House appropriators restrict funds for Space Development Agency

May 16, 2019

Space News – House appropriators would block funding for the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency until 90 days after the secretary of defense submits a detailed plan for the new agency. The language is included in the draft of the proposed fiscal year 2020 funding bill for the Defense Department released on Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.

The HAC defense subcommittee will mark up the bill in a closed session on Wednesday. The bill provides $690.2 billion in discretionary spending for the Defense Department, an increase of $15.8 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, and $8 billion below the Trump administration’s request.

The legislation restricts funds for the SDA and provides $15 million to further study the establishment of a Space Force, compared to $72 million requested by the Pentagon to begin standing up the new service headquarters.

The language on the SDA reflects concerns voiced by lawmakers in recent hearings about the Pentagon creating a new Space Development Agency but providing few specifics about its role and responsibilities, including how the SDA fits into the larger landscape of military organizations that develop space technologies.

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