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Congressional opposition to the president’s proposed budget for NASA stiffened on Thursday, as top Republican appropriators accused the White House of attempting to rob the agency of its mission. While President Barack Obama retooled NASA’s spending plan last week in an effort to temper growing congressional opposition, leading Republicans on a Senate Appropriations panel said Thursday that the new proposal still fails to address their concerns.
At the same time, a growing number of Democrats also signaled they remain unsatisfied with the president’s recent revisions, which he debuted during a speech at Kennedy Space Center last week. The fight boils down to how much money is spent on manned spaceflight.
Democrats and Republicans alike said the 2011 budget request would cripple NASA and lead to thousands of lost jobs. The new budget, introduced last week, allows for the completed construction of Orion — a move the administration says will save jobs — but it would still kill the Constellation program.