Thursday, August 06, 2009

Pete Olson on NASA: All Talk and No Action

After 7 months in office I see that my congressman, Pete Olson (R – TX 22), has a near perfect voting record. Have you seen it? Take a look. It is a near-perfect string of “Nays.”

Want to know how many times Pete Olson has has voted “Nay“? It’s actually easier to count the number of times he has voted “Yea.” And that would be 3 times, twice on the bill that allows loaded handguns in national parks, and once to block the release of federal dollars to fund economic recovery.

Every other time a vote has come up, Pete Olson, my congressman, has voted “Nay” or not bothered to cast a vote at all.

What is amazing to me is that Pete Olson enjoys a singular reality in being the one who represents Texas CD 22: he has the Johnson Space Center within the boundaries of his district.

Pete Olson represents NASA.

And you can believe that Olson makes a lot of hay out of that. No, he doesn’t get a lot of monetary support from NASA engineers. That honor still goes to the sunset industry known as oil and gas. But as the congressman who can rightly claim that he represents NASA engineers and technicians, he heaps upon himself the obligation to wax poetic over NASA in newspapers.

Here he is in the Chron early last month leading the charge to go back to the moon by 2020.

Here he is in the Washington Times, that well-known neocon rag, extolling Apollo 11’s example on the 40th anniversary of the first ever moon walk.

In the latter he says this:

“Following President Kennedy's stirring speech setting the goal to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth, billions of dollars were pledged and spent; technology that was not even invented at the time had to be perfected; and, sadly, lives were lost in our journey to the moon and back.”

And further on:

“I am greatly worried that the Apollo moon landings may have signaled the end of lunar exploration when they should have been the beginning. There is almost universal agreement how tragic it was that Apollo missions 18 through 20 were cut because of budget constraints. Yet each year, Congress seems to endorse those cuts through failure to fully fund the goals we set for NASA.”

I’ll say.

Here we have, on the one hand, a congressman who seems to be supportive of government spending on a massive scale, on the scale that we spent in the 60’s to land a man on the moon by a drop dead date, and on the other hand, a congressman who “Just says no.”

Pete Olson voted “Nay” last February 25th for HR 1105, the House Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009.

Among other things, HR 1105 funded NASA to the tune of over $24 billion so it could stay in business until September of 2010.

And Pete Olson, who represents NASA, voted against it.

Pete Olson: all hat, no cattle.


Anonymous said...

JSC will wither and die, and the people who work as JSC employees and contractors deserve it. They had a tireless advocate in Nick Lampson who had the juice to help JSC as NASA transitions to a new period. But in a stunningly myopic choice, the NASA employees voted to replace Lampson. Amazingly enough, Lampson drew fewer votes percentage-wise from the Clear Lake area than from any other area in CD22. And now an ideologue who will clearly vote as a blinding partisan has taken the helm. He is sprinting as quickly as possible into obscurity in his early tenure in Congress. To compound his lack of clout or standing, he is demonizing all federal spending at the same time that he is demanding more money be spent on NASA. It would be laughable if the consequences for SE Texas weren't so dire. Adding to the mix, K.B. Hutchison is retiring, and with her Texas will lose all of it's clout in the Senate with Appropriations. Cornyn is a dud, who has never had interest in NASA (curious that when Olson was his COS, neither Olson nor Cornyn ever demonstrated any interest in JSC).

I digress. It will be interesting to see who the Clear Lake community blames when the NASA tit dries up and jobs began to hemorrhage from the area. I'm sure they will find a way to demonize the Democrats for this, but I think they should take a more introspective approach. They've cut off their nose to spite their face, and now it's time to live with the consequences. I say ship all the jobs and the work to KSC.

Anonymous said...

If President Obama wants to maintain JSC jobs he will. If he doesn't want to maintain those jobs, he want.

It is completely up to him and the Democratically controlled Congress.

Anonymous said...

Some of us like those "no" votes! It's hard to find any bill in Congress that a reasonable person would support after the pork, etc, is considered.

Hal said...

That's right. "Just Say No."

Courtesy of the "Party of No."

Don't you think, though, that Olson should be a little less duplicitous? On the one hand fawning on their past successes, on the other stabbing them in the back by withholding funding?

What a jerk.