Tuberville Defends NASA, Artemis Program

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) spoke on the Senate floor in opposition of an effort by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to strip funding directed to NASA for the development of an additional Human Landing System.

Senator Tuberville’s remarks are below, and can be viewed here.

“NASA recognizes that competition makes us better. That’s why they asked Congress to fund a second provider for the lunar lander. Developing additional designs was NASA’s original intent –   a type of built-in insurance.

“It helps foster greater astronaut safety… and minimize the impact of delays – in the end, protecting the American taxpayer’s investment in the Artemis program.

“To continue advancements in American ingenuity and innovation, Congress must embrace competition, safety, and public-private partnerships. 

My colleague from Vermont’s motion would take a sledgehammer to American ingenuity and the Artemis Program. I urge my colleagues to vote against this motion.”

If the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives pass different versions of the same piece of legislation, a conference committee is created in order to reconcile the differences into a final version. Prior to the conference process, the Senate can pass Motions to Instruct Senate conferees, which are non-binding instructions directing the conferees to advocate for a specific position adopted by the Senate.

If passed, Senator Sanders’ motion would have directed conferees to remove the language that authorizes funding for a second provider for the Human Landing System during the conference process on the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. Led by Senator Tuberville, the Senate rejected the Sanders Motion by a vote of 17 to 78.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.