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The NASA Glenn facility in Brook Park is a true asset to Cleveland. NASA’s mission brings secure, well-paying jobs to the region and provides critical scientific knowledge. Congressman Kucinich will continue to fight to protect and expand this economic and scientific center.

Winning work for the NASA Glenn Plum Brook Facility

Securing NASA Glenn’s Budget

Protecting NASA’s workers

Continuing to Secure NASA’s Budget

Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Service Module

Full Cost Accounting and Reductions in Force

Congressional Aerospace Caucus

View press releases and related documents on NASA

Winning work for the NASA Glenn Plum Brook Facility

Congressman Kucinich secured a major victory for Cleveland and all of Ohio by working with his colleagues in the Ohio delegation in a bipartisan way to bring qualifications testing for Orion to Plum Brook.  Plum Brook is uniquely qualified to perform tests that simulate conditions in space for the new Orion vehicle.  When NASA and Lockheed Martin were reviewing potential sites for the testing, which could mean hundreds of jobs in the future, Congressman Kucinich sent a letter urging selection of the Plum Brook facility.  The letter was signed by 17 of the 18 members of the delegation.  Shortly thereafter, an evaluation team was sent to the site and Plum Brook won the contract.

Securing NASA Glenn’s Budget

Congressman Kucinich has been leading the charge in both Washington and Cleveland to ensure the long-term viability of the NASA Glenn Research Center.  In January 2007, Congressman Kucinich organized members of the Ohio delegation to request protection for NASA’s most valuable asset – its workers - from layoffs in the final appropriations bill for FY07.  A ban on layoffs was extended.

Concerned about funding and layoffs for FY08, Congressman Kucinich testified in front of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee to request an additional $1 billion in funding for NASA.  The money was needed because the President’s budget request underfunded the agency, forcing it to cut several programs of importance to NASA Glenn.  He also requested that significant portions of the money be directed to programs that are critical to the success of the Vision for Space Exploration, our new mandate to explore the moon and Mars.  Finally, he requested another extension of the ban on layoffs that is necessary because of proposed budget cuts.  Congressman Kucinich organized members of the Ohio delegation in support of these requests by sending a letter with their signatures to members of the Appropriations Subcommittee.  The FY08 Appropriations bill that passed the House in July 2007 extended the ban on involuntary layoffs and increased funding for NASA Glenn’s strengths like aeronautics and space exploration.

Protecting NASA’s workers

On September 27, 2008, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008, which contained two of Congressman Kucinich’s provisions that protect the workers at NASA Glenn.  As a member of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, worked with the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Danny Davis (D-IL) to request the provisions.  The most important provision is an extension of the ban on layoffs until at least 2011.  Layoffs undermine not only worker’s lives and the mission of the Agency, but also the regional economy.  According to researchers at Cleveland State University, NASA Glenn in Brook Park generated a demand for products and services of $955 million and was responsible for over 6,000 jobs in Northeast Ohio in 2006.  The bill also temporarily extends health care benefits for employees in transition.  The sudden loss of health-care coverage is a major factor currently discouraging employees from taking a buy-out.  The provision would be helpful in fostering a respectful workforce transition plan during this time of change for NASA.

Continuing to Secure NASA’s Budget

Congressman Kucinich mobilized coalitions in both Washington and Cleveland to fight the Administration’s proposal to drastically reduce funding for aeronautics at NASA for FY 06. Congressman Kucinich’s first act was to convene a series of NASA summits in his Lakewood office. They were attended by representatives of local, state, regional and federal government; aeronautics industry; NASA employees; advocates of Cleveland’s economic health; and concerned citizens.

The grassroots efforts generated by these meetings shored up Congressman Kucinich’s efforts to make the case in Washington that NASA Glenn and aeronautics were critical to our nation’s airline safety, national security, economic well being and environmental quality. Congressman Kucinich sent letters to the President, organized the Ohio delegation, worked closely with Representatives from Virginia, (who also faced cuts at NASA Langley) met with Administrator Griffin and other NASA officials, testified at hearings, conducted dozens of media interviews on the topic, collaborated with the aerospace industry, and much more.

Congressman Kucinich’s efforts, which have been both bipartisan and bicameral, have been successful in ensuring that the jobs at Glenn stay there. The Congress halted involuntary layoffs, restored last year’s funding for aeronautics, required the Administration to submit a long term plan for aeronautics, and accepted language in the record valuing the specialties at NASA Glenn.

Specifically, the Science State Commerce and Justice Appropriations bill, which funds NASA, was a win for NASA Glenn and Cleveland.  It contains:

• An overall funding increase of $60 million for the aeronautics research program over budget request, including $25 million for hypersonics research.

• A provision preventing NASA from going beyond voluntary buyouts until there is a restructuring plan (for personnel and facilities).  It also requires an implementation roadmap.  NASA also must notify House and Senate Appropriations Committees before RIFs are implemented.

• Roughly $7 million in plus-up earmarks that will benefit NASA Glenn directly.

• Provisions that make it harder for NASA management to cut personnel and facilities.  It does this by removing the Administrator’s ability to move large amounts of money from major programs in the agency around and by requiring that his budget submission be far more detailed than the vague requests Congress received for the FY06 submission.  It ensures Congress is granted the opportunity to fulfill its oversight role when major structural changes in the agency are proposed by management.

• A requirement that NASA continue the clean up of radioactive contamination at    Plum Brook, which they previously stopped even though they were still decommissioning the nuclear reactor.

In December 2005, after a year of work by Congressman Kucinich and the Ohio Delegation, Congress passed the NASA Authorization Act. The act, a tremendous victory for Glenn, and Cleveland protects jobs and the infrastructure to maintain jobs. In addition the act:

• Rejects any reductions in force until at least March 16, 2007

• Rejects the Administration’s request for a gradual drastic weakening of aeronautics research and development at NASA Glenn, which would have dramatically affected Ohio’s public and private sector.  Authorizes $962 million for FY 07 and $990 million for FY 08.

• Requires that any future efforts to reshape the workforce be made in a way that keeps aeronautics intact.

• Requires the development of a national aeronautics research policy, like the Vision for Space Exploration that guides space flight development, to ensure that jobs are not cut without consideration of the nation’s need for aeronautics infrastructure.

• Prevents the closing or mothballing of aeronautics testing facilities like the valuable NASA Glenn wind tunnels and propulsion facilities if they will erode NASA’s ability to adhere to the National Aeronautics Policy.

• Provides for long-term basic aeronautics research and technology development that is critical to America’s economy, environment, aircraft safety, and national security.

• Encourages research into several areas of strength at Glenn such as aircraft noise reduction, energy reduction, emissions reductions, fuel cell powered aircraft, and hypersonics.

• Commits to a meaningful microgravity and life sciences research capability (Requires that at least 15 percent of the spending for the International Space Station (ISS) be used for microgravity research not related to exploration programs.)

Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Service Module

After years of work by Congressman Kucinich and the bipartisan and bicameral Ohio Congressional delegation, in June of 2006, NASA announced that the NASA Glenn Research Center would get the lead contact to construct the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) Service Module. The CEV will soon replace the Space Shuttle fleet. In addition, NASA announced that Glenn would also get the lead contract for the Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV).

NASA’s announcement came after years of work by Congressman Kucinich, and others, to protect NASA Glenn’s budget, and to boost aerospace funding. If the budget cuts purposed by the Bush Administration, and defeated in Congress, been enacted, NASA Glenn may not have been in the competition to win these vital contracts.

This new work will ensure more jobs at Glenn and an economic boost for the region. In addition, it will ensure that Glenn remains part of NASA’s long-term vision.

Full Cost Accounting and Reductions in Force

After Congressman Kucinich raised strong objections, NASA recently announced that it is abandoning “full cost accounting,” the latest in a string of changes that collectively mean more stability for NASA Glenn.  Full cost accounting was a way of counting overhead costs that severely handicapped small centers and small programs within the agency.  It made some of NASA Glenn’s areas of expertise, like aeronautics, appear to be far less efficient that was actually the case.  In recognition of the flawed full cost accounting methodology, NASA announced they would eliminate it.  This is a major win for NASA Glenn, Cleveland, and Ohio.

In other good news, NASA Glenn’s management announced that they would no longer be collecting resumes for the purpose of preparing for involuntary reductions in force (RIF).  In other words, NASA Glenn management does not expect any RIFs within the foreseeable future.  This is proof positive that the bipartisan, bicameral Ohio congressional delegation, which Congressman Kucinich has worked tirelessly to organize, can protect NASA Glenn when working together.

Congressional Aerospace Caucus

Congressman Kucinich formed the Aerospace Caucus, with Congressman Dave Weldon. This bipartisan organization is the focal point for aerospace issues in the House of Representatives. Congressman Kucinich’s role in aerospace issues will help ensure a prosperous future for NASA Glenn.


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