Senate votes to spare NASA from budget cuts

The Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment to the FAA authorization bill that will likely spare NASA from future budget cuts.

The amendment from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) eliminates language in the FAA bill that would have created an advisory committee to examine whether NASA should continue its research and development activities related to civilian aircraft. The commission was thought to be a step toward a recommendation that this R&D should stop.

The Senate approved Nelson's language in a 96-1 vote. Only Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) voted against it.

The vote on the Nelson language was the only Senate vote on the FAA bill today, although more are expected early next week.