H.R. 823: Space Leadership Preservation Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Feb 26, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 823

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 26, 2013

(for himself, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, Mr. Posey, and Mr. Olson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To preserve American space leadership, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Space Leadership Preservation Act of 2013 .

2.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the American space program will always be the best in the world, and to ensure that America will always be able to preserve and protect our leadership in the exploration of outer space, the high ground of the future. Congress is hopeful that by restructuring NASA we can make the Agency less political and more professional so that visionary NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts will continue to inspire future generations by their continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

3.

Administrator and Deputy Administrator

Section 20111 of title 51, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)

(A)

by striking Administrator.—There is established and inserting

Administrator.—

(1)

In general

There is established

;

(B)

in paragraph (1), as so designated by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, by inserting The Administrator shall serve for a term of 6 years. after and activities thereof.; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Board of directors nominations

The President may appoint the Administrator under paragraph (1) from among the list of nominees provided by the Board of Directors pursuant to section 20118(j)(2)(A).

; and

(2)

in subsection (b)

(A)

by striking Administrator.—There shall be and inserting

Administrator.—

(1)

In general

There shall be

;

(B)

in paragraph (1), as so designated by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, by inserting The Deputy Administrator shall not act for, and exercise the powers of, the Administrator for a period in excess of 45 days. After 45 days, the Associate Administrator shall exercise the powers of Administrator until a new Administrator is appointed and confirmed by the Senate. after absence or disability.; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Board of directors nominations

The President may appoint the Deputy Administrator under paragraph (1) from among the list of nominees provided by the Board of Directors pursuant to section 20118(j)(2)(B).

.

4.

Board of Directors

(a)

Establishment

Subchapter II of chapter 201 of title 51, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

20118.

Board of Directors

(a)

Establishment

There shall be established a Board of Directors for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in accordance with this section, not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of the Space Leadership Preservation Act of 2013 .

(b)

Membership and appointment

The Board shall consist of 11 members to be appointed as follows:

(1)

3 members shall be appointed by the President.

(2)

3 members shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate.

(3)

1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

(4)

3 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(5)

1 member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

In addition to the members appointed under paragraphs (1) through (5), the Administrator shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the Board.
(c)

Qualifications

The persons appointed as members of the Board shall be—

(1)

former astronauts or scientists or engineers eminent in the fields of human spaceflight, planetary science, space science, Earth science, and aeronautics, or other scientific, engineering, business, and social science disciplines related to space and aeronautics;

(2)

selected on the basis of established records of distinguished service; and

(3)

so selected as to provide representation of the views of engineering, science, and aerospace leaders in all areas of the Nation.

(d)

Limitation on members

An individual employed by or representing an organization with which the Administration has a contract is not eligible to serve on the Board, except for scientists employed by or representing colleges, universities, and other not-for-profit organizations. Any such scientists serving on the Board shall not directly work on a study, project, or program that receives funding through a grant from or contract with the Administration, and shall recuse themselves from any Board consideration of programs affecting their place of employment. Additionally, a former Board member may not take employment with or represent an organization with which the Administration has a contract, or which is seeking such a contract, for a period of 2 years following completion of service on the Board.

(e)

Terms

The term of office of each member of the Board shall be 3 years, except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Any person who has been a member of the Board for 12 consecutive years shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment during the 2-year period following the expiration of such 12th year.

(f)

Meetings

The Board shall meet quarterly and at such other times as the Chairman may determine, but the Chairman shall also call a meeting whenever one-third of the members so request in writing. The Board shall adopt procedures governing the conduct of its meetings, including delivery of notice and a definition of a quorum, which in no case shall be less than one-half plus one of the members of the Board.

(g)

Chairman and Vice Chairman

The election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board shall take place at each first quarter meeting occurring in an even-numbered year. The Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in his absence. In case a vacancy occurs in the chairmanship or vice chairmanship, the Board shall elect a member to fill such vacancy.

(h)

Staff

The Board may, with the concurrence of a majority of its members, permit the appointment of a staff consisting of professional staff members, technical and professional personnel on leave of absence from academic, industrial, or research institutions for a limited term, and such operations and support staff members as may be necessary. Such staff shall be appointed by the Chairman and assigned at the direction of the Board. The professional members and limited term technical and professional personnel of such staff may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and the provisions of chapter 51 of such title relating to classification, and shall be compensated at a rate not exceeding the maximum rate payable under section 5376 of such title, as may be necessary to provide for the performance of such duties as may be prescribed by the Board in connection with the exercise of its powers and functions under this section.

(i)

Committees

The Board is also authorized to appoint from among its members such committees as it deems necessary, and to assign to committees so appointed such survey and advisory functions as the Board deems appropriate to assist it in exercising its powers and functions under this section.

(j)

Functions

(1)

Budget proposal

Not later than November 15 of each year, the Board shall provide to the President, and to the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, a proposed budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the next fiscal year. Such budget shall—

(A)

carry out the purpose described in section 20102(h);

(B)

be based on—

(i)

the best professional judgement of the Board;

(ii)

recommendations from the scientific, engineering, and other technical experts communities; and

(iii)

the recommendations of the most recent National Research Council decadal surveys; and

(C)

follow such decadal surveys’ recommended decision rules regarding program implementation, including a strict adherence to the recommendation that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration include in a balanced program a flagship class mission, which may be executed in cooperation with one or more international partners.

(2)

Nominees for Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Chief Financial Officer

The Board shall provide to the President

(A)

a list of 3 nominees from which the President may appoint an Administrator pursuant to section 20111(a);

(B)

a list of 3 nominees from which the President may appoint a Deputy Administrator pursuant to section 20111(b) and

(C)

a list of 3 nominees from which the President may appoint a Chief Financial Officer pursuant to section 205(a) of the Chief Financial Officers Act (31 U.S.C. 901(a)).

The Board shall provide the first set of nominees under this paragraph not later than 15 months after the date of enactment of the Space Leadership Preservation Act of 2013 .
(3)

Reports

(A)

Annual infrastructure, capabilities, and workforce assessment

The Board shall provide to the President and the Congress annually a report assessing the status of United States spaceflight infrastructure, unique space capabilities, and the health of the United States workforce necessary to maintain such infrastructure and capabilities. The assessment shall also identify areas of concern, gaps in capability compared to foreign spaceflight capabilities, and recommendations on how to strengthen or improve United States capabilities and workforce.

(B)

Specific policy matter reports

The Board shall provide to the President and the Congress reports on specific, individual policy matters within the authority of the Administration (or otherwise as requested by the Congress or the President) related to human space flight, planetary science, earth science, aeronautics, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, as the Board, the President, or the Congress determines the need for such reports.

(4)

Quadrennial review

The Board shall provide to the President and the Congress, not later than the later of 180 days after the establishment of the Board or the third quarterly meeting of the Board, and once every 4 years thereafter, a quadrennial review of current space programs and a vision for future space exploration.

(5)

Removal for cause

The Board may provide to the President and the Congress a report recommending the removal of the Administrator, the Deputy Administrator, or the Chief Financial Officer for cause. Any such report shall include the reasons for such recommendation.

(k)

Budget meetings

Portions of Board meetings in which the Board considers the budget proposal required under subsection (j)(1) for a particular fiscal year may be closed to the public until the Board submits the proposal to the President and the Congress.

(l)

Financial disclosure

Members of the Board shall be required to file a financial disclosure report under title II of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 92 Stat. 1836), except that such reports shall be held confidential and exempt from any law otherwise requiring their public disclosure.

.

(b)

Table of sections

The table of sections for chapter 201 of title 51, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end of the items for subchapter II the following new item:

20118. Board of Directors.

.

5.

Budget proposal

Section 30103 of title 51, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Board of Directors proposal

(1)

Inclusion in President’s proposed budget

The proposed budget for the Administration submitted to the Congress by the President for each fiscal year shall include a description of, and a detailed justification for, any differences between the President’s proposed budget and the budget provided by the Board of Directors under section 20118(j)(1).

(2)

Elements of budget proposal

Subsections (a) through (d) of this section shall apply to the proposed budget provided by the Board of Directors under section 20118(j)(1).

.

6.

Long term contracting

(a)

Amendments

Section 20142 of title 51, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in the section heading, by striking Contracts regarding expendable launch vehicles and inserting Long term contracting ;

(2)

in subsection (a), by—

(A)

striking expendable launch vehicle services and inserting rocket propulsion systems and manned and unmanned space transportation vehicles and payloads, including expendable launch vehicles, and any other infrastructure intended for placement or operation in space or on celestial bodies, and services related thereto,; and

(B)

striking related to launch and inserting related to; and

(3)

in subsection (b), by striking launch services and inserting the goods and services to have been provided under the contract.

(b)

Table of sections amendment

The item relating to section 20142 in the table of sections for chapter 201 of title 51, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

20142. Long term contracting.

.