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Garcia urges White House to increase NASA budget


Following Jet Propulsion Laboratory layoffs

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena has laid off more than 500 employees after the White House reprogrammed NASA’s budget. Rep. Mike Garcia (CA-27) is urging the White House to reverse this misguided decision to move forward with funding cuts to the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission.

“This premature, unprecedented decision needs to be reversed,” Garcia said. “The changes to NASA’s budget are unfounded and short-sighted, and the consequences are devastating: Hundreds of hard-working Californians laid off, billions of dollars in canceled contracts, and decades of lost science. 

“It’s not too late to right this wrong, but the White House needs to immediately adjust these funding levels to promote the MSR program, advance our national security priorities in space, and keep America at the forefront of scientific achievement.”

In November, Rep. Garcia joined his congressional colleagues from California – from both sides of the aisle – in sending a letter to NASA Administrator Nelson expressing their strong opposition to the reprogramming of NASA’s MSR budget.

“NASA’s deeply short-sighted and misguided decision to unilaterally adjust the funding allocation granted to JPL to carry out the MSR mission violates Congress’s appropriations authority. Therefore, we strongly urge you to rescind NASA’s November 8th funding directive to JPL and not take any further steps to adjust funding levels for the mission until Congress enacts final FY24 appropriations for NASA,” wrote the members.

Last week, Rep. Garcia once again joined his colleagues in sending a letter to Director Shalanda Young of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

“If not reversed, this decision would ensure that JPL will not be able to meet the next launch window and will force a dramatic reduction of billions of dollars in contracts.”