07:12 to 2:07:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the pad as a rescue shuttle for the remaining two flights, one of which will come this november; the other one next february. we want to fly that third flight, and it's likely to be the orbiteratlantis." that would come a year from now,

Bill Nelson

2:07:35 to 2:07:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: probably next june. there's a lot more stuff to take up to the space station. there's a lot more equipment, supplies, and interestingly and importantly, there's a lot of stuff thrup that you -- stup up there that you need a big volume of the cargo bay of the orbiter

Bill Nelson

2:07:57 to 2:08:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to be able to bring that stuff back to earth, and that third flight will supply that. we continue the president's recommendations on all the other parts of nasa, on the science part, on the aeronautics part,

Bill Nelson

2:08:20 to 2:08:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and on the acceleration of research and development for new technologies, we continue that. we focus some of that development of technologies in our authorization bill toward the building, the designing and ultimately the flying of this

Bill Nelson

2:08:41 to 2:09:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: heavy-lift vehicle, complete with a crew compartment which more than likely will be in the form of what we think of in the old days as the capsule. and, therefore, at the beginning of the new fiscal year, which comes this october, assuming

Bill Nelson

2:09:03 to 2:09:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: th we have the authorization inlace, and if the appropriations committee, if that is their decision as well, and we can get that appropriation passed and signed into law by the president, then come october 1, they will start

Bill Nelson

2:09:27 to 2:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: on the development of that new heavy-lift vehicle. this has been met with wide consensus. the research and development on new technologies will continue. they will be more focused and directed.

Bill Nelson

2:09:49 to 2:10:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: they will be more immediate. the capability of having the commercial rockets be human rated, to be the trip to and from the space station will be there.

Bill Nelson

2:10:10 to 2:10:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and it will start immediately. and out of allf this dissonance and argument and criticism, mr. president, it all came together, and it passed unanimously.

Bill Nelson

2:10:34 to 2:10:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: i await very expectantly and very hopefully for the appropriations committee as they are acting as i speak on seeing the results of their work. now let me say, mr. president,

Bill Nelson

2:10:57 to 2:11:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: in conclusion, i could name about a dozen senators, and they all know who they are, and i've said it in press conferences and so forth, singing the high praises. somewhere down the line, if this chamber is still in gridlock on so many other issues that we

Bill Nelson

2:11:19 to 2:11:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: have, and if we get to the point that we're not able to pass appropriations bills, and if we in fact have to go back in order to fund the government starting october 1 on what is called a continuing resolution which

Bill Nelson

2:11:40 to 2:12:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: usually is a continuance of the previous year's funding, hopefully we will have passed by the senate appropriations committee their bill that is very similar to the authorization bill that i have just described to you.

Bill Nelson

2:12:06 to 2:12:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: in that case, if we are in gridlock, it would be my hope, it would be the hope of some dozen of us senator here that we would be able then to take that appropriations committee bill passed by the senate appropriations committee, if we

Bill Nelson

2:12:27 to 2:12:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: have to go to a continuing resolution, and put that nasa appropriations bill in the continuing resolution. the alternative would be disaster. it would be appropriating on the basis of last year's bill that would completely blow apart the consensus that i've just

Bill Nelson

2:12:50 to 2:13:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: described and would have the manned space program dead in its tracks by the funding at last year's levels, without the policy direction. but, mr. president, despite

Bill Nelson

2:13:11 to 2:13:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: gridlock, i am an optimist, and i believe that what i have laid out is the mere expression of so many of our senators on both sides of the aisles hopes that when it comes to this little $19

Bill Nelson

2:13:32 to 2:13:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: billion agency, the national aeronautics and space administration, the agency that carries the hopes and dreams of a lot of americans, that it would be my hope that under those circumstances as we get on into the fall that that' how we can fund nasa with an appropriations bill if we can't

Bill Nelson

2:13:57 to 2:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: pass the overall c.j.s. appropriations bill in its entirety. i come as someone who two weeks ago i didn't know, mr. president, where in the world we were going or how we were going to get the votes.

Bill Nelson

2:14:19 to 2:14:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: senators came together, and for one, this senator, for the sake of all those young people out there whose hearts beat a little bit faster when they see that rocket as it climbs into the heavens, who have the dreams of

Bill Nelson

2:14:40 to 2:15:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: understanding what's out there in that universe that we are exploring, for the sake of all those young people, for the sake of this country and its technological prowess, for the sake of this country and its people for the technological spinoffs that come out of the research and development of the

Bill Nelson

2:15:01 to 2:15:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: space program that absolutely invade our everyday life to make our quality of life better, for the sake of the future of this country that we stay on the cutting edge, inspiring our young people into math and science and technology and

Bill Nelson

2:15:22 to 2:15:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: engineering so that we can stay as the leader in this global marketplace, because we have the ingenuity, the creativity, the inventiveness, a lot of that inspiration comes out of our space program, both manned

Bill Nelson

2:15:43 to 2:16:04( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and unmanned. it is our destiny as a people to explore. it is our heritage as a people that we have explored. we have always had a frontier. when we develophis country, we

Bill Nelson

2:16:05 to 2:16:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: expanded westward in the frontier. now that frontier is upward. we can do no less than to continue the quest. mr. president, i yield the floor, and i absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the cler

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