Here’s a spending program ripe and waiting to be given the death knell. It’s not Congress’ money, so it’s not a shock that they know the taxpayers are paying for a defunct program no longer in use.
WASHINGTON — Congress has again failed to rid a temporary spending bill of language forcing NASA to waste $1.4 million a day on its defunct Constellation moon program.
Though Congress passed a new stopgap spending bill last week, the measure retained a leftover provision from the 2010 budget that bars the agency from shutting down Constellation, which Congress and the White House agreed to cancel last October.
This so-called “Shelby provision” — named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget — is expected to cost NASA roughly $29 million during the three-week budget extension through April 8. It has already cost the agency nearly $250 million since Oct. 1.
Equally galling to budget hawks is that Congress has known about the mistake for months and has done nothing to correct it.
Why is this allowed to happen? It’s because the Democrats refused to pass a budget last year. However, Republicans know about this wasteful spending and haven’t stopped it. Neither party is serious about reducing the deficit and the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.