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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



108th Congress                                            Rept. 108-244
 1st Session            HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES          Part 1
======================================================================
 
                      NASA FLEXIBILITY ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

 August 4, 2003.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Boehlert, from the Committee on Science, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1085]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Science, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1085) to make certain workforce authorities available to 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I.  Amendment......................................................2
  II. Purpose of the Bill............................................12
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation........................12
  IV. Summary of Hearings............................................13
   V. Committee Actions..............................................14
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill........................16
 VII. Section-by-Section Analysis (by Title and Section).............18
VIII. Committee Views................................................25
  IX. Cost Estimate..................................................28
   X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................28
  XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4 (Unfunded Mandates)...........30
 XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............30
XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........30
 XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................30
  XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................30
 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act...............................30
XVII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........31
XVIII.Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........31

 XIX. Committee Recommendations......................................47
  XX. Exchange of Committee Correspondence...........................49
 XXI. Exchange of Correspondence from Outside Organizations..........51
XXII. Minority Views.................................................63
XXIII.Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................67

XXIV. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup......................139

                              I. Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``NASA Flexibility Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN EXCEPTED PERSONNEL.

  (a) In General.--Subparagraph (A) of section 203(c)(2) of the 
National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(2)(A)) is 
amended by striking ``the highest rate of grade 18 of the General 
Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as amended,'' and inserting 
``the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive 
Schedule,''.
  (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section shall take 
effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after 
the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. WORKFORCE AUTHORITIES.

  (a) In General.--Subpart I of part III of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 97, as added by section 
841(a)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296; 116 
Stat. 2229), the following:

      ``CHAPTER 98--NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

``Sec.
``9801. Definitions.
``9802. Planning, notification, and reporting requirements.
``9803. Restrictions.
``9804. Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses.
``9805. Retention bonuses.
``9806. Term appointments.
``9807. Pay authority for critical positions.
``9808. Assignments of intergovernmental personnel.
``9809. Enhanced demonstration project authority.
``9810. Science and technology scholarship program.
``9811. Distinguished scholar appointment authority.
``9812. Travel and transportation expenses of certain new appointees.
``9813. Annual leave enhancements.
``9814. Limited appointments to Senior Executive Service positions.
``9815. Qualifications pay.
``9816. Reporting requirement.

``Sec. 9801. Definitions

  ``For purposes of this chapter--
          ``(1) the term `Administration' means the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration;
          ``(2) the term `Administrator' means the Administrator of the 
        National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
          ``(3) the term `critical need' means a specific and important 
        requirement of the Administration's mission that the 
        Administration is unable to fulfill because the Administration 
        lacks the appropriate employees because--
                  ``(A) of the inability to fill positions; or
                  ``(B) employees do not possess the requisite skills;
          ``(4) the term `employee' means an individual employed in or 
        under the Administration;
          ``(5) the term `workforce plan' means the plan required under 
        section 9802(a);
          ``(6) the term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
                  ``(A) the Committees on Government Reform, Science, 
                and Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
                  ``(B) the Committees on Governmental Affairs, 
                Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and 
                Appropriations of the Senate;
          ``(7) the term `redesignation bonus' means a bonus under 
        section 9804 paid to an individual described in subsection 
        (a)(2) thereof;
          ``(8) the term `supervisor' has the meaning given such term 
        by section 7103(a)(10); and
          ``(9) the term `management official' has the meaning given 
        such term by section 7103(a)(11).

``Sec. 9802. Planning, notification, and reporting requirements

  ``(a) Not later than 90 days before exercising any of the workforce 
authorities made available under this chapter, the Administrator shall 
submit a written plan to the appropriate committees of Congress. Such 
plan shall be developed in consultation with the Office of Personnel 
Management.
  ``(b) A workforce plan shall include a description of--
          ``(1) each critical need of the Administration and the 
        criteria used in the identification of that need;
          ``(2)(A) the functions, approximate number, and classes or 
        other categories of positions or employees that--
                  ``(i) address critical needs; and
                  ``(ii) would be eligible for each authority proposed 
                to be exercised under this chapter; and
          ``(B) how the exercise of those authorities with respect to 
        the eligible positions or employees involved would address each 
        critical need identified under paragraph (1);
          ``(3)(A) any critical need identified under paragraph (1) 
        which would not be addressed by the authorities made available 
        under this chapter; and
          ``(B) the reasons why those needs would not be so addressed;
          ``(4) the specific criteria to be used in determining which 
        individuals may receive the benefits described under sections 
        9804 and 9805 (including the criteria for granting bonuses in 
        the absence of a critical need), and how the level of those 
        benefits will be determined;
          ``(5) the safeguards or other measures that will be applied 
        to ensure that this chapter is carried out in a manner 
        consistent with merit system principles;
          ``(6) the means by which employees will be afforded the 
        notification required under subsections (c) and (d)(1)(B);
          ``(7) the methods that will be used to determine if the 
        authorities exercised under this chapter have successfully 
        addressed each critical need identified under paragraph (1);
          ``(8)(A) the recruitment methods used by the Administration 
        before the enactment of this chapter to recruit highly 
        qualified individuals; and
          ``(B) the changes the Administration will implement after the 
        enactment of this chapter in order to improve its recruitment 
        of highly qualified individuals, including how it intends to 
        use--
                  ``(i) nongovernmental recruitment or placement 
                agencies; and
                  ``(ii) Internet technologies;
          ``(9) any reforms to the Administration's workforce 
        management practices recommended by the Columbia Accident 
        Investigation Board, the extent to which those recommendations 
        were accepted, and, if necessary, the reasons why any of those 
        recommendations were not accepted; and
          ``(10) the safeguards and other measures that will be applied 
        to ensure that this chapter is carried out in a manner that 
        does not compromise the safety or survival of any spacecraft or 
        crew thereof.
  ``(c) Not later than 60 days before first exercising any of the 
workforce authorities made available under this chapter, the 
Administrator shall provide to all employees the workforce plan and any 
additional information which the Administrator considers appropriate.
  ``(d)(1)(A) The Administrator may from time to time modify the 
workforce plan. Not later than 60 days before implementing any such 
modifications, the Administrator shall submit a description of the 
proposed modifications to the appropriate committees of Congress.
  ``(B) Not later than 60 days before implementing any such 
modifications, the Administrator shall provide an appropriately 
modified plan to all employees of the Administration and to the 
appropriate committees of Congress.
  ``(2) Any reference in this chapter or any other provision of law to 
the workforce plan shall be considered to include any modification made 
in accordance with this subsection.
  ``(e) Before submitting any written plan under subsection (a) (or 
modification under subsection (d)) to the appropriate committees of 
Congress, the Administrator shall--
          ``(1) provide to each employee representative representing 
        any employees who might be affected by such plan (or 
        modification) a copy of the proposed plan (or modification);
          ``(2) give each representative 30 calendar days (unless 
        extraordinary circumstances require earlier action) to review 
        and make recommendations with respect to the proposed plan (or 
        modification); and
          ``(3) give any recommendations received from any such 
        representatives under paragraph (2) full and fair consideration 
        in deciding whether or how to proceed with respect to the 
        proposed plan (or modification).
  ``(f) None of the workforce authorities made available under this 
chapter may be exercised in a manner inconsistent with the workforce 
plan.
  ``(g) Whenever the Administration submits its performance plan under 
section 1115 of title 31 to the Office of Management and Budget for any 
year, the Administration shall at the same time submit a copy of such 
plan to the appropriate committees of Congress.
  ``(h) Not later than 6 years after the date of enactment of this 
chapter, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress an evaluation and analysis of the actions taken by the 
Administration under this chapter, including--
          ``(1) an evaluation, using the methods described in 
        subsection (b)(7), of whether the authorities exercised under 
        this chapter successfully addressed each critical need 
        identified under subsection (b)(1);
          ``(2) to the extent that they did not, an explanation of the 
        reasons why any critical need (apart from the ones under 
        subsection (b)(3)) was not successfully addressed; and
          ``(3) recommendations for how the Administration could 
        address any remaining critical need and could prevent those 
        that have been addressed from recurring.
  ``(i) The budget request for the Administration for the first fiscal 
year beginning after the date of enactment of this chapter and for each 
fiscal year thereafter shall include a statement of the total amount of 
appropriations requested for such fiscal year to carry out this 
chapter.

``Sec. 9803. Restrictions

  ``(a) None of the workforce authorities made available under this 
chapter may be exercised with respect to any officer who is appointed 
by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
  ``(b) Unless specifically stated otherwise, all workforce authorities 
made available under this chapter shall be subject to section 5307.
  ``(c)(1) None of the workforce authorities made available under 
section 9804, 9805, 9806, 9807, 9810, 9813, 9814, 9815, or 9816 may be 
exercised with respect to a political appointee.
  ``(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term `political appointee' 
means an employee who holds--
          ``(A) a position which has been excepted from the competitive 
        service by reason of its confidential, policy-determining, 
        policy-making, or policy-advocating character; or
          ``(B) a position in the Senior Executive Service as a 
        noncareer appointee (as such term is defined in section 
        3132(a)).

``Sec. 9804. Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses

  ``(a) Notwithstanding section 5753, the Administrator may pay a bonus 
to an individual, in accordance with the workforce plan and subject to 
the limitations in this section, if--
          ``(1) the Administrator determines that the Administration 
        would be likely, in the absence of a bonus, to encounter 
        difficulty in filling a position; and
          ``(2) the individual--
                  ``(A) is newly appointed as an employee of the 
                Federal Government;
                  ``(B) is currently employed by the Federal Government 
                and is newly appointed to another position in the same 
                geographic area; or
                  ``(C) is currently employed by the Federal Government 
                and is required to relocate to a different geographic 
                area to accept a position with the Administration.
  ``(b) If the position is described as addressing a critical need in 
the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the amount of a bonus 
may not exceed--
          ``(1) 50 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 
        5304a) as of the beginning of the service period multiplied by 
        the service period specified under subsection (d)(1)(B)(i); or
          ``(2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 
        5304a) as of the beginning of the service period.
  ``(c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical need 
in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the amount of a 
bonus may not exceed--
          ``(1) 25 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 
        5304a) as of the beginning of the service period multiplied by 
        the service period specified under subsection (d)(1)(B)(i); or
          ``(2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 
        5304a) as of the beginning of the service period.
  ``(d)(1)(A) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent 
upon the individual entering into a service agreement with the 
Administration.
  ``(B) At a minimum, the service agreement shall include--
          ``(i) the required service period;
          ``(ii) the method of payment, including a payment schedule, 
        which may include a lump-sum payment, installment payments, or 
        a combination thereof;
          ``(iii) the amount of the bonus and the basis for calculating 
        that amount; and
          ``(iv) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been 
        completed, and the effect of the termination.
  ``(2) For purposes of determinations under subsections (b)(1) and 
(c)(1), the employee's service period shall be expressed as the number 
equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, rounding the 
fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth part of a year. The 
service period may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 
years.
  ``(3) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be part of 
the basic pay of an employee.
  ``(e) Before paying a bonus under this section, the Administration 
shall establish a plan for paying recruitment, redesignation, and 
relocation bonuses, subject to approval by the Office of Personnel 
Management.
  ``(f) No more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses awarded 
under subsection (a) in any year may be awarded to supervisors or 
management officials.

``Sec. 9805. Retention bonuses

  ``(a) Notwithstanding section 5754, the Administrator may pay a bonus 
to an employee, in accordance with the workforce plan and subject to 
the limitations in this section, if the Administrator determines that--
          ``(1) the unusually high or unique qualifications of the 
        employee or a special need of the Administration for the 
        employee's services makes it essential to retain the employee; 
        and
          ``(2) the employee would be likely to leave in the absence of 
        a retention bonus.
  ``(b) If the position is described as addressing a critical need in 
the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the amount of a bonus 
may not exceed 50 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
(including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 5304a).
  ``(c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical need 
in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the amount of a 
bonus may not exceed 25 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic 
pay (including comparability payments under sections 5304 and 5304a).
  ``(d)(1)(A) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent 
upon the employee entering into a service agreement with the 
Administration.
  ``(B) At a minimum, the service agreement shall include--
          ``(i) the required service period;
          ``(ii) the method of payment, including a payment schedule, 
        which may include a lump-sum payment, installment payments, or 
        a combination thereof;
          ``(iii) the amount of the bonus and the basis for calculating 
        the amount; and
          ``(iv) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been 
        completed, and the effect of the termination.
  ``(2) The employee's service period shall be expressed as the number 
equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, rounding the 
fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth part of a year. The 
service period may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 
years.
  ``(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a service agreement is not 
required if the Administration pays a bonus in biweekly installments 
and sets the installment payment at the full bonus percentage rate 
established for the employee, with no portion of the bonus deferred. In 
this case, the Administration shall inform the employee in writing of 
any decision to change the retention bonus payments. The employee shall 
continue to accrue entitlement to the retention bonus through the end 
of the pay period in which such written notice is provided.
  ``(e) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be part of 
the basic pay of an employee.
  ``(f) An employee is not entitled to a retention bonus under this 
section during a service period previously established for that 
employee under section 5753 or under section 9804.
  ``(g) No more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses awarded 
under subsection (a) in any year may be awarded to supervisors or 
management officials.

``Sec. 9806. Term appointments

  ``(a) The Administrator may authorize term appointments within the 
Administration under subchapter I of chapter 33, for a period of not 
less than 1 year and not more than 6 years.
  ``(b) Notwithstanding chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, the Administrator may convert 
an employee serving under a term appointment to a permanent appointment 
in the competitive service within the Administration without further 
competition if--
          ``(1) such individual was appointed under open, competitive 
        examination under subchapter I of chapter 33 to the term 
        position;
          ``(2) the announcement for the term appointment from which 
        the conversion is made stated that there was potential for 
        subsequent conversion to a career-conditional or career 
        appointment;
          ``(3) the employee has completed at least 2 years of current 
        continuous service under a term appointment in the competitive 
        service;
          ``(4) the employee's performance under such term appointment 
        was at least fully successful or equivalent; and
          ``(5) the position to which such employee is being converted 
        under this section is in the same occupational series, is in 
        the same geographic location, and provides no greater promotion 
        potential than the term position for which the competitive 
        examination was conducted.
  ``(c) Notwithstanding chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, the Administrator may convert 
an employee serving under a term appointment to a permanent appointment 
in the competitive service within the Administration through internal 
competitive promotion procedures if the conditions under paragraphs (1) 
through (4) of subsection (b) are met.
  ``(d) An employee converted under this section becomes a career-
conditional employee, unless the employee has otherwise completed the 
service requirements for career tenure.
  ``(e) An employee converted to career or career-conditional 
employment under this section acquires competitive status upon 
conversion.

``Sec. 9807. Pay authority for critical positions

  ``(a) In this section, the term `position' means--
          ``(1) a position to which chapter 51 applies, including a 
        position in the Senior Executive Service;
          ``(2) a position under the Executive Schedule under sections 
        5312 through 5317;
          ``(3) a position established under section 3104; or
          ``(4) a senior-level position to which section 5376(a)(1) 
        applies.
  ``(b) Authority under this section--
          ``(1) may be exercised only with respect to a position that--
                  ``(A) is described as addressing a critical need in 
                the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A); and
                  ``(B) requires expertise of an extremely high level 
                in a scientific, technical, professional, or 
                administrative field;
          ``(2) may be exercised only to the extent necessary to 
        recruit or retain an individual exceptionally well qualified 
        for the position; and
          ``(3) may be exercised only in retaining employees of the 
        Administration or in appointing individuals who were not 
        employees of another Federal agency as defined under section 
        5102(a)(1).
  ``(c)(1) Notwithstanding section 5377, the Administrator may fix the 
rate of basic pay for a position in the Administration in accordance 
with this section. The Administrator may not delegate this authority.
  ``(2) The number of positions with pay fixed under this section may 
not exceed 10 at any time.
  ``(d)(1) The rate of basic pay fixed under this section may not be 
less than the rate of basic pay (including any comparability payments) 
which would otherwise be payable for the position involved if this 
section had never been enacted.
  ``(2) The annual rate of basic pay fixed under this section may not 
exceed the per annum rate of salary payable under section 104 of title 
3.
  ``(3) Notwithstanding any provision of section 5307, in the case of 
an employee who, during any calendar year, is receiving pay at a rate 
fixed under this section, no allowance, differential, bonus, award, or 
similar cash payment may be paid to such employee if, or to the extent 
that, when added to basic pay paid or payable to such employee (for 
service performed in such calendar year as an employee in the executive 
branch or as an employee outside the executive branch to whom chapter 
51 applies), such payment would cause the total to exceed the per annum 
rate of salary which, as of the end of such calendar year, is payable 
under section 104 of title 3.

``Sec. 9808. Assignments of intergovernmental personnel

  ``For purposes of applying the third sentence of section 3372(a) 
(relating to the authority of the head of a Federal agency to extend 
the period of an employee's assignment to or from a State or local 
government, institution of higher education, or other organization), 
the Administrator may, with the concurrence of the employee and the 
government or organization concerned, take any action which would be 
allowable if such sentence had been amended by striking `two' and 
inserting `four'.

``Sec. 9809. Enhanced demonstration project authority

  ``When conducting a demonstration project at the Administration, 
section 4703(d)(1)(A) may be applied by substituting `8,000' for 
`5,000'.

``Sec. 9810. Science and technology scholarship program

  ``(a)(1) The Administrator shall establish a National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration Science and Technology Scholarship Program to 
award scholarships to individuals that is designed to recruit and 
prepare students for careers in the Administration.
  ``(2) Individuals shall be selected to receive scholarships under 
this section through a competitive process primarily on the basis of 
academic merit, with consideration given to financial need and the goal 
of promoting the participation of individuals identified in section 33 
or 34 of the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.
  ``(3) To carry out the Program the Administrator shall enter into 
contractual agreements with individuals selected under paragraph (2) 
under which the individuals agree to serve as full-time employees of 
the Administration, for the period described in subsection (f)(1), in 
positions needed by the Administration and for which the individuals 
are qualified, in exchange for receiving a scholarship.
  ``(b) In order to be eligible to participate in the Program, an 
individual must--
          ``(1) be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-time 
        student at an institution of higher education, as a junior or 
        senior undergraduate or graduate student, in an academic field 
        or discipline described in the list made available under 
        subsection (d);
          ``(2) be a United States citizen or permanent resident; and
          ``(3) at the time of the initial scholarship award, not be an 
        employee (as defined in section 2105).
  ``(c) An individual seeking a scholarship under this section shall 
submit an application to the Administrator at such time, in such 
manner, and containing such information, agreements, or assurances as 
the Administrator may require.
  ``(d) The Administrator shall make publicly available a list of 
academic programs and fields of study for which scholarships under the 
Program may be utilized and shall update the list as necessary.
  ``(e)(1) The Administrator may provide a scholarship under the 
Program for an academic year if the individual applying for the 
scholarship has submitted to the Administrator, as part of the 
application required under subsection (c), a proposed academic program 
leading to a degree in a program or field of study on the list made 
available under subsection (d).
  ``(2) An individual may not receive a scholarship under this section 
for more than 4 academic years, unless the Administrator grants a 
waiver.
  ``(3) The dollar amount of a scholarship under this section for an 
academic year shall be determined under regulations issued by the 
Administrator, but shall in no case exceed the cost of attendance.
  ``(4) A scholarship provided under this section may be expended for 
tuition, fees, and other authorized expenses as established by the 
Administrator by regulation.
  ``(5) The Administrator may enter into a contractual agreement with 
an institution of higher education under which the amounts provided for 
a scholarship under this section for tuition, fees, and other 
authorized expenses are paid directly to the institution with respect 
to which the scholarship is provided.
  ``(f)(1) The period of service for which an individual shall be 
obligated to serve as an employee of the Administration is, except as 
provided in subsection (h)(2), 24 months for each academic year for 
which a scholarship under this section is provided.
  ``(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), obligated service 
under paragraph (1) shall begin not later than 60 days after the 
individual obtains the educational degree for which the scholarship was 
provided.
  ``(B) The Administrator may defer the obligation of an individual to 
provide a period of service under paragraph (1) if the Administrator 
determines that such a deferral is appropriate. The Administrator shall 
prescribe the terms and conditions under which a service obligation may 
be deferred through regulation.
  ``(g)(1) Scholarship recipients who fail to maintain a high level of 
academic standing, as defined by the Administrator by regulation, who 
are dismissed from their educational institutions for disciplinary 
reasons, or who voluntarily terminate academic training before 
graduation from the educational program for which the scholarship was 
awarded, shall be in breach of their contractual agreement and, in lieu 
of any service obligation arising under such agreement, shall be liable 
to the United States for repayment within 1 year after the date of 
default of all scholarship funds paid to them and to the institution of 
higher education on their behalf under the agreement, except as 
provided in subsection (h)(2). The repayment period may be extended by 
the Administrator when determined to be necessary, as established by 
regulation.
  ``(2) Scholarship recipients who, for any reason, fail to begin or 
complete their service obligation after completion of academic 
training, or fail to comply with the terms and conditions of deferment 
established by the Administrator pursuant to subsection (f)(2)(B), 
shall be in breach of their contractual agreement. When recipients 
breach their agreements for the reasons stated in the preceding 
sentence, the recipient shall be liable to the United States for an 
amount equal to--
          ``(A) the total amount of scholarships received by such 
        individual under this section; plus
          ``(B) the interest on the amounts of such awards which would 
        be payable if at the time the awards were received they were 
        loans bearing interest at the maximum legal prevailing rate, as 
        determined by the Treasurer of the United States,
multiplied by 3.
  ``(h)(1) Any obligation of an individual incurred under the Program 
(or a contractual agreement thereunder) for service or payment shall be 
canceled upon the death of the individual.
  ``(2) The Administrator shall by regulation provide for the partial 
or total waiver or suspension of any obligation of service or payment 
incurred by an individual under the Program (or a contractual agreement 
thereunder) whenever compliance by the individual is impossible or 
would involve extreme hardship to the individual, or if enforcement of 
such obligation with respect to the individual would be contrary to the 
best interests of the Government.
  ``(i) For purposes of this section--
          ``(1) the term `cost of attendance' has the meaning given 
        that term in section 472 of the Higher Education Act of 1965;
          ``(2) the term `institution of higher education' has the 
        meaning given that term in section 101(a) of the Higher 
        Education Act of 1965; and
          ``(3) the term `Program' means the National Aeronautics and 
        Space Administration Science and Technology Scholarship Program 
        established under this section.
  ``(j)(1) There is authorized to be appropriated to the Administration 
for the Program $10,000,000 for each fiscal year.
  ``(2) Amounts appropriated under this section shall remain available 
for 2 fiscal years.

``Sec. 9811. Distinguished scholar appointment authority

  ``(a) In this section--
          ``(1) the term `professional position' means a position that 
        is classified to an occupational series identified by the 
        Office of Personnel Management as a position that--
                  ``(A) requires education and training in the 
                principles, concepts, and theories of the occupation 
                that typically can be gained only through completion of 
                a specified curriculum at a recognized college or 
                university; and
                  ``(B) is covered by the Group Coverage Qualification 
                Standard for Professional and Scientific Positions; and
          ``(2) the term `research position' means a position in a 
        professional series that primarily involves scientific inquiry 
        or investigation, or research-type exploratory development of a 
        creative or scientific nature, where the knowledge required to 
        perform the work successfully is acquired typically and 
        primarily through graduate study.
  ``(b) The Administration may appoint, without regard to the 
provisions of section 3304(b) and sections 3309 through 3318, but 
subject to subsection (c), candidates directly to General Schedule 
professional, competitive service positions in the Administration for 
which public notice has been given (in accordance with regulations of 
the Office of Personnel Management), if--
          ``(1) with respect to a position at the GS-7 level, the 
        individual--
                  ``(A) received, within 2 years before the effective 
                date of the appointment, from an accredited institution 
                authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees, a 
                baccalaureate degree in a field of study for which 
                possession of that degree in conjunction with academic 
                achievements meets the qualification standards as 
                prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management for 
                the position to which the individual is being 
                appointed; and
                  ``(B) achieved a cumulative grade point average of 
                3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and a grade point average 
                of 3.5 or higher for courses in the field of study 
                required to qualify for the position;
          ``(2) with respect to a position at the GS-9 level, the 
        individual--
                  ``(A) received, within 2 years before the effective 
                date of the appointment, from an accredited institution 
                authorized to grant graduate degrees, a graduate degree 
                in a field of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade level 
                as prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management for 
                the position to which the individual is being 
                appointed; and
                  ``(B) achieved a cumulative grade point average of 
                3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate coursework in 
                the field of study required for the position;
          ``(3) with respect to a position at the GS-11 level, the 
        individual--
                  ``(A) received, within 2 years before the effective 
                date of the appointment, from an accredited institution 
                authorized to grant graduate degrees, a graduate degree 
                in a field of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade level 
                as prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management for 
                the position to which the individual is being 
                appointed; and
                  ``(B) achieved a cumulative grade point average of 
                3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate coursework in 
                the field of study required for the position; or
          ``(4) with respect to a research position at the GS-12 level, 
        the individual--
                  ``(A) received, within 2 years before the effective 
                date of the appointment, from an accredited institution 
                authorized to grant graduate degrees, a graduate degree 
                in a field of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade level 
                as prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management for 
                the position to which the individual is being 
                appointed; and
                  ``(B) achieved a cumulative grade point average of 
                3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate coursework in 
                the field of study required for the position.
  ``(c) In making any selections under this section, preference 
eligibles who meet the criteria for distinguished scholar appointments 
shall be considered ahead of nonpreference eligibles.
  ``(d) An appointment made under this authority shall be a career-
conditional appointment in the competitive civil service.

``Sec. 9812. Travel and transportation expenses of certain new 
                    appointees

  ``(a) In this section, the term `new appointee' means--
          ``(1) a person newly appointed or reinstated to Federal 
        service to the Administration to--
                  ``(A) a career or career-conditional appointment;
                  ``(B) a term appointment;
                  ``(C) an excepted service appointment that provides 
                for noncompetitive conversion to a career or career-
                conditional appointment;
                  ``(D) a career or limited term Senior Executive 
                Service appointment;
                  ``(E) an appointment made under section 203(c)(2)(A) 
                of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 
                U.S.C. 2473(c)(2)(A));
                  ``(F) an appointment to a position established under 
                section 3104; or
                  ``(G) an appointment to a position established under 
                section 5108; or
          ``(2) a student trainee who, upon completion of academic 
        work, is converted to an appointment in the Administration that 
        is identified in paragraph (1) in accordance with an 
        appropriate authority.
  ``(b) The Administrator may pay the travel, transportation, and 
relocation expenses of a new appointee to the same extent, in the same 
manner, and subject to the same conditions as the payment of such 
expenses under sections 5724, 5724a, 5724b, and 5724c to an employee 
transferred in the interests of the United States Government.

``Sec. 9813. Annual leave enhancements

  ``(a) In this section--
          ``(1) the term `newly appointed employee' means an individual 
        who is first appointed--
                  ``(A) as an employee of the Federal Government; or
                  ``(B) as an employee of the Federal Government 
                following a break in service of at least 90 days after 
                that individual's last period of Federal employment, 
                other than--
                          ``(i) employment under the Student 
                        Educational Employment Program administered by 
                        the Office of Personnel Management;
                          ``(ii) employment as a law clerk trainee;
                          ``(iii) employment under a short-term 
                        temporary appointing authority while a student 
                        during periods of vacation from the educational 
                        institution at which the student is enrolled;
                          ``(iv) employment under a provisional 
                        appointment if the new appointment is permanent 
                        and immediately follows the provisional 
                        appointment; or
                          ``(v) employment under a temporary 
                        appointment that is neither full-time nor the 
                        principal employment of the individual;
          ``(2) the term `period of qualified non-Federal service' 
        means any period of service performed by an individual that--
                  ``(A) was performed in a position the duties of which 
                were directly related to the duties of the position in 
                the Administration which that individual will fill as a 
                newly appointed employee; and
                  ``(B) except for this section, would not otherwise be 
                service performed by an employee for purposes of 
                section 6303; and
          ``(3) the term `directly related to the duties of the 
        position' means duties and responsibilities in the same line of 
        work which require similar qualifications.
  ``(b)(1) For purposes of section 6303, the Administrator may deem a 
period of qualified non-Federal service performed by a newly appointed 
employee to be a period of service of equal length performed as an 
employee.
  ``(2) A decision under paragraph (1) to treat a period of qualified 
non-Federal service as if it were service performed as an employee 
shall continue to apply so long as that individual serves in or under 
the Administration.
  ``(c)(1) Notwithstanding section 6303(a), the annual leave accrual 
rate for an employee of the Administration in a position paid under 
section 5376 or 5383, or for an employee in an equivalent category 
whose rate of basic pay is greater than the rate payable at GS-15, step 
10, shall be 1 day for each full biweekly pay period.
  ``(2) The accrual rate established under this subsection shall 
continue to apply to the employee so long as such employee serves in or 
under the Administration.

``Sec. 9814. Limited appointments to Senior Executive Service positions

  ``(a) In this section, the terms `career reserved position', `Senior 
Executive Service position', `senior executive' and `career appointee' 
have the meanings set forth in section 3132(a).
  ``(b) Subject to succeeding provisions of this section, the 
Administrator may, notwithstanding any other provision of this title, 
fill a career reserved position on a temporary basis, but only if--
          ``(1) such position is vacant as a result of--
                  ``(A) the separation of the incumbent; or
                  ``(B) the temporary absence of the incumbent due to 
                illness, training, or reassignment; or
          ``(2) such position is or would be difficult to fill in any 
        other manner due to the fact that such position is likely to be 
        eliminated within the next 2 years.
  ``(c) Notwithstanding sections 3132 and 3394(b), an appointment made 
by the Administrator under subsection (b) shall not exceed 2 years.
  ``(d) The Administrator may extend an appointment under subsection 
(b) for as long as necessary to meet a contingency described in 
subsection (b)(1), but for not to exceed 1 year and not if the 
circumstance described in subsection (b)(2) pertains.
  ``(e) The number of career reserved positions filled under subsection 
(b) may not at any time exceed 10 percent of the total number of Senior 
Executive Service positions then authorized for the Administration 
under section 3133.
  ``(f) An individual appointed to a career reserved position on a 
temporary basis under subsection (b) shall, if such individual was so 
appointed from a civil service position held under a career or career-
conditional appointment, be entitled, upon completion of that temporary 
appointment, to be reemployed in the position from which such 
individual was so appointed (or an equivalent position), in accordance 
with such regulations as the Office of Personnel Management may 
prescribe.
  ``(g) An appointment to a career reserved position on a temporary 
basis under subsection (b) may not be made without the prior approval 
of the Office of Personnel Management if the individual--
          ``(1) is to be appointed--
                  ``(A) from outside the Federal Government; or
                  ``(B) from a civil service position held under an 
                appointment other than a career or career-conditional 
                appointment; or
          ``(2) is a senior executive, but not a career appointee.
  ``(h) An individual appointed to a career reserved position on a 
temporary basis under subsection (b) who is not a career appointee 
shall, for purposes of performance awards under section 5384, be 
treated as a career appointee.

``Sec. 9815. Qualifications pay

  ``(a) Notwithstanding section 5334, the Administrator may set the pay 
of an employee paid under the General Schedule at any step within the 
pay range for the grade of the position, if such employee--
          ``(1) possesses unusually high or unique qualifications; and
          ``(2) is assigned--
                  ``(A) new duties, without a change of position; or
                  ``(B) to a new position.
  ``(b) If an exercise of the authority under this section relates to a 
current employee selected for another position within the 
Administration, a determination shall be made that the employee's 
contribution in the new position will exceed that in the former 
position, before setting pay under this section.
  ``(c) Pay as set under this section is basic pay for such purposes as 
pay set under section 5334.
  ``(d) If the employee serves for at least 1 year in the position for 
which the pay determination under this section was made, or a successor 
position, the pay earned under such position may be used in succeeding 
actions to set pay under chapter 53.
  ``(e) Before setting any employee's pay under this section, the 
Administrator shall submit a plan to the Office of Personnel Management 
and the appropriate committees of Congress, that includes--
          ``(1) criteria for approval of actions to set pay under this 
        section;
          ``(2) the level of approval required to set pay under this 
        section;
          ``(3) all types of actions and positions to be covered;
          ``(4) the relationship between the exercise of authority 
        under this section and the use of other pay incentives; and
          ``(5) a process to evaluate the effectiveness of this 
        section.

``Sec. 9816. Reporting requirement

  ``The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress, not later than February 28 of each of the next 6 years 
beginning after the date of enactment of this chapter, a report that 
provides the following:
          ``(1) A summary of all bonuses paid under subsections (b)-(c) 
        of section 9804 during the preceding fiscal year. Such summary 
        shall include the total amount of bonuses paid, the total 
        number of bonuses paid, the percentage of bonuses awarded to 
        supervisors and management officials, and the average 
        percentage used to calculate the total average bonus amount, 
        under each of those subsections.
          ``(2) A summary of all bonuses paid under subsections (b)-(c) 
        of section 9805 during the preceding fiscal year. Such summary 
        shall include the total amount of bonuses paid, the total 
        number of bonuses paid, the percentage of bonuses awarded to 
        supervisors and management officials, and the average 
        percentage used to calculate the total average bonus amount, 
        under each of those subsections.
          ``(3) The total number of term appointments converted during 
        the preceding fiscal year under section 9806 and, of that total 
        number, the number of conversions that were made to address a 
        critical need described in the workforce plan pursuant to 
        section 9802(b)(2).
          ``(4) The number of positions for which the rate of basic pay 
        was fixed under section 9807 during the preceding fiscal year, 
        the number of positions for which the rate of basic pay under 
        such section was terminated during the preceding fiscal year, 
        and the number of times the rate of basic pay was fixed under 
        such section to address a critical need described in the 
        workforce plan pursuant to section 9802(b)(2).
          ``(5) The number of scholarships awarded under section 9810 
        during the preceding fiscal year and the number of scholarship 
        recipients appointed by the Administration during the preceding 
        fiscal year.
          ``(6) The total number of distinguished scholar appointments 
        made under section 9811 during the preceding fiscal year and, 
        of that total number, the number of appointments that were made 
        to address a critical need described in the workforce plan 
        pursuant to section 9802(b)(2).
          ``(7) The average amount paid per appointee, and the largest 
        amount paid to any appointee, under section 9812 during the 
        preceding fiscal year for travel and transportation expenses.
          ``(8) The total number of employees who were awarded enhanced 
        annual leave under section 9813 during the preceding fiscal 
        year; of that total number, the number of employees who were 
        serving in a position addressing a critical need described in 
        the workforce plan pursuant to section 9802(b)(2); and, for 
        employees in each of those respective groups, the average 
        amount of additional annual leave such employees earned in the 
        preceding fiscal year (over and above what they would have 
        earned absent section 9813).
          ``(9) The total number of appointments made under section 
        9814 during the preceding fiscal year and, of that total 
        number, the number of appointments that were made to address a 
        critical need described in the workforce plan pursuant to 
        section 9802(b)(2).
          ``(10) The number of employees for whom the Administrator set 
        the pay under section 9815 during the preceding fiscal year and 
        the number of times pay was set under such section to address a 
        critical need described in the workforce plan pursuant to 
        section 9802(b)(2).''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of chapters for part III of title 
5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

``98. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.........    9801''.

SEC. 4. WORKFORCE DIVERSITY.

  It is the sense of the Congress that the National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration should, in accordance with section 7201 of title 
5, United States Code, conduct a continuing program for the recruitment 
of members of minority groups for positions in the Administration to 
carry out the policy set forth in subsection (b) of such section in a 
manner designed to eliminate underrepresentation of minorities in the 
various categories of civil service employment within the Federal 
service, with special efforts directed at recruiting in minority 
communities, in educational institutions, and from other sources from 
which minorities can be recruited.

                        II. Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1085 is to provide specified workforce 
authorities to NASA, to require certain notification, planning, 
and reporting to Congress, NASA employees, and NASA employee 
representatives about the use of these workforce authorities, 
to establish a science and technology scholarship program and 
authorize funding for this program, and for other purposes.

              III. Background and Need for the Legislation

    In May 2002, NASA proposed to the Committee a list of 
changes to civil service law designed to improve NASA's ability 
to recruit and retain highly skilled scientists, engineers, and 
program managers. The agency proposed additional changes in 
February 2003. NASA found it needed additional recruitment and 
retention tools because of the declines in university 
enrollment for U.S. students in technical fields, increased 
hiring competition from industry and academia for technical 
skills, and a lack of minority and gender diversity in the 
scientists and engineers (S&E;) talent pool. NASA also 
identified several workforce trends within the agency that 
posed a significant threat to its ability to support its 
technical programs and address the agency's management 
challenges. From fiscal year 1993 to 2000, NASA reduced its 
civil service workforce by 26 percent. Within NASA's S&E; 
workforce, the over-60 population outnumbers its under-30 
population by nearly 3 to 1. At some NASA centers, the ratio is 
more than 5 to 1. By contrast, in 1993, the under-30 S&E; 
workforce outnumbered the over-60 group by almost 2 to 1. 
Approximately 15 percent of NASA's S&E; employees are currently 
eligible to retire, and within five years, almost 25 percent of 
NASA's S&E; workforce will be retirement eligible.
    Several reports have independently identified problems in 
the U.S. science and engineering workforce pipeline and the 
NASA workforce. Since 2001, the General Accounting Office (GAO) 
has ranked ``strengthening human capital'' as one of NASA's top 
management challenges. The GAO reported in January 2003: ``NASA 
is facing shortages in its workforce, which could likely worsen 
as the workforce continues to age and the pipeline of talent 
shrinks. This dilemma is more pronounced among areas crucial to 
NASA's ability to perform its mission, such as engineering, 
science, and information technology.'' Similarly, NASA's 
independent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel reported in 2000 
and 2001: ``The critical skills challenge faced by NASA * * * 
in Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs 
continues. Recent downsizing * * * produced a workforce with * 
* * a potential future shortage of experienced leadership.'' In 
November 2002, the Commission on the Future of the United 
States Aerospace Industry (Aerospace Commission) recommended 
that government, industry, labor, and academia work together to 
develop an aerospace workforce for the 21st century.

                        IV. Summary of Hearings

    The Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee held a hearing on 
July 18, 2002 on NASA's Workforce and Management Challenges. 
The purpose of the hearing was to examine NASA's legislative 
proposals to the Committee to provide new and expanded 
authorities for recruitment, retention, and restructuring of 
its workforce.
    The Honorable David Walker, Comptroller General of the 
United States, testified on the General Accounting Office's 
perspective on NASA's top management challenges, focusing on 
its human capital challenges. He observed that modern, 
effective, credible, and equitable human capital strategies are 
key to any successful transformation effort. Mr. Walker 
testified that such a transformation would take five to seven 
years, and that while the vast majority of the transformation 
efforts could be done within the context of current law, he 
recommended that Congress grant NASA some reasonable 
flexibility with appropriate safeguards to prevent abuse of 
these authorities.
    The Honorable Sean O'Keefe, NASA Administrator, testified 
that the President's Management Agenda identified human capital 
as one of the top five issues that need to be addressed. Mr. 
O'Keefe testified that NASA's human capital plan is fourfold: 
(1) to use existing authorities under Title V and the Space Act 
of 1958, as amended; (2) to develop an agency-wide human 
capital strategic plan to begin targeted hiring objectives, 
professional development strategies, and workforce shaping 
techniques that draw the best benchmarking from across federal 
agencies; (3) to refine NASA's mission and vision to include 
the inspiration of the next generation of explorers through 
education initiatives; and (4) to seek additional legislative 
authorities in managing NASA's civil service workforce.
    Mr. Mark Roth, General Counsel for the American Federation 
of Government Employees (AFGE), testified that the human 
capital crisis is government-wide and that it is unwise to make 
necessary civil service changes on an agency-by-agency basis as 
NASA requested. Mr. Roth testified that the AFGE opposed most 
of NASA's human resource proposals, but the AFGE did support 
the proposed Science and Technology Scholarship Program. Mr. 
Roth criticized NASA for downsizing and outsourcing efforts 
over the past decade. He said that NASA's human capital 
proposals were contradictory because they provided buyouts to 
certain employees while offering recruitment and retention 
bonuses that far exceed current law to others. Mr. Roth 
testified that the AFGE opposed an extension of the Interagency 
Personnel Act and NASA's request for direct hire authority. 
While the AFGE generally supports bonuses, Mr. Roth testified 
that studies showed that fewer than 1 percent of eligible 
federal employees received recruitment and retention bonuses 
due to lack of funds. Mr. Roth testified that the AFGE did not 
oppose demonstration projects in general, but NASA's proposal 
for a demonstration project and alternative personnel system 
would give the Office of Personnel Management authority that 
rests solely with Congress.
    The full Science Committee held a hearing on NASA's 
workforce issues on March 12, 2003 to receive expert testimony 
on H.R. 1085 (as introduced).
    Mr. Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for 
Public Service, testified on the fierce competition in hiring 
technical talent and how NASA and other federal government 
employers are ill-equipped to compete with the flexible hiring 
practices of private industry and academia for the same talent 
pool. Mr. Stier cited a convoluted government hiring system 
along with a relatively inflexible federal pay system as 
reasons for NASA's difficulty in attracting talent to the 
agency.
    Mr. Bobby Harnage, National President of the American 
Federation of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), testified that 
the AFGE opposed most of the proposals contained in H.R. 1085 
(as introduced) but that the AFGE agreed to work with Chairman 
Boehlert, the Science Committee, and NASA in drafting 
legislation to address NASA's workforce needs.
    Mr. George Nesterczuk, a private consultant, expressed 
general support for H.R. 1085 (as introduced) as ``an immediate 
remedy for retaining and attracting talented individuals'' and 
provided specific conclusions and recommendations for each 
provision in the bill. Mr. Nesterczuk testified that he thought 
the demonstration project authority was ``the most important 
authority extended to NASA'' in the bill. Mr. Nesterczuk urged 
the Committee to delete the voluntary separation incentive 
provision from the bill because it ``sends a mixed message * * 
* in an organization arguing for relief because it is losing 
talent.''

                          V. Committee Actions

    On March 5, 2003, Science Committee Chairman Sherwood 
Boehlert introduced H.R. 1085, NASA Flexibility Act of 2003, a 
bill to provide specified workforce authorities to NASA.
    The Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee met on Thursday, 
June 26, 2003 to consider the bill.
     An amendment in the nature of a substitute was 
offered by Chairman Boehlert, which made technical changes and 
added or modified several provisions. The amendment was adopted 
by voice vote.
    Mr. Boehlert moved that the Subcommittee favorably report 
the bill, H.R. 1085, as amended, to the Full Committee and that 
the staff be instructed to make all necessary technical and 
conforming changes to the bill as amended in accordance with 
the recommendations of the Subcommittee. With a quorum present, 
the motion was agreed to by a voice vote.
    On July 22, 2003, the Committee on Science considered H.R. 
1085, as amended by the Subcommittee.
     An en bloc amendment was offered by Chairman 
Boehlert that included technical and conforming changes and 
provisions to (1) strike the section on Voluntary Separation 
Incentive payments; (2) require NASA to report on any workforce 
management practices recommended by the Columbia Accident 
Investigation Board; (3) require that any NASA modifications to 
the Workforce Plan be sent to Congress 60 days before being 
implemented; (4) restrict the total period of obligated service 
for the Science and Technology Scholarship Program to four 
years; and (5) only require six years of annual reports from 
NASA. The amendment was adopted by a rollcall vote (Y-22; N-
16).
     An amendment was offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee to 
require NASA to report in the Workforce Plan the safeguards and 
other measures that will be applied to ensure that workforce 
programs are carried out in a manner that does not compromise 
the safety or survival of any spacecraft or crew thereof. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Miller to restrict 
certain workforce authorities from being exercised with respect 
to political appointees. A perfecting second degree amendment 
was offered by Chairman Boehlert to the amendment by Mr. Miller 
to modify the definition of a political appointee and was 
adopted by voice vote. The Miller amendment was adopted, as 
amended, by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Miller to strike 
the section of the bill providing NASA the authority to conduct 
Enhanced Demonstration Projects. The amendment was defeated by 
a rollcall vote (Y-20; N-20).
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Rohrabacher to 
limit the eligibility of science and technology scholarship 
recipients to junior or senior undergraduates and graduate 
students and to expand the eligibility to permanent residents 
of the United States. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Hall to (1) 
require certain personnel ceilings and authorize appropriations 
for the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance; (2) 
require NASA to study Space Shuttle crew survivability 
concepts; (3) issue a moratorium on all voluntary separation 
incentive payments until a Congressional certification on 
skills related to safety is made; and (4) issue a moratorium on 
any privatization, outsourcing, or contracting out of human 
space flight activities until certain conditions are met. The 
Chair ruled the amendment was not germane to the bill. The 
motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the Chair was 
adopted by a rollcall vote (Y-22; N-19).
     An amendment was offered by Ms. Johnson of Texas 
to add a new section to the bill that expressed a sense of 
Congress that NASA should conduct a continuing program, in 
accordance with current law, for the recruitment of members of 
minority groups for positions in NASA. The amendment was 
adopted by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Gordon to require 
NASA to conduct a strategic resources review of NASA's human 
space flight program with the objective of determining (1) 
goals over the next 20 years; (2) required civil service 
workforce levels and shortfalls; and (3) infrastructure needed. 
A unanimous consent request to withdraw the amendment was 
adopted by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Lampson to require 
NASA to establish a planned series of exploration goals for 
human space flight for the next 20 years. The amendment was 
defeated by a rollcall vote (Y-12; N-18).
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Miller to require 
NASA to contract with the National Academy of Public 
Administration for an independent review of whether NASA is 
making full use of workforce flexibilities available to it 
under existing law and to prohibit the use of workforce 
authorities provided in the bill until this review is submitted 
to Congress. The amendment was defeated by a rollcall vote (Y-
9; N-13).
     An amendment was offered by Ms. Jackson-Lee to add 
a new section to the bill to reinstate the employees, 
resources, and functions in the Minority University Research 
and EducationProgram into the Equal Opportunity division. The 
amendment was defeated by a roll call vote (Y-12; N-18).
     An amendment was offered by Chairman Boehlert to 
repeal the four-year maximum total period of obligated service 
for the Science and Technology Scholarship Program (which had 
been added by his earlier en bloc amendment). The amendment was 
adopted by voice vote.
     An amendment was offered by Mr. Hall to require 
NASA to study Space Shuttle crew survivability concepts. The 
Chair ruled the amendment was not germane to the bill.
    The motion to adopt the bill, as amended, was agreed to by 
voice vote. Mr. Rohrabacher moved that the Committee favorably 
report the bill, H.R. 1085, as amended, to the House with the 
recommendation that the bill as amended do pass and that staff 
be instructed to make technical and conforming changes to the 
bill as amended and prepare the legislative report and that the 
Chairman take all necessary steps to bring the bill before the 
House for consideration. The motion was agreed to by a rollcall 
vote (Y-21; N-14).

              VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

     Greater Flexibility in Civil Service Law to 
Address NASA's Critical Needs: Authorizes NASA greater 
flexibility to recruit, retain, and restructure its workforce 
to address the agency's critical needs. Prohibits politically 
appointed employees in NASA from benefiting from the 
authorities provided in the bill.
     Compensation for Certain Excepted Personnel: 
Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to tie 
the pay scale for NASA Excepted (NEX) employees to level III of 
the Executive Schedule rather than the obsolete pay scale of 
grade 18 of the General Schedule.
     Vigorous Congressional Oversight: Before 
exercising any of the authorities provided under the Act, the 
NASA Administrator must submit to Congress and all NASA 
employees a detailed Workforce Plan developed in consultation 
with the Office of Personnel Management. Directs NASA to submit 
annual performance plans and specific information on the use of 
these workforce authorities to Congress for the next six years. 
After six years, NASA is to submit to Congress an evaluation of 
how the authorities exercised under the Act addressed NASA's 
critical needs.
     Higher Bonuses: Under current law, recruitment and 
relocation bonuses are authorized up to 25 percent of an 
employee's annual salary. This Act authorizes NASA to award 
recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses up to 50 
percent of an employee's annual salary multiplied by an agreed-
upon service period (up to 4 years) if the position addresses a 
critical need.
     Higher Retention Bonuses: Under current law, 
retention bonuses are authorized up to 25 percent of an 
employee's annual salary without locality adjustments. This Act 
authorizes NASA to pay retention bonuses up to 50 percent of an 
employee's annual salary if the employee's position addresses a 
critical need.
     Term Appointments: Authorizes NASA to make term 
appointments for up to six years. Current law limits term 
appointments to a four-year term. Allows term appointments to 
be converted to career-conditional civil service appointments 
under strict conditions.
     Pay Authority for Critical Positions: Authorizes 
the NASA Administrator to fix the rate of pay up to the level 
of the Vice-President's pay ($198,600 per year) for up to ten 
employees. Such employees must have expertise of an extremely 
high level in scientific, technical, professional, or 
administrative fields.
     Assignments under the Intergovernmental Personnel 
Act (IPA): Authorizes NASA to grant extensions of four years to 
personnel serving in IPA assignments. Currently, only two-year 
extensions are allowed after an initial two-year assignment. 
Thus, an IPA assignment may last a total of six years under the 
new authority versus only four years under current law.
     Enhanced Demonstration Project: Authorizes NASA to 
conduct a personnel demonstration project for up to 8,000 
employees rather than for up to 5,000 employees as in current 
law. NASA employs approximately 18,000 civil servants.
     Science & Technology Scholarships: Authorizes NASA 
to set-up a ``scholarship for service'' program under which 
NASA would pay for junior-senior undergraduate and graduate 
school education. In exchange, the student would be obligated 
to work for NASA after graduation. Authorizes $10 million per 
year.
     Distinguished Scholars: Authorizes NASA to 
directly hire recent graduates from undergraduate or graduate 
school with high grade point averages. Veteran's preferences 
still apply.
     Travel and Transportation Expenses for New 
Appointees: Authorizes NASA to compensate newly hired employees 
for certain travel and transportation expenses that current 
employees are already eligible to receive.
     Annual leave enhancements: Authorizes new 
appointees to NASA who have no prior Federal service to accrue 
leave at the rate normally allowed for a Federal employee of 
similar experience.
     Limited Senior Executive Service (SES) 
Appointments: Authorizes NASA to temporarily fill career 
reserved SES positions due to death, illness, training, or 
special-tasking of the employee previously holding that 
position.
     Qualifications Pay: Authorizes NASA to adjust the 
pay to any step within an employee's grade in the General 
Schedule (GS) for employees with superior qualifications and 
additional duties.

        VII. Section-by-Section Analysis (by Title and Section)


                         SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

    ``The NASA Flexibility Act of 2003.''

         SECTION 2. COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN EXCEPTED PERSONNEL

    Amends section 203(c) of the National Aeronautics and Space 
Act of 1958 to tie the pay scale for NASA Excepted (NEX) 
Employees to level III of the Executive Schedule rather than 
the obsolete pay scale of grade 18 of the General Schedule. 
Directs that this amendment takes effect on the first day of 
the first pay period beginning on or after the date of 
enactment of this Act.

                    SECTION 3. WORKFORCE AUTHORITIES

    Amends title 5, United States Code, on Government 
Organizations and Employees by inserting a new chapter 98 for 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with the 
following sections:
    Sec. 9801. Definitions.
    Sec. 9802. Planning, notification, and reporting 
requirements.
    Sec. 9803. Restrictions.
    Sec. 9804. Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation 
bonuses.
    Sec. 9805. Retention bonuses.
    Sec. 9806. Term appointments.
    Sec. 9807. Pay authority for critical positions.
    Sec. 9808. Assignments of intergovernmental personnel.
    Sec. 9809. Enhanced demonstration project authority.
    Sec. 9810. Science and technology scholarship program.
    Sec. 9811. Distinguished scholar appointment authority.
    Sec. 9812. Travel and transportation expenses of certain 
new appointees.
    Sec. 9813. Annual leave enhancements.
    Sec. 9814. Limited appointments to Senior Executive Service 
positions.
    Sec. 9815. Qualifications pay.
    Sec. 9816. Reporting requirement.

                       SECTION 9801. DEFINITIONS

    Defines terms used throughout the bill. Defines the term 
``critical need'' as a specific and important requirement of 
NASA's mission that the agency is unable to fulfill because 
NASA lacks the appropriate employees either because of the 
inability to fill positions or because employees lack the 
requisite skills. Defines the term ``redesignation bonus'' as a 
bonus which could be paid to an employee moving from one 
government job to another, including within NASA, without 
relocating to a different geographic region.

    SECTION 9802. PLANNING, NOTIFICATION, AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

    Requires the NASA Administrator to submit a Workforce Plan 
to Congress not later than 90 days before exercising any of the 
authorities under this chapter. The Workforce Plan shall be 
developed in consultation with the Office of Personnel 
Management. Requires that this Workforce Plan describe: (1) 
each of NASA's critical needs and the criteria used in its 
identification; (2) the functions, approximate number, and 
classes or other categories of positions or employees that 
address critical needs and that would be eligible for each 
workforce authority provided in this chapter and proposed to be 
exercised, and how the exercise of those authorities with 
respect to the eligible positions or employees involved would 
address each critical need identified; (3) any critical need 
which would not be addressed by the workforce authorities 
provided in this chapter and the reasons why those needs would 
not be so addressed; (4) the specific criteria to be used in 
determining which individuals may receive the benefits 
described in sections 9804, 9805 (including the criteria for 
granting bonuses in the absence of a critical need), and 9810, 
and how the level of those benefits will be determined; (5) the 
safeguards or other measures that will be applied to ensure 
that this chapter is carried out in a manner consistent with 
merit system principles; (6) the means by which NASA employees 
will be afforded the notification required for the Workforce 
Plan or any modifications thereof; (7) the methods that will be 
used to determine if the workforce authorities provided in this 
chapter have successfully addressed each critical need 
identified; (8) NASA's recruitment methods and plans to improve 
recruitment of highly qualified individuals; (9) any reforms to 
NASA's workforce management practices recommended by the 
Columbia Accident Investigation Board, the extent to which 
those recommendations were accepted, and, if necessary, the 
reasons why any of those recommendations were not accepted; and 
(10) the safeguards and other measures that will be applied to 
ensure that this chapter is carried out in a manner that does 
not compromise the safety or survival of any spacecraft or crew 
thereof. Requires that NASA provide the Workforce Plan to all 
employees 60 days before exercising any of the workforce 
authorities provided in this chapter. Authorizes the NASA 
Administrator to modify the Workforce Plan, provided that not 
later than 60 days before implementing any such modifications 
the Administrator submit a description of proposed 
modifications to Congress and submit such description not later 
than 60 days beforehand to all employees. Requires the NASA 
Administrator to provide each employee representative 
representing any employee who might be affected with a copy of 
the proposed plan (or modification), to give each 
representative 30 calendar days to review and make 
recommendations to the proposed plan (or modification) to NASA, 
and for NASA to give such recommendations full and fair 
consideration in deciding how to proceed with the proposed 
plan. Requires that none of the workforce authorities provided 
in this chapter be exercised in a manner inconsistent with the 
Workforce Plan. Directs NASA to submit the annual performance 
plan that it submits to OMB under current law to the Congress. 
Requires the NASA Administrator to submit to Congress an 
evaluation and analysis of the actions taken under this chapter 
not later than six years after its enactment. Requires that 
this evaluation and analysis include: (1) an evaluation of 
whether the authorities exercised under this chapter 
successfully addressed each critical need identified; (2) to 
the extent that they did not, an explanation of the reasons why 
any critical need was not successfully addressed; and (3) 
recommendations for how the Administration could address any 
remaining critical need and could prevent those that have been 
addressed from recurring. Requires that NASA's annual budget 
request include a statement of the total amount of 
appropriations requested for the fiscal year to carry out this 
chapter.

                       SECTION 9803. RESTRICTIONS

    Prohibits Senate-confirmed Presidential and political 
appointees at NASA from being eligible to benefit from the 
authorities under this chapter. Requires that the total amount 
for all salaries, bonuses, and other benefits that an employee 
might receive under the workforce authorities provided in this 
chapter be limited according to current law.

    SECTION 9804. RECRUITMENT, REDESIGNATION, AND RELOCATION BONUSES

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay recruitment, 
redesignation, and relocation bonuses to an individual in 
accordance with the authority provided in this section and 
consistent with the Workforce Plan if the individual is: (1) 
newly appointed as an employee of the Federal Government; (2) 
currently employed by the Federal Government and is newly 
appointed to another position in the same geographic area; or 
(3) currently employed by the Federal Government and must 
relocate to a different geographic area to accept a position 
with the Administration.
    Authorizes recruitment, redesignation, and relocation 
bonuses under the following formula: (1) If the position 
addresses a critical need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 
50 percent of an employee's annual salary (including 
comparability payments) multiplied by an agreed-upon service 
period; (2) If the position does not address a critical need, 
the amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of an 
employee's annual salary (including comparability payments) 
multiplied by an agreed-upon service period; and (3) In either 
case, the total bonus may not exceed the employee's annual 
salary (including comparability payments) at the beginning of 
the employee's period of service.
    Requires that payment of a bonus be contingent on the 
employee entering into a service agreement with NASA. Requires 
that the service agreement, at a minimum, establish: (1) the 
required service period; (2) the payment schedule and method of 
payment which may include a lump-sum payment, installment 
payments, or a combination thereof; (3) the amount of the bonus 
and the basis for calculating such amount; and (4) the 
conditions under which the agreement may be terminated before 
the agreed-upon service period has been completed, and the 
effect of the termination. Requires that an employee's service 
period not be less than six months and not exceed four years. 
Requires NASA to establish a plan for paying such bonuses, 
subject to OPM approval, before paying a bonus under this 
section. Restricts supervisors and management officials from 
receiving more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses 
awarded in any year.

                    SECTION 9805. RETENTION BONUSES

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay higher retention 
bonuses than is provided under current law and in accordance 
with the authority provided in this section and consistent with 
the Workforce Plan if the Administrator determines that the 
unusually high or unique qualifications of an employee or a 
special need of NASA makes it essential to retain the employee 
and the employee would be likely to leave in the absence of a 
retention bonus. Authorizes retention bonuses under the 
following formula: (1) If the position addresses a critical 
need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 50 percent of an 
employee's annual salary (including comparability payments); or 
(2) If the position does not address a critical need, the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of an employee's 
annual salary (including comparability payments). Requires that 
payment of a bonus be contingent on the employee entering into 
a service agreement with NASA unless NASA pays a retention 
bonus in biweekly installments to the employee. Requires that 
the service agreement, at a minimum, establish: (1) the 
required service period; (2) the payment schedule and method of 
payment which may include a lump-sum payment, installment 
payments, or a combination thereof; (3) the amount of the bonus 
and the basis for calculating such amount; and (4) the 
conditions under which the agreement may be terminated before 
the agreed-upon service period has been completed, and the 
effect of the termination. Requires that the service period may 
not be less than six months and may not exceed four years. 
Prohibits an employee from receiving a retention bonus under 
this section during a service period for which other bonuses 
were previously provided to the employee. Requires NASA to 
establish a plan for paying retention bonuses, subject to OPM 
approval, before paying a retention bonus under this section. 
Restricts supervisors and management officials from receiving 
more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses awarded in 
any year.

                    SECTION 9806. TERM APPOINTMENTS

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to make term appointments 
within NASA for not less than one year and not more than six 
years. Authorizes the NASA Administrator to convert a term 
appointment to a permanent appointment in the competitive 
service within NASA without further competition if: (1) the 
individual was hired under the open, competitive examining 
procedures under current law; (2) the original announcement 
stated the appointment may be converted from term to career-
conditional or career appointment; (3) the individual has 
completed at least two years of the term appointment; (4) the 
employee's performance was at least fully successful or 
equivalent; and (5) the position is in the same occupational 
series and geographic location and provides no greater 
promotion potential than the term appointment. Authorizes the 
NASA Administrator to convert a term appointment to a permanent 
appointment in the competitive service within NASA through 
internal competitive procedures if conditions (1) through (4) 
above are met. Directs that an employee converted under this 
section becomes a career-conditional employee unless the 
employee has otherwise completed the service requirements for 
career tenure. Directs that an employee converted to career or 
career-conditional employment under this section acquires 
competitive status upon conversion.

           SECTION 9807. PAY AUTHORITY FOR CRITICAL POSITIONS

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to fix the salary for up 
to 10 administrative, technical and professional positions 
described in the section to the salary level of the Vice-
President if the position addresses a critical need identified 
in the Workforce Plan and the position requires expertise of an 
extremely high level in scientific, technical, professional, or 
administrative fields. Directs that the NASA Administrator may 
not delegate this authority. Requires that an employee 
receiving pay at a rate fixed under this section not be paid an 
allowance, differential, bonus, award, or similar cash payment 
during any calendar year that would cause the employee's salary 
total to exceed the annual rate of salary prescribed for the 
Vice-President.

  SECTION 9808. ASSIGNMENTS UNDER THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL PERSONNEL ACT

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to extend the period of 
an employee's Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment 
up to four years, rather than two years provided under current 
law.

              SECTION 9809. ENHANCED DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

    Authorizes NASA when conducting a demonstration project to 
apply that project to up to 8,000 individuals rather than 5,000 
individuals as specified under current law.

        SECTION 9810. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to establish a NASA 
Science and Technology Scholarship Program to award 
scholarships to individuals who agree to serve as full-time 
NASA employees in exchange for receiving this scholarship. 
Requires that individuals be selected for this scholarship 
through a competitive application process primarily on the 
basis of academic merit, with consideration given to financial 
need and the goal of promoting the participation of individuals 
under the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act. 
Requires that individuals eligible for this scholarship must be 
full-time junior or senior undergraduate or graduate students, 
U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and not be federal 
employees. Directs NASA to advertise and update periodically a 
list of academic programs and fields of study for which 
scholarships may be used. Prohibits an individual from 
receiving this scholarship for more than four academic years, 
unless the NASA Administrator grants a waiver. Requires that 
the scholarship pay for tuition, fees, and other authorized 
expenses established by the NASA Administrator by regulation. 
Directs that scholarships not exceed the cost of attendance. 
Authorizes the NASA Administrator to enter into contractual 
agreement with an institution of higher education to provide 
payment for this scholarship. Requires two years of service for 
each year of scholarship. Requires that obligated service begin 
not later than 60 days after the individual receives the 
educational degree for which the scholarship was provided 
unless the NASA Administrator allows the individual to defer 
the obligated service under prescribed terms and conditions. 
Requires that students who fail to maintain a high level of 
academic standing as defined in NASA regulation, who are 
dismissed from their college or university for disciplinary 
reasons, or who do not complete their program of study be 
required to repay NASA for funds received under the scholarship 
program. Directs that in the event a scholarship recipient 
fails to complete the service obligation to NASA, the 
individual be responsible to repay three times the amount of 
scholarship received plus interest on that amount at a 
determined, prevailing loan-rate. Authorizes the NASA 
Administrator to waive a service obligation for an individual 
who received a scholarship when completion of service would be 
impossible or would involve extreme hardship to the individual 
or if enforcement would be contrary to the best interests of 
the government. Authorizes appropriation of $10,000,000 for 
each fiscal year for the NASA Science and Technology 
Scholarship Program established under this section.

       SECTION 9811. DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR APPOINTMENT AUTHORITY

    Authorizes NASA to appoint candidates directly to General 
Schedule professional, competitive service positions in grades 
GS-7 through GS-12 who meet specified education and grade point 
average requirements and for which public notice for the 
position has been given in accordance with OPM regulations. 
Requires that the candidates receive their degree within two 
years before the effective date of the appointment. Requires 
that in selecting these individuals for this appointment, NASA 
shall consider preference eligibles who meet the criteria for 
distinguished scholar appointment ahead of non-preference 
eligibles. Directs that an appointment made under this 
authority shall be a career-conditional appointment in the 
competitive civil service.

    SECTION 9812. TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES OF CERTAIN NEW 
                               APPOINTEES

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay the travel, 
transportation, and relocation expenses for a new appointee to 
NASA to the same extent, in the same manner, and subject to the 
same conditions as payment of such expenses to an employee 
transferred in the interests of the United States Government.

                SECTION 9813. ANNUAL LEAVE ENHANCEMENTS

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to deem a period of 
qualified non-Federal service performed by a newly appointed 
employee to be a period of service of equal length performed as 
a NASA employee for the purposes of establishing leave the 
accrual rate for the employee. Requires that this authority 
continues to apply only as long as the individual works for 
NASA. Authorizes the annual leave accrual rate for NASA 
employees serving in senior level or senior executive pay 
positions or in an equivalent category whose rate of basic pay 
is greater than GS-15, step 10 to be 1 day for each full 
biweekly period as long as the employee works for NASA.

    SECTION 9814. LIMITED APPOINTMENTS TO SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE 
                               POSITIONS

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to fill career reserved 
SES positions on a temporary basis when a vacancy in such a 
position occurs as a result of separation of the incumbent, 
temporary absence of the incumbent due to illness, training, or 
reassignment, or if such a position would be difficult to fill 
in any other manner because the position is likely to be 
eliminated within the next two years. Restricts such 
appointments from exceeding two years, but allows the 
Administrator to extend such an appointment up to an additional 
year provided the reason for the original appointment was not 
that the position was likely to be eliminated within two years. 
Restricts the number of such appointments from exceeding 10 
percent of the total number of SES positions within NASA at any 
time. Authorizes an individual appointed to such a career 
reserved position on a temporary basis to be reemployed to the 
position (or an equivalent position) from which the individual 
was so appointed in accordance with OPM regulations. Requires 
OPM approval if the individual appointed to such a career 
reserved position under this section is to be appointed (1) 
from outside the Federal Government; or (2) from a civil 
service position that is not a career or career-conditional 
appointment; or (3) or is a senior executive, but not a career 
appointee. Authorizes an individual appointed under this 
authority to be treated as a career appointee for purposes of 
performance awards.

                    SECTION 9815. QUALIFICATIONS PAY

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to set the pay for a 
General Schedule (GS) employee at any step within the pay range 
under the General Schedule if the employee possesses unusually 
highor unique qualifications and the employee is assigned new 
duties or to a new position. Authorizes that if an employee serves at 
least one year in the position under the GS step determined by the 
authority under this section, then succeeding actions to set pay under 
current law for the employee may take the pay determination under this 
section into account. Requires the NASA Administrator to submit a plan 
to OPM and the Congress that describes the implementation and process 
for evaluating the effectiveness of this authority before exercising 
this authority.

                  SECTION 9816. REPORTING REQUIREMENT

    Requires the NASA Administrator to submit an annual report 
to the Congress not later than February 28 for each of the next 
six years after enactment of this chapter to provide specific 
information listed in this section about the use of the 
workforce authorities provided in this chapter for the 
preceding fiscal year.

                     SECTION 3. CLERICAL AMENDMENT

    Amends the table of chapters in title 5, United States Code 
by adding chapter 98 for NASA.

                     SECTION 4. WORKFORCE DIVERSITY

    Expresses the sense of Congress that NASA should conduct a 
continuing program, in accordance with current law, for the 
recruitment of members of minority groups for positions in NASA 
that carries out the policy set forth in current law in a 
manner designed to eliminate under-representation of minorities 
in the various categories of civil service employment.

                         VIII. Committee Views


Committee changes to NASA's initial legislative proposals

    In May 2002 and February 2003, NASA made several 
legislative proposals to the Committee for changes to civil 
service law designed to improve NASA's ability to recruit and 
retain highly skilled scientists, engineers, and program 
managers. The Committee made several changes to NASA's initial 
proposals before including them in the bill and rejected some 
altogether.
    Certain legislative proposals from NASA were included as 
Government-wide authorities in Title XIII of the Homeland 
Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296) that was signed into law in 
November 2002. Similar authorities for Streamlined Hiring, 
Voluntary Separation Incentives, and Voluntary Early Retirement 
were included in the Homeland Security Act, and NASA told the 
Committee that the Homeland Security Act satisfied its request 
for Congress to act on these legislative proposals.
    The Committee did not include NASA's proposed industry 
exchange program because the Committee believes the program 
would create significant, potential conflicts of interest. The 
Committee was particularly wary of the proposal because the 
Columbia Accident Investigation Board has raised concerns that 
NASA employees and contractors have become too 
indistinguishable.
    Also, the Committee did not include NASA's legislative 
proposal for a streamlined demonstration project and 
alternative personnel system authorities for the entire agency 
because NASA's initial proposals did not allow for sufficient 
outside review of the project or Congressional oversight before 
the demonstration became permanent. The Committee's provision 
for an enhanced demonstration project simply increases the 
number of employees who may be included in the demonstration 
project from 5,000 to 8,000 individuals.
    To ensure consistency of terms with specified conditions in 
current law, the bill defines the conditions for a 
redesignation bonus as a new term. NASA's original legislative 
proposal would have changed the conditions for recruitment 
bonuses from what is defined in current law for all Federal 
agencies.
    The service obligation in the bill's Science and Technology 
Scholarship Program differs from NASA's original legislative 
proposal by making the obligation two years for every academic 
year that a scholarship is awarded. NASA's original legislative 
proposal would have only obligated the scholarship recipient to 
one year of service for every academic year that a scholarship 
is awarded. The Committee believes that these scholarships 
could be generous for scholarship recipients, and NASA can 
recoup its investment with a longer service obligation that 
would also aid NASA in retaining these scholarship recipients 
as employees.
    The Distinguished Scholar Appointment Authority in the bill 
differs from NASA's original legislative proposal by requiring 
that the students appointed directly to certain positions in 
NASA receive the specified degree within two years of the 
effective date of the appointment. NASA's original legislative 
proposal did not specify a timeframe for the receipt of a 
degree, though NASA's intent was to use this authority to 
directly appoint recent college graduates. The bill also makes 
clear that such positions must be advertised in accordance with 
standard procedures.
    The Limited Appointments to Senior Executive Service 
Positions authority in the bill differs from NASA's original 
legislative proposal by limiting the term of the appointment up 
to three years maximum and specifying the conditions for such 
appointments. NASA's original legislative proposal would have 
allowed such appointments up to seven years and made only 
general conditions for such appointments.
    In addition, wording changes were made to virtually every 
provision to focus its purpose and clarify its relation to 
current law. Also, significant reporting requirements were 
added.

NASA reports to Congress

    The Committee believes that for NASA to fulfill the 
specific and important requirements of its mission that it must 
be able to fill positions and have employees who possess the 
requisite skills. The Committee expects NASA to describe in 
detail in the Workforce Plan each critical need of the agency 
as well as the approximate number of positions and employees 
that address those critical needs.
    The bill directs NASA management to fully consult with its 
employees, employee representatives, and the Committee when 
formulating its Workforce Plan and plans for an enhanced 
demonstration project. NASA has not yet explained its plans for 
the enhanced demonstration project, so it is especially 
critical that NASA consult with employees, employee 
representatives, and the Congress well in advance of any 
planned implementation. The Committee expects NASA to provide 
the widest dissemination to employees and employee 
representatives of the draft Workforce Plan and plans for an 
enhanced demonstration project and means for them to provide 
feedback. At a minimum, the Committee expects NASA to provide 
both plans via a readily-accessible Internet website along with 
the means to provide written feedback to the draft plans, to 
advertise to employees the means to provide feedback on the 
draft plans, and to conduct seminars at NASA centers with 
employees and employee representatives and receive verbal 
feedback on both plans. The Committee expects NASA to give such 
recommendations full and fair consideration before submitting 
its Workforce Plan and demonstration project plan to Congress.
    The Committee expects that the report due not later than 
six years after the date of enactment of this bill will be a 
comprehensive evaluation and analysis of whether the workforce 
authorities provided in the bill have been effective in the 
recruitment, retention, and restructuring of NASA's workforce. 
The Committee expects NASA to establish specific goals in the 
Workforce Plan so that the agency can later evaluate its 
performance in achieving those goals in this report. The six 
year timeframe for this evaluation is based on testimony from 
the Honorable David Walker and the Honorable Sean O'Keefe 
during the July 18, 2002 Space and Aeronautics hearing on NASA 
Workforce and Management Challenges where both witnesses agreed 
that after five to six years the agency should have enough 
information to judge the effects of additional workforce 
flexibilities.
    The Committee is concerned that NASA may not budget for the 
bonuses, salaries, and other expenses provided in the workforce 
authorities of the bill. The Committee believes that payment of 
additional salaries, bonuses, incentives, and other expenses 
provided by the authorities in this bill should not detract 
from the budgets for other Personnel and Related Costs 
accounts. The bill requires NASA to include a statement of the 
total amount of appropriations requested for each fiscal year 
to carry out the workforce authorities.
    The Committee directs NASA to conduct a strategic resources 
review of its human space flight programs. The objective of the 
review is to determine the workforce and infrastructure 
requirements to support NASA's human space flight goals over 
the next twenty years. In carrying out the review, NASA should 
state the specific human space flight goals that the agency 
will pursue over the next 20 years. Given those goals, NASA's 
review should determine the civil service workforce levels, on 
an annual basis and by Center, necessary to support those 
goals. Any workforce shortfalls should be identified. In 
addition, the review should identify, by Center, the 
infrastructure needed to support the twenty-year human space 
flight goals enumerated by the agency. The infrastructure 
review should also identify any existing infrastructure that 
will need to be upgraded or modified. NASA should provide a 
report containing the results of the strategic resources review 
to the House Science Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science 
and Transportation Committee within one year of the enactment 
of this Act.

Bonuses and incentives

    The bill provides several additional authorities for NASA 
to offer bonuses and incentives to NASA employees to better 
recruit, retain, and restructure its workforce.
    The Committee used the same conditions for paying 
recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses in the bill as 
in current law. The bill defines a redesignation bonus as a new 
situation for awarding a bonus. A redesignation bonus may be 
awarded to an individual if the Administrator determines that 
NASA would be likely, in the absence of a bonus, to encounter 
difficulty in filling a position and if the individual is 
currently employed by the Federal Government and is newly 
appointed to another position in the same geographic area. The 
Committee intends for the NASA Administrator to set strict 
criteria in determining whether a position is difficult to fill 
so that this redesignation bonus authority is not used to 
simply pay bonuses to employees who change positions.
    The Committee believes that the bonus authorities provided 
in sections 9804 and 9805 should primarily benefit NASA's 
science and engineering workforce and not supervisors and 
management officials. For this reason, the bill limits the 
total amount in bonuses that may be awarded in any year to 
supervisors or management officials to no more than 25 percent. 
The Committee plans to monitor these bonus amounts closely in 
NASA's annual reports.

NASA appointment authorities

    The bill provides several additional authorities for NASA 
to make appointments to positions within NASA in order to 
better recruit workers to NASA positions.
    The Committee regards the authority for Compensation for 
Certain Excepted Personnel provided in section 2 separately 
from the other workforce authorities in the bill, because this 
authority simply amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act 
of 1958 to update an obsolete grade 18 of the General Schedule 
with level III of the Executive Schedule.

                           IX. Cost Estimate

    A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been timely submitted to 
the Committee on Science prior to the filing of this report and 
is included in Section X of this report pursuant to House Rule 
XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 1085 does not contain new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that the sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 
1085 does authorize additional discretionary spending, as 
described in the Congressional Budget Office report on the 
bill, which is contained in Section X of this report.

              X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 24, 2003.
Hon. Sherwood L. Boehlert,
Chairman, Committee on Science,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1085, the NASA 
Flexibility Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Kathleen 
Gramp.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1085--NASA Flexibility Act of 2003

    Summary: H.R. 1085 would allow the National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration (NASA) to modify its personnel and 
workforce practices. Under the bill, NASA would be allowed to 
pay higher bonuses to attract and retain individuals with 
special expertise, as well as to increase compensation or 
benefits for certain positions. In addition, the bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $10 million a year for a new 
science and technology scholarship program.
    Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 1085 would cost $70 million 
over the 2004-2008 period. (In 2003, about $2 billion was 
appropriated for NASA's personnel costs.) Enacting H.R. 1085 
would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 1085 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1085 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget functions 250 
(general science, space, and technology) and 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                          ------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004       2005       2006       2007       2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 Estimated Authorization Level............................         14         15         17         19         19
Estimated Outlays........................................          5         11         16         19         19
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1085 will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2003. We assume 
that the necessary amounts will be appropriated for each year 
and that outlays will occur at historical rates for NASA's 
personnel costs.
    This bill would authorize the appropriation of $10 million 
a year for a science and technology scholarship program. 
Recipients would be required to work for NASA for a minimum of 
two--but no more than four--years.
    Based on information from NASA, CBO estimates that 
expenditures for the new personnel benefits authorized by the 
bill would cost $4 million to $7 million a year (in 2003 
dollars) in most or all of the next five years, depending on 
how extensively the agency used some of the new authorities. 
CBO estimates that spending for higher bonuses would account 
for most of the additional cost. According to NASA, over 5,000 
of its roughly 18,000 employees will be eligible to retire by 
2008, half of whom are in scientific and engineering fields.
    Under H.R. 1085, new employees could receive bonuses 
equivalent to 100 percent of their salary under certain 
conditions (compared to 25 percent under current law), while 
current employees with critical skills could be given a one-
time bonus equivalent to 50 percent of their salary (compared 
to 25 percent under current law). Based on information from 
NASA on how it expects to use the new authority, CBO estimates 
such bonuses would cost a total of about $25 million over the 
next five years, assuming that such payments would likely 
increase over time in response to recruitment needs and payment 
schedules. The estimated cost is equivalent to giving the 
maximum bonus to an average of 90 individuals a year over the 
2004-2008 period, or smaller bonuses to a larger number of 
people.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1085 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimates: CBO previously prepared cost 
estimates for two bills that were similar to H.R. 1085. All 
three bills contain similar provisions, but the estimated cost 
of H.R. 1085 is lower than for the other two because it would 
not authorize a personnel exchange program with industrial 
firms. The two other cost estimates were for H.R. 1836, the 
Civil Service and National Security Personnel Improvement Act, 
as ordered reported by the House Committee on Government Reform 
on May 8, 2003 (the cost estimate was transmitted on May 15, 
2003); and for S. 610, a bill to amend the provisions of title 
5, United States Code, to provide for workforce flexibilities 
and certain federal personnel provisions relating to the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other 
purposes, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Governmental Affairs on June 17, 2003 (the cost estimate was 
transmitted on June 25, 2003).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Kathleen Gramp; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo Lex; and Impact on 
the Private Sector: Paige Piper/Bach.
    Estimate approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

        XI. Compliance With Public Law 104-4 (Unfunded Mandates)

    H.R. 1085 contains no unfunded mandates.

         XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    The Committee on Science's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause (3)(c) of House rule XIII, the goals of 
H.R. 1085 are to authorize specified workforce authorities to 
NASA for improved recruitment and retention; to require that 
NASA provide certain notification, planning, and reporting to 
Congress, NASA employees, and NASA employee representatives 
about the use of these workforce authorities; and to establish 
a science and technology scholarship program.

                XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 1085.

                XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    H.R. 1085 does not establish nor authorize the 
establishment of any advisory committee.

                 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act

    The Committee finds that H.R. 1085 does not relate to the 
terms and conditions of employment or access to public services 
or accommodations within the meaning of section 102(b)(3) of 
the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 104-1).

      XVII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

      XVIII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

     SECTION 203 OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ACT OF 1958


                    FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION

  Sec. 203. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) In the performance of its functions the Administration is 
authorized--
          (1) * * *
          (2) to appoint and fix the compensation of such 
        officers and employees as may be necessary to carry out 
        such functions. Such officers and employees shall be 
        appointed in accordance with the civil-service laws and 
        their compensation fixed in accordance with the 
        Classification Act of 1949, except that (A) to the 
        extent the Administrator deems such action necessary to 
        the discharge of his responsibilities, he may appoint 
        not more than four hundred and twenty-five of the 
        scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel 
        of the Administration without regard to such laws, and 
        may fix the compensation of such personnel not in 
        excess of [the highest rate of grade 18 of the General 
        Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as 
        amended,] the rate of basic pay payable for level III 
        of the Executive Schedule, and (B) to the extent the 
        Administrator deems such action necessary to recruit 
        specially qualified scientific and engineering talent, 
        he may establish the entrance grade for scientific and 
        engineering personnel without previous service in the 
        Federal Government at a level up to two grades higher 
        than the grade provided for such personnel under the 
        General Schedule established by the Classification Act 
        of 1949, and fix their compensation accordingly;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART III--EMPLOYEES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                        Subpart I--Miscellaneous

       Personnel flexibilities relating to the Internal Revenue Serv9501
     * * * * * * *
9801 National Aeronautics and Space Administration....................

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


       CHAPTER 98--NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

Sec.
9801. Definitions.
9802. Planning, notification, and reporting requirements.
9803. Restrictions.
9804. Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses.
9805. Retention bonuses.
9806. Term appointments.
9807. Pay authority for critical positions.
9808. Assignments of intergovernmental personnel.
9809. Enhanced demonstration project authority.
9810. Science and technology scholarship program.
9811. Distinguished scholar appointment authority.
9812. Travel and transportation expenses of certain new appointees.
9813. Annual leave enhancements.
9814. Limited appointments to Senior Executive Service positions.
9815. Qualifications pay.
9816. Reporting requirement.

Sec. 9801. Definitions

  For purposes of this chapter--
          (1) the term ``Administration'' means the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration;
          (2) the term ``Administrator'' means the 
        Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration;
          (3) the term ``critical need'' means a specific and 
        important requirement of the Administration's mission 
        that the Administration is unable to fulfill because 
        the Administration lacks the appropriate employees 
        because--
                  (A) of the inability to fill positions; or
                  (B) employees do not possess the requisite 
                skills;
          (4) the term ``employee'' means an individual 
        employed in or under the Administration;
          (5) the term ``workforce plan'' means the plan 
        required under section 9802(a);
          (6) the term ``appropriate committees of Congress'' 
        means--
                  (A) the Committees on Government Reform, 
                Science, and Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives; and
                  (B) the Committees on Governmental Affairs, 
                Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and 
                Appropriations of the Senate;
          (7) the term ``redesignation bonus'' means a bonus 
        under section 9804 paid to an individual described in 
        subsection (a)(2) thereof;
          (8) the term ``supervisor'' has the meaning given 
        such term by section 7103(a)(10); and
          (9) the term ``management official'' has the meaning 
        given such term by section 7103(a)(11).

Sec. 9802. Planning, notification, and reporting requirements

  (a) Not later than 90 days before exercising any of the 
workforce authorities made available under this chapter, the 
Administrator shall submit a written plan to the appropriate 
committees of Congress. Such plan shall be developed in 
consultation with the Office of Personnel Management.
  (b) A workforce plan shall include a description of--
          (1) each critical need of the Administration and the 
        criteria used in the identification of that need;
          (2)(A) the functions, approximate number, and classes 
        or other categories of positions or employees that--
                  (i) address critical needs; and
                  (ii) would be eligible for each authority 
                proposed to be exercised under this chapter; 
                and
          (B) how the exercise of those authorities with 
        respect to the eligible positions or employees involved 
        would address each critical need identified under 
        paragraph (1);
          (3)(A) any critical need identified under paragraph 
        (1) which would not be addressed by the authorities 
        made available under this chapter; and
          (B) the reasons why those needs would not be so 
        addressed;
          (4) the specific criteria to be used in determining 
        which individuals may receive the benefits described 
        under sections 9804 and 9805 (including the criteria 
        for granting bonuses in the absence of a critical 
        need), and how the level of those benefits will be 
        determined;
          (5) the safeguards or other measures that will be 
        applied to ensure that this chapter is carried out in a 
        manner consistent with merit system principles;
          (6) the means by which employees will be afforded the 
        notification required under subsections (c) and 
        (d)(1)(B);
          (7) the methods that will be used to determine if the 
        authorities exercised under this chapter have 
        successfully addressed each critical need identified 
        under paragraph (1);
          (8)(A) the recruitment methods used by the 
        Administration before the enactment of this chapter to 
        recruit highly qualified individuals; and
          (B) the changes the Administration will implement 
        after the enactment of this chapter in order to improve 
        its recruitment of highly qualified individuals, 
        including how it intends to use--
                  (i) nongovernmental recruitment or placement 
                agencies; and
                  (ii) Internet technologies;
          (9) any reforms to the Administration's workforce 
        management practices recommended by the Columbia 
        Accident Investigation Board, the extent to which those 
        recommendations were accepted, and, if necessary, the 
        reasons why any of those recommendations were not 
        accepted; and
          (10) the safeguards and other measures that will be 
        applied to ensure that this chapter is carried out in a 
        manner that does not compromise the safety or survival 
        of any spacecraft or crew thereof.
  (c) Not later than 60 days before first exercising any of the 
workforce authorities made available under this chapter, the 
Administrator shall provide to all employees the workforce plan 
and any additional information which the Administrator 
considers appropriate.
  (d)(1)(A) The Administrator may from time to time modify the 
workforce plan. Not later than 60 days before implementing any 
such modifications, the Administrator shall submit a 
description of the proposed modifications to the appropriate 
committees of Congress.
  (B) Not later than 60 days before implementing any such 
modifications, the Administrator shall provide an appropriately 
modified plan to all employees of the Administration and to the 
appropriate committees of Congress.
  (2) Any reference in this chapter or any other provision of 
law to the workforce plan shall be considered to include any 
modification made in accordance with this subsection.
  (e) Before submitting any written plan under subsection (a) 
(or modification under subsection (d)) to the appropriate 
committees of Congress, the Administrator shall--
          (1) provide to each employee representative 
        representing any employees who might be affected by 
        such plan (or modification) a copy of the proposed plan 
        (or modification);
          (2) give each representative 30 calendar days (unless 
        extraordinary circumstances require earlier action) to 
        review and make recommendations with respect to the 
        proposed plan (or modification); and
          (3) give any recommendations received from any such 
        representatives under paragraph (2) full and fair 
        consideration in deciding whether or how to proceed 
        with respect to the proposed plan (or modification).
  (f) None of the workforce authorities made available under 
this chapter may be exercised in a manner inconsistent with the 
workforce plan.
  (g) Whenever the Administration submits its performance plan 
under section 1115 of title 31 to the Office of Management and 
Budget for any year, the Administration shall at the same time 
submit a copy of such plan to the appropriate committees of 
Congress.
  (h) Not later than 6 years after the date of enactment of 
this chapter, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate 
committees of Congress an evaluation and analysis of the 
actions taken by the Administration under this chapter, 
including--
          (1) an evaluation, using the methods described in 
        subsection (b)(7), of whether the authorities exercised 
        under this chapter successfully addressed each critical 
        need identified under subsection (b)(1);
          (2) to the extent that they did not, an explanation 
        of the reasons why any critical need (apart from the 
        ones under subsection (b)(3)) was not successfully 
        addressed; and
          (3) recommendations for how the Administration could 
        address any remaining critical need and could prevent 
        those that have been addressed from recurring.
  (i) The budget request for the Administration for the first 
fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of this 
chapter and for each fiscal year thereafter shall include a 
statement of the total amount of appropriations requested for 
such fiscal year to carry out this chapter.

Sec. 9803. Restrictions

  (a) None of the workforce authorities made available under 
this chapter may be exercised with respect to any officer who 
is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate.
  (b) Unless specifically stated otherwise, all workforce 
authorities made available under this chapter shall be subject 
to section 5307.
  (c)(1) None of the workforce authorities made available under 
section 9804, 9805, 9806, 9807, 9810, 9813, 9814, 9815, or 9816 
may be exercised with respect to a political appointee.
  (2) For purposes of this subsection, the term ``political 
appointee'' means an employee who holds--
          (A) a position which has been excepted from the 
        competitive service by reason of its confidential, 
        policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating 
        character; or
          (B) a position in the Senior Executive Service as a 
        noncareer appointee (as such term is defined in section 
        3132(a)).

Sec. 9804. Recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses

  (a) Notwithstanding section 5753, the Administrator may pay a 
bonus to an individual, in accordance with the workforce plan 
and subject to the limitations in this section, if--
          (1) the Administrator determines that the 
        Administration would be likely, in the absence of a 
        bonus, to encounter difficulty in filling a position; 
        and
          (2) the individual--
                  (A) is newly appointed as an employee of the 
                Federal Government;
                  (B) is currently employed by the Federal 
                Government and is newly appointed to another 
                position in the same geographic area; or
                  (C) is currently employed by the Federal 
                Government and is required to relocate to a 
                different geographic area to accept a position 
                with the Administration.
  (b) If the position is described as addressing a critical 
need in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed--
          (1) 50 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic 
        pay (including comparability payments under sections 
        5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the service 
        period multiplied by the service period specified under 
        subsection (d)(1)(B)(i); or
          (2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of 
        basic pay (including comparability payments under 
        sections 5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the 
        service period.
  (c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical 
need in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed--
          (1) 25 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic 
        pay (including comparability payments under sections 
        5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the service 
        period multiplied by the service period specified under 
        subsection (d)(1)(B)(i); or
          (2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of 
        basic pay (including comparability payments under 
        sections 5304 and 5304a) as of the beginning of the 
        service period.
  (d)(1)(A) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be 
contingent upon the individual entering into a service 
agreement with the Administration.
  (B) At a minimum, the service agreement shall include--
          (i) the required service period;
          (ii) the method of payment, including a payment 
        schedule, which may include a lump-sum payment, 
        installment payments, or a combination thereof;
          (iii) the amount of the bonus and the basis for 
        calculating that amount; and
          (iv) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has 
        been completed, and the effect of the termination.
  (2) For purposes of determinations under subsections (b)(1) 
and (c)(1), the employee's service period shall be expressed as 
the number equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, 
rounding the fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth 
part of a year. The service period may not be less than 6 
months and may not exceed 4 years.
  (3) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be 
part of the basic pay of an employee.
  (e) Before paying a bonus under this section, the 
Administration shall establish a plan for paying recruitment, 
redesignation, and relocation bonuses, subject to approval by 
the Office of Personnel Management.
  (f) No more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses 
awarded under subsection (a) in any year may be awarded to 
supervisors or management officials.

Sec. 9805. Retention bonuses

  (a) Notwithstanding section 5754, the Administrator may pay a 
bonus to an employee, in accordance with the workforce plan and 
subject to the limitations in this section, if the 
Administrator determines that--
          (1) the unusually high or unique qualifications of 
        the employee or a special need of the Administration 
        for the employee's services makes it essential to 
        retain the employee; and
          (2) the employee would be likely to leave in the 
        absence of a retention bonus.
  (b) If the position is described as addressing a critical 
need in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed 50 percent of the employee's 
annual rate of basic pay (including comparability payments 
under sections 5304 and 5304a).
  (c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical 
need in the workforce plan under section 9802(b)(2)(A), the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of the employee's 
annual rate of basic pay (including comparability payments 
under sections 5304 and 5304a).
  (d)(1)(A) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be 
contingent upon the employee entering into a service agreement 
with the Administration.
  (B) At a minimum, the service agreement shall include--
          (i) the required service period;
          (ii) the method of payment, including a payment 
        schedule, which may include a lump-sum payment, 
        installment payments, or a combination thereof;
          (iii) the amount of the bonus and the basis for 
        calculating the amount; and
          (iv) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has 
        been completed, and the effect of the termination.
  (2) The employee's service period shall be expressed as the 
number equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, 
rounding the fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth 
part of a year. The service period may not be less than 6 
months and may not exceed 4 years.
  (3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a service agreement is not 
required if the Administration pays a bonus in biweekly 
installments and sets the installment payment at the full bonus 
percentage rate established for the employee, with no portion 
of the bonus deferred. In this case, the Administration shall 
inform the employee in writing of any decision to change the 
retention bonus payments. The employee shall continue to accrue 
entitlement to the retention bonus through the end of the pay 
period in which such written notice is provided.
  (e) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be 
part of the basic pay of an employee.
  (f) An employee is not entitled to a retention bonus under 
this section during a service period previously established for 
that employee under section 5753 or under section 9804.
  (g) No more than 25 percent of the total amount in bonuses 
awarded under subsection (a) in any year may be awarded to 
supervisors or management officials.

Sec. 9806. Term appointments

  (a) The Administrator may authorize term appointments within 
the Administration under subchapter I of chapter 33, for a 
period of not less than 1 year and not more than 6 years.
  (b) Notwithstanding chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, the Administrator may 
convert an employee serving under a term appointment to a 
permanent appointment in the competitive service within the 
Administration without further competition if--
          (1) such individual was appointed under open, 
        competitive examination under subchapter I of chapter 
        33 to the term position;
          (2) the announcement for the term appointment from 
        which the conversion is made stated that there was 
        potential for subsequent conversion to a career-
        conditional or career appointment;
          (3) the employee has completed at least 2 years of 
        current continuous service under a term appointment in 
        the competitive service;
          (4) the employee's performance under such term 
        appointment was at least fully successful or 
        equivalent; and
          (5) the position to which such employee is being 
        converted under this section is in the same 
        occupational series, is in the same geographic 
        location, and provides no greater promotion potential 
        than the term position for which the competitive 
        examination was conducted.
  (c) Notwithstanding chapter 33 or any other provision of law 
relating to the examination, certification, and appointment of 
individuals in the competitive service, the Administrator may 
convert an employee serving under a term appointment to a 
permanent appointment in the competitive service within the 
Administration through internal competitive promotion 
procedures if the conditions under paragraphs (1) through (4) 
of subsection (b) are met.
  (d) An employee converted under this section becomes a 
career-conditional employee, unless the employee has otherwise 
completed the service requirements for career tenure.
  (e) An employee converted to career or career-conditional 
employment under this section acquires competitive status upon 
conversion.

Sec. 9807. Pay authority for critical positions

  (a) In this section, the term ``position'' means--
          (1) a position to which chapter 51 applies, including 
        a position in the Senior Executive Service;
          (2) a position under the Executive Schedule under 
        sections 5312 through 5317;
          (3) a position established under section 3104; or
          (4) a senior-level position to which section 
        5376(a)(1) applies.
  (b) Authority under this section--
          (1) may be exercised only with respect to a position 
        that--
                  (A) is described as addressing a critical 
                need in the workforce plan under section 
                9802(b)(2)(A); and
                  (B) requires expertise of an extremely high 
                level in a scientific, technical, professional, 
                or administrative field;
          (2) may be exercised only to the extent necessary to 
        recruit or retain an individual exceptionally well 
        qualified for the position; and
          (3) may be exercised only in retaining employees of 
        the Administration or in appointing individuals who 
        were not employees of another Federal agency as defined 
        under section 5102(a)(1).
  (c)(1) Notwithstanding section 5377, the Administrator may 
fix the rate of basic pay for a position in the Administration 
in accordance with this section. The Administrator may not 
delegate this authority.
  (2) The number of positions with pay fixed under this section 
may not exceed 10 at any time.
  (d)(1) The rate of basic pay fixed under this section may not 
be less than the rate of basic pay (including any comparability 
payments) which would otherwise be payable for the position 
involved if this section had never been enacted.
  (2) The annual rate of basic pay fixed under this section may 
not exceed the per annum rate of salary payable under section 
104 of title 3.
  (3) Notwithstanding any provision of section 5307, in the 
case of an employee who, during any calendar year, is receiving 
pay at a rate fixed under this section, no allowance, 
differential, bonus, award, or similar cash payment may be paid 
to such employee if, or to the extent that, when added to basic 
pay paid or payable to such employee (for service performed in 
such calendar year as an employee in the executive branch or as 
an employee outside the executive branch to whom chapter 51 
applies), such payment would cause the total to exceed the per 
annum rate of salary which, as of the end of such calendar 
year, is payable under section 104 of title 3.

Sec. 9808. Assignments of intergovernmental personnel

  For purposes of applying the third sentence of section 
3372(a) (relating to the authority of the head of a Federal 
agency to extend the period of an employee's assignment to or 
from a State or local government, institution of higher 
education, or other organization), the Administrator may, with 
the concurrence of the employee and the government or 
organization concerned, take any action which would be 
allowable if such sentence had been amended by striking ``two'' 
and inserting ``four''.

Sec. 9809. Enhanced demonstration project authority

  When conducting a demonstration project at the 
Administration, section 4703(d)(1)(A) may be applied by 
substituting ``8,000'' for ``5,000''.

Sec. 9810. Science and technology scholarship program

  (a)(1) The Administrator shall establish a National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration Science and Technology 
Scholarship Program to award scholarships to individuals that 
is designed to recruit and prepare students for careers in the 
Administration.
  (2) Individuals shall be selected to receive scholarships 
under this section through a competitive process primarily on 
the basis of academic merit, with consideration given to 
financial need and the goal of promoting the participation of 
individuals identified in section 33 or 34 of the Science and 
Engineering Equal Opportunities Act.
  (3) To carry out the Program the Administrator shall enter 
into contractual agreements with individuals selected under 
paragraph (2) under which the individuals agree to serve as 
full-time employees of the Administration, for the period 
described in subsection (f)(1), in positions needed by the 
Administration and for which the individuals are qualified, in 
exchange for receiving a scholarship.
  (b) In order to be eligible to participate in the Program, an 
individual must--
          (1) be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a full-
        time student at an institution of higher education, as 
        a junior or senior undergraduate or graduate student, 
        in an academic field or discipline described in the 
        list made available under subsection (d);
          (2) be a United States citizen or permanent resident; 
        and
          (3) at the time of the initial scholarship award, not 
        be an employee (as defined in section 2105).
  (c) An individual seeking a scholarship under this section 
shall submit an application to the Administrator at such time, 
in such manner, and containing such information, agreements, or 
assurances as the Administrator may require.
  (d) The Administrator shall make publicly available a list of 
academic programs and fields of study for which scholarships 
under the Program may be utilized and shall update the list as 
necessary.
  (e)(1) The Administrator may provide a scholarship under the 
Program for an academic year if the individual applying for the 
scholarship has submitted to the Administrator, as part of the 
application required under subsection (c), a proposed academic 
program leading to a degree in a program or field of study on 
the list made available under subsection (d).
  (2) An individual may not receive a scholarship under this 
section for more than 4 academic years, unless the 
Administrator grants a waiver.
  (3) The dollar amount of a scholarship under this section for 
an academic year shall be determined under regulations issued 
by the Administrator, but shall in no case exceed the cost of 
attendance.
  (4) A scholarship provided under this section may be expended 
for tuition, fees, and other authorized expenses as established 
by the Administrator by regulation.
  (5) The Administrator may enter into a contractual agreement 
with an institution of higher education under which the amounts 
provided for a scholarship under this section for tuition, 
fees, and other authorized expenses are paid directly to the 
institution with respect to which the scholarship is provided.
  (f)(1) The period of service for which an individual shall be 
obligated to serve as an employee of the Administration is, 
except as provided in subsection (h)(2), 24 months for each 
academic year for which a scholarship under this section is 
provided.
  (2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), obligated 
service under paragraph (1) shall begin not later than 60 days 
after the individual obtains the educational degree for which 
the scholarship was provided.
  (B) The Administrator may defer the obligation of an 
individual to provide a period of service under paragraph (1) 
if the Administrator determines that such a deferral is 
appropriate. The Administrator shall prescribe the terms and 
conditions under which a service obligation may be deferred 
through regulation.
  (g)(1) Scholarship recipients who fail to maintain a high 
level of academic standing, as defined by the Administrator by 
regulation, who are dismissed from their educational 
institutions for disciplinary reasons, or who voluntarily 
terminate academic training before graduation from the 
educational program for which the scholarship was awarded, 
shall be in breach of their contractual agreement and, in lieu 
of any service obligation arising under such agreement, shall 
be liable to the United States for repayment within 1 year 
after the date of default of all scholarship funds paid to them 
and to the institution of higher education on their behalf 
under the agreement, except as provided in subsection (h)(2). 
The repayment period may be extended by the Administrator when 
determined to be necessary, as established by regulation.
  (2) Scholarship recipients who, for any reason, fail to begin 
or complete their service obligation after completion of 
academic training, or fail to comply with the terms and 
conditions of deferment established by the Administrator 
pursuant to subsection (f)(2)(B), shall be in breach of their 
contractual agreement. When recipients breach their agreements 
for the reasons stated in the preceding sentence, the recipient 
shall be liable to the United States for an amount equal to--
          (A) the total amount of scholarships received by such 
        individual under this section; plus
          (B) the interest on the amounts of such awards which 
        would be payable if at the time the awards were 
        received they were loans bearing interest at the 
        maximum legal prevailing rate, as determined by the 
        Treasurer of the United States,
multiplied by 3.
  (h)(1) Any obligation of an individual incurred under the 
Program (or a contractual agreement thereunder) for service or 
payment shall be canceled upon the death of the individual.
  (2) The Administrator shall by regulation provide for the 
partial or total waiver or suspension of any obligation of 
service or payment incurred by an individual under the Program 
(or a contractual agreement thereunder) whenever compliance by 
the individual is impossible or would involve extreme hardship 
to the individual, or if enforcement of such obligation with 
respect to the individual would be contrary to the best 
interests of the Government.
  (i) For purposes of this section--
          (1) the term ``cost of attendance'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 472 of the Higher Education 
        Act of 1965;
          (2) the term ``institution of higher education'' has 
        the meaning given that term in section 101(a) of the 
        Higher Education Act of 1965; and
          (3) the term ``Program'' means the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration Science and 
        Technology Scholarship Program established under this 
        section.
  (j)(1) There is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Administration for the Program $10,000,000 for each fiscal 
year.
  (2) Amounts appropriated under this section shall remain 
available for 2 fiscal years.

Sec. 9811. Distinguished scholar appointment authority

  (a) In this section--
          (1) the term ``professional position'' means a 
        position that is classified to an occupational series 
        identified by the Office of Personnel Management as a 
        position that--
                  (A) requires education and training in the 
                principles, concepts, and theories of the 
                occupation that typically can be gained only 
                through completion of a specified curriculum at 
                a recognized college or university; and
                  (B) is covered by the Group Coverage 
                Qualification Standard for Professional and 
                Scientific Positions; and
          (2) the term ``research position'' means a position 
        in a professional series that primarily involves 
        scientific inquiry or investigation, or research-type 
        exploratory development of a creative or scientific 
        nature, where the knowledge required to perform the 
        work successfully is acquired typically and primarily 
        through graduate study.
  (b) The Administration may appoint, without regard to the 
provisions of section 3304(b) and sections 3309 through 3318, 
but subject to subsection (c), candidates directly to General 
Schedule professional, competitive service positions in the 
Administration for which public notice has been given (in 
accordance with regulations of the Office of Personnel 
Management), if--
          (1) with respect to a position at the GS-7 level, the 
        individual--
                  (A) received, within 2 years before the 
                effective date of the appointment, from an 
                accredited institution authorized to grant 
                baccalaureate degrees, a baccalaureate degree 
                in a field of study for which possession of 
                that degree in conjunction with academic 
                achievements meets the qualification standards 
                as prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
                Management for the position to which the 
                individual is being appointed; and
                  (B) achieved a cumulative grade point average 
                of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and a grade 
                point average of 3.5 or higher for courses in 
                the field of study required to qualify for the 
                position;
          (2) with respect to a position at the GS-9 level, the 
        individual--
                  (A) received, within 2 years before the 
                effective date of the appointment, from an 
                accredited institution authorized to grant 
                graduate degrees, a graduate degree in a field 
                of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade 
                level as prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
                Management for the position to which the 
                individual is being appointed; and
                  (B) achieved a cumulative grade point average 
                of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate 
                coursework in the field of study required for 
                the position;
          (3) with respect to a position at the GS-11 level, 
        the individual--
                  (A) received, within 2 years before the 
                effective date of the appointment, from an 
                accredited institution authorized to grant 
                graduate degrees, a graduate degree in a field 
                of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade 
                level as prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
                Management for the position to which the 
                individual is being appointed; and
                  (B) achieved a cumulative grade point average 
                of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate 
                coursework in the field of study required for 
                the position; or
          (4) with respect to a research position at the GS-12 
        level, the individual--
                  (A) received, within 2 years before the 
                effective date of the appointment, from an 
                accredited institution authorized to grant 
                graduate degrees, a graduate degree in a field 
                of study for which possession of that degree 
                meets the qualification standards at this grade 
                level as prescribed by the Office of Personnel 
                Management for the position to which the 
                individual is being appointed; and
                  (B) achieved a cumulative grade point average 
                of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale in graduate 
                coursework in the field of study required for 
                the position.
  (c) In making any selections under this section, preference 
eligibles who meet the criteria for distinguished scholar 
appointments shall be considered ahead of nonpreference 
eligibles.
  (d) An appointment made under this authority shall be a 
career-conditional appointment in the competitive civil 
service.

Sec. 9812. Travel and transportation expenses of certain new appointees

  (a) In this section, the term ``new appointee'' means--
          (1) a person newly appointed or reinstated to Federal 
        service to the Administration to--
                  (A) a career or career-conditional 
                appointment;
                  (B) a term appointment;
                  (C) an excepted service appointment that 
                provides for noncompetitive conversion to a 
                career or career-conditional appointment;
                  (D) a career or limited term Senior Executive 
                Service appointment;
                  (E) an appointment made under section 
                203(c)(2)(A) of the National Aeronautics and 
                Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(2)(A));
                  (F) an appointment to a position established 
                under section 3104; or
                  (G) an appointment to a position established 
                under section 5108; or
          (2) a student trainee who, upon completion of 
        academic work, is converted to an appointment in the 
        Administration that is identified in paragraph (1) in 
        accordance with an appropriate authority.
  (b) The Administrator may pay the travel, transportation, and 
relocation expenses of a new appointee to the same extent, in 
the same manner, and subject to the same conditions as the 
payment of such expenses under sections 5724, 5724a, 5724b, and 
5724c to an employee transferred in the interests of the United 
States Government.

Sec. 9813. Annual leave enhancements

  (a)(1) In this section--
          (A) the term ``newly appointed employee'' means an 
        individual who is first appointed--
                  (i) as an employee of the Federal Government; 
                or
                  (ii) as an employee of the Federal Government 
                following a break in service of at least 90 
                days after that individual's last period of 
                Federal employment, other than--
                          (I) employment under the Student 
                        Educational Employment Program 
                        administered by the Office of Personnel 
                        Management;
                          (II) employment as a law clerk 
                        trainee;
                          (III) employment under a short-term 
                        temporary appointing authority while a 
                        student during periods of vacation from 
                        the educational institution at which 
                        the student is enrolled;
                          (IV) employment under a provisional 
                        appointment if the new appointment is 
                        permanent and immediately follows the 
                        provisional appointment; or
                          (V) employment under a temporary 
                        appointment that is neither full-time 
                        nor the principal employment of the 
                        individual;
          (B) the term ``period of qualified non-Federal 
        service'' means any period of service performed by an 
        individual that--
                  (i) was performed in a position the duties of 
                which were directly related to the duties of 
                the position in the Administration which that 
                individual will fill as a newly appointed 
                employee; and
                  (ii) except for this section, would not 
                otherwise be service performed by an employee 
                for purposes of section 6303; and
          (C) the term ``directly related to the duties of the 
        position'' means duties and responsibilities in the 
        same line of work which require similar qualifications.
  (2)(A) For purposes of section 6303, the Administrator may 
deem a period of qualified non-Federal service performed by a 
newly appointed employee to be a period of service of equal 
length performed as an employee.
  (B) A decision under paragraph (A) to treat a period of 
qualified non-Federal service as if it were service performed 
as an employee shall continue to apply so long as that 
individual serves in or under the Administration.
  (3)(A) Notwithstanding section 6303(a), the annual leave 
accrual rate for an employee of the Administration in a 
position paid under section 5376 or 5383, or for an employee in 
an equivalent category whose rate of basic pay is greater than 
the rate payable at GS-15, step 10, shall be 1 day for each 
full biweekly pay period.
  (B) The accrual rate established under this subsection shall 
continue to apply to the employee so long as such employee 
serves in or under the Administration.

Sec. 9814. Limited appointments to Senior Executive Service positions

  (a) In this section, the terms ``career reserved position'', 
``Senior Executive Service position'', ``senior executive'' and 
``career appointee'' have the meanings set forth in section 
3132(a).
  (b) Subject to succeeding provisions of this section, the 
Administrator may, notwithstanding any other provision of this 
title, fill a career reserved position on a temporary basis, 
but only if--
          (1) such position is vacant as a result of--
                  (A) the separation of the incumbent; or
                  (B) the temporary absence of the incumbent 
                due to illness, training, or reassignment; or
          (2) such position is or would be difficult to fill in 
        any other manner due to the fact that such position is 
        likely to be eliminated within the next 2 years.
  (c) Notwithstanding sections 3132 and 3394(b), an appointment 
made by the Administrator under subsection (b) shall not exceed 
2 years.
  (d) The Administrator may extend an appointment under 
subsection (b) for as long as necessary to meet a contingency 
described in subsection (b)(1), but for not to exceed 1 year 
and not if the circumstance described in subsection (b)(2) 
pertains.
  (e) The number of career reserved positions filled under 
subsection (b) may not at any time exceed 10 percent of the 
total number of Senior Executive Service positions then 
authorized for the Administration under section 3133.
  (f) An individual appointed to a career reserved position on 
a temporary basis under subsection (b) shall, if such 
individual was so appointed from a civil service position held 
under a career or career-conditional appointment, be entitled, 
upon completion of that temporary appointment, to be reemployed 
in the position from which such individual was so appointed (or 
an equivalent position), in accordance with such regulations as 
the Office of Personnel Management may prescribe.
  (g) An appointment to a career reserved position on a 
temporary basis under subsection (b) may not be made without 
the prior approval of the Office of Personnel Management if the 
individual--
          (1) is to be appointed--
                  (A) from outside the Federal Government; or
                  (B) from a civil service position held under 
                an appointment other than a career or career-
                conditional appointment; or
          (2) is a senior executive, but not a career 
        appointee.
  (h) An individual appointed to a career reserved position on 
a temporary basis under subsection (b) who is not a career 
appointee shall, for purposes of performance awards under 
section 5384, be treated as a career appointee.

Sec. 9815. Qualifications pay

  (a) Notwithstanding section 5334, the Administrator may set 
the pay of an employee paid under the General Schedule at any 
step within the pay range for the grade of the position, if 
such employee--
          (1) possesses unusually high or unique 
        qualifications; and
          (2) is assigned--
                  (A) new duties, without a change of position; 
                or
                  (B) to a new position.
  (b) If an exercise of the authority under this section 
relates to a current employee selected for another position 
within the Administration, a determination shall be made that 
the employee's contribution in the new position will exceed 
that in the former position, before setting pay under this 
section.
  (c) Pay as set under this section is basic pay for such 
purposes as pay set under section 5334.
  (d) If the employee serves for at least 1 year in the 
position for which the pay determination under this section was 
made, or a successor position, the pay earned under such 
position may be used in succeeding actions to set pay under 
chapter 53.
  (e) Before setting any employee's pay under this section, the 
Administrator shall submit a plan to the Office of Personnel 
Management and the appropriate committees of Congress, that 
includes--
          (1) criteria for approval of actions to set pay under 
        this section;
          (2) the level of approval required to set pay under 
        this section;
          (3) all types of actions and positions to be covered;
          (4) the relationship between the exercise of 
        authority under this section and the use of other pay 
        incentives; and
          (5) a process to evaluate the effectiveness of this 
        section.

Sec. 9816. Reporting requirement

  The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress, not later than February 28 of each of the next 6 
years beginning after the date of enactment of this chapter, a 
report that provides the following:
          (1) A summary of all bonuses paid under subsections 
        (b)-(c) of section 9804 during the preceding fiscal 
        year. Such summary shall include the total amount of 
        bonuses paid, the total number of bonuses paid, the 
        percentage of bonuses awarded to supervisors and 
        management officials, and the average percentage used 
        to calculate the total average bonus amount, under each 
        of those subsections.
          (2) A summary of all bonuses paid under subsections 
        (b)-(c) of section 9805 during the preceding fiscal 
        year. Such summary shall include the total amount of 
        bonuses paid, the total number of bonuses paid, the 
        percentage of bonuses awarded to supervisors and 
        management officials, and the average percentage used 
        to calculate the total average bonus amount, under each 
        of those subsections.
          (3) The total number of term appointments converted 
        during the preceding fiscal year under section 9806 
        and, of that total number, the number of conversions 
        that were made to address a critical need described in 
        the workforce plan pursuant to section 9802(b)(2).
          (4) The number of positions for which the rate of 
        basic pay was fixed under section 9807 during the 
        preceding fiscal year, the number of positions for 
        which the rate of basic pay under such section was 
        terminated during the preceding fiscal year, and the 
        number of times the rate of basic pay was fixed under 
        such section to address a critical need described in 
        the workforce plan pursuant to section 9802(b)(2).
          (5) The number of scholarships awarded under section 
        9810 during the preceding fiscal year and the number of 
        scholarship recipients appointed by the Administration 
        during the preceding fiscal year.
          (6) The total number of distinguished scholar 
        appointments made under section 9811 during the 
        preceding fiscal year and, of that total number, the 
        number of appointments that were made to address a 
        critical need described in the workforce plan pursuant 
        to section 9802(b)(2).
          (7) The average amount paid per appointee, and the 
        largest amount paid to any appointee, under section 
        9812 during the preceding fiscal year for travel and 
        transportation expenses.
          (8) The total number of employees who were awarded 
        enhanced annual leave under section 9813 during the 
        preceding fiscal year; of that total number, the number 
        of employees who were serving in a position addressing 
        a critical need described in the workforce plan 
        pursuant to section 9802(b)(2); and, for employees in 
        each of those respective groups, the average amount of 
        additional annual leave such employees earned in the 
        preceding fiscal year (over and above what they would 
        have earned absent section 9813).
          (9) The total number of appointments made under 
        section 9814 during the preceding fiscal year and, of 
        that total number, the number of appointments that were 
        made to address a critical need described in the 
        workforce plan pursuant to section 9802(b)(2).
          (10) The number of employees for whom the 
        Administrator set the pay under section 9815 during the 
        preceding fiscal year and the number of times pay was 
        set under such section to address a critical need 
        described in the workforce plan pursuant to section 
        9802(b)(2).

                     XIX. Committee Recommendations

    On July 22, 2003, a quorum being present, the Committee on 
Science favorably reported H.R. 1085, NASA Flexibility Act of 
2003, by a rollcall vote of Yeas--21; Nays--14, and recommended 
its enactment.



                          XXII. Minority Views

    We submit these Minority Views with a sense of profound 
disappointment over a missed opportunity. Despite the stated 
objectives for this legislation, H.R. 1085 is more notable for 
what it does not do than for what it accomplishes.
    H.R. 1085 has been described as a ``targeted'' approach 
intended to stem a ``brain drain'' at NASA. To that end, the 
bill provides enhanced recruitment, relocation, and retention 
bonus authorities requested by NASA. At the same time, however, 
NASA's FY 2004 budget request proposes a ``decreasing civil 
service workforce'' through FY 2008--not a proposal consistent 
with a stated effort by NASA to stem an alleged outflux of 
skilled employees from the agency. H.R. 1085 does nothing to 
reverse that situation. In addition, NASA's FY 2004 request 
budgets almost 20 percent less for bonuses for the NASA Centers 
than was actually paid out to prospective and existing Center 
employees in FY 2000--hardly an indication that the agency is 
seeking to make aggressive use of its existing bonus 
authority--let alone the more generous authority that it would 
receive under this legislation. H.R. 1085 does nothing to 
reverse this situation either.
    H.R. 1085 proposes to enhance NASA's workforce 
demonstration project authority. Following NASA's direction, 
the original version of H.R. 1085 would have eliminated 
entirely the ceiling on the number of NASA employees that could 
be made subject to a demonstration project--effectively 
allowing NASA management to change the entire agency's 
personnel system without prior Congressional approval. At the 
subcommittee markup of H.R. 1085, the Chairman--with NASA's 
concurrence--changed the proposed demonstration project ceiling 
to 8,000, which is the number of non-union employees at the 
agency. No rationale was given for the change to a level NASA 
had previously said would not meet its needs. More importantly, 
not only has NASA never made use of the generous 5,000 employee 
demonstration project authority it has under existing law, but 
NASA management has steadfastly refused to tell this Committee 
what it would do with the enhanced authority it is seeking in 
this bill. With the Space Shuttle accident investigation 
uncovering troubling information about management and workforce 
practices in the agency, this is not the time to be loosening 
Congressional oversight of NASA's workforce rules. An attempt 
to eliminate the enhanced demonstration project authority was 
defeated by the narrowest of margin (a 20-20 tie) on a party-
line vote.
    The above-mentioned items represent some of the 
shortcomings of H.R. 1085 in addressing its own ``targeted'' 
objectives. However, our concerns with this legislation run far 
deeper. Fundamentally, we believe it is a mistake to make a 
virtue of the narrowness of vision represented by this bill's 
focus on a limited set of personnel practices when the evidence 
is mounting that the NASA workforce is confronting challenges 
of almost crisis proportion. Those larger workforce challenges 
deserve our attention if we are to best serve the interests of 
NASA's employees.
    Most glaring is H.R. 1085's failure to address in any 
substantive manner the workforce issues being raised by the 
investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. Ranking 
Member Ralph Hall offered an amendment at the full committee 
markup containing provisions designed to enhance NASA's 
independent safety office, start NASA down the road to 
developing a viable crew escape system for the Space Shuttle, 
require NASA to certify that its use of ``buyouts'' would not 
result in the loss of any critical Space Station or Space 
Shuttle skills, and bar any further contracting out of NASA 
functions to the private sector until NASA responds to and 
implements the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB). 
Rep. Hall was prevented from obtaining a vote on these 
provisions at the full committee markup when the Chairman ruled 
them to be ``non-germane'', even though they directly address 
the health, safety, and administration of the NASA workforce.
    Paradoxically, the Minority was also told that 
consideration of any amendments that might relate to the Space 
Shuttle investigation should be deferred until after the CAIB's 
report is released some five weeks from now. Yet when all of 
the Democratic Members of the Science Committee sent a letter 
in May to the Chairman urging that the markup of NASA workforce 
legislation be delayed until after the Accident Board's report 
was released so that we might take its findings into account 
during our deliberations, our recommendation was rejected.
    Representative Nick Lampson offered an amendment at the 
full committee markup that would have compelled NASA to 
establish clear goals for the human space flight program. He 
argued that the best and brightest employees aren't attracted 
to NASA by money--rather, it is the promise of challenging and 
exciting work. At present NASA's human space flight program 
remains adrift with no goals or destinations--a situation that 
predated the Columbia accident and which cannot be blamed on 
that tragedy. His amendment was voted down on a party-line 
vote.
    An amendment by Representative Brad Miller would have 
required NASA to get an independent assessment of the extent to 
which it was making use of its existing workforce flexibility 
authorities before any of the proposed new authorities could 
take effect. Such a requirement would seem to be a good-
government provision that recognizes the need for Congress to 
know how well existing statutory authorities are being used 
before we grant additional ones. Unfortunately, Republican 
Miller's amendment was also defeated on a party-line vote.
    Representative Sheila Jackson Lee offered an amendment to 
reinstate the Minority University Research and Education 
activities as a Division after they were demoted to program 
status by NASA. The intent of the amendment was to ensure that 
the important work being done on minority university research 
and education would not be allowed to suffer through 
inattention or competition with other programs under NASA's new 
organizational structure. Her amendment too was defeated on a 
party-line vote.
    The news at the full committee markup was not all bad. We 
were pleased that the Majority accepted Representative Miller's 
amendment to prohibit political appointees from making use of 
the bonuses and other incentives in H.R. 1085. We likewise 
applaud their willingness to accept Representative Eddie 
Bernice Johnson's amendment to encourage NASA to continue to 
seek a diverse workforce and Representative Jackson Lee's 
amendment to direct NASA to report back to the Committee on how 
it will implement its workforce flexibility authorities without 
compromising safety.
    At the end of the day, however, these improvements to H.R. 
1085 do not outweigh the failure of the bill to address the 
major issues confronting the NASA workforce. It was a missed 
opportunity. We can and should do better.

                                   Ralph M. Hall.
                                   Jerry F. Costello.
                                   Anthony Weiner.
                                   Lincoln Davis.
                                   Brad Miller.
                                   John B. Larson.
                                   Bart Gordon.
                                   Nick Lampson.
                                   Jim Matheson.
                                   Dennis Moore.
                                   Eddie Bernice Johnson.
                                   Michael Honda.
                                   Dennis Cardoza.
                                   Sheila Jackson Lee.
                                   Mark Udall.
                                   Lynn Woolsey.
                                   David Wu.
                                   Chris Bell.
                                   Brad Sherman.
                                   Brian Baird.








   XXIII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SPACE AND 
         AERONAUTICS ON H.R. 1085, NASA FLEXIBILITY ACT OF 2003

                              ----------                              


                        THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2003

                  House of Representatives,
             Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics,
                                      Committee on Science,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dana 
Rohrabacher [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. I now call the Subcommittee on Space 
and Aeronautics to order. Good morning. And pursuant to notice 
to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics is that we are 
meeting today to consider the following measures: H.R. 1085, 
the NASA Flexibility Act of 2003, and then the Committee Print 
for the Federal Aviation Administration Research and 
Development Reauthorization Act.
    And I welcome everyone to this markup this morning. And 
this is the first markup of this subcommittee for the 108th 
Congress. Let me also be the first to thank Chairman Boehlert 
for his leadership. Is he here with us yet? He will be. 
Chairman Boehlert is on his way, and we appreciate his 
leadership for tackling a difficult, yet crucial, issue and 
that is NASA's workforce needs.
    Today's markup concerns H.R. 1085, the NASA Flexibility Act 
of 2003. NASA is facing a crisis regarding its workforce. A 
significant portion of the workforce will be eligible to retire 
soon, so action needs to be taken. H.R. 1085 is intended to 
provide NASA the flexibility necessary to attract the best of 
the brightest talent in the fields of engineering and science 
by helping NASA address the problems of recruiting and 
retaining highly skilled technical personnel. H.R. 1085 
provides NASA with the authority needed to ensure that our 
skilled workforce continues to be our greatest asset for 
pushing the boundaries of this great new frontier of space.
    We will also markup the Federal Aviation Administration 
Research and Development Reauthorization Act. This bill 
authorizes funding for civil aviation research and development. 
It also calls for a joint FAA and NASA initiative aimed at 
resolving the problems facing our national air traffic 
management system.
    This morning, I look forward to working with my colleagues 
on both sides of the aisle, and I am confident that our efforts 
will help maintain America's leadership role in aerospace.
    I also would like to thank Bart Gordon, the Ranking Member 
of the Subcommittee, for his hard work on this and his openness 
and willingness to work in a very bipartisan manner on this 
bill. And I know there were some rough edges we had to work 
out, and I appreciate that he did this with goodwill and went 
forward in trying to make sure that we could get this job done. 
And I certainly now would recognize you for any opening remarks 
that you would like to make.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Rohrabacher follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Chairman Dana Rohrabacher
    I want to welcome everyone here this morning for the Space 
Subcommittee's first markup of the 108th Congress. Let me also be the 
first to thank Chairman Boehlert for his leadership in tackling a 
difficult, and yet, crucial issue--NASA's workforce needs.
    Today's markup concerns H.R. 1085, the NASA Flexibility Act of 
2003. NASA is facing a crisis regarding its workforce. A significant 
portion of the workforce will be eligible to retire soon. So action 
needs to be taken. H.R. 1085 is intended to provide NASA the 
flexibility necessary to attract the best and brightest talent in the 
fields of engineering and science.
    By helping NASA address the problem of recruiting and retaining 
highly skilled technical personnel, H.R. 1085 provides NASA with the 
authority needed to ensure that a skilled workforce continues to be our 
greatest asset for pushing the boundaries of new frontiers.
    We will also markup the Federal Aviation Administration 
Reauthorization Act. This bill authorizes funding for civil aviation 
research and development. It also calls for a joint FAA and NASA 
initiative aimed at solving the problems facing our national air 
traffic management system.
    This morning I look forward to working with my colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle. I am confident that our efforts today will help to 
maintain our leadership role in aerospace.

    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, you are going to make me feel bad 
here with all of those nice words. This is a very important 
issue, and I think that there was sincere effort to get this 
workforce issue off to the right direction, but somewhere 
between here and the barn, I am afraid it got turned around a 
little bit. And so I will not be able to support the proposal 
today. And I would like to spend just a few minutes explaining 
why.
    On May the 13th of this year, all of the Members of the 
Democratic caucus of the Science Committee sent a joint letter 
to Chairman Boehlert. And I would like to ask unanimous consent 
that that letter be inserted into the record of this markup.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Without objection.
    [The information follows:]
    
    
    Mr. Gordon. In that letter, we asked him to delay the 
markup of any NASA workforce legislation until the Columbia 
Accident Investigation Board has reported and the Committee has 
had a chance to review its findings and recommendations. 
Admiral Gehman has said on several occasions that the Accident 
Investigation Board is examining issues related to the NASA 
personnel, contractors, and culture as it attempts to assert 
the root causes of the accident. In fact, Admiral Gehman was 
quoted yesterday in the Washington Post as saying a ``goodly 
portion of the report, perhaps half,'' will deal with the 
issues of management at NASA. Now in all fairness, not all of 
that will be dealing with the issue at hand, but certainly, I 
think, that a good portion will be. We should wait to hear what 
the Board concludes before we adopt the legislative provisions 
that might prove either counterproductive or insufficient to 
address the underlying problems identified by the Board.
    No case for urgency appears to exist that would outweigh 
the benefits of waiting until we have the Board's report. The 
July the 25th deadline given to the Science Committee for its 
consideration of H.R. 1836 is not relevant. We are not marking 
up H.R. 1836 today. The bill that is before us, on the other 
hand, is not scheduled for a Full Committee markup until just 
before the August recess and will not be ready for Floor 
consideration until the fall, under the best of circumstances.
    I have an additional concern about today's markup. The 
proposed amendment in the nature of a substitute that we 
received just 72 hours ago contained numerous provisions that 
were not in H.R. 1085. It also retains provisions that are 
questionable. Last night, we were informed that we are now 
proposing another version of the bill. The new bill appears to 
make some movement in a positive direction, and I hope that 
this signals the potential for a meaningful discussion on a 
consensus approach prior to Full Committee consideration of 
this bill.
    At the same time, I think we have to consider the concerns 
of all of NASA's 18,000 employees, not just a portion. For 
example, the ``enhanced demonstration project authority'' 
contained in the bill before us today still represents a change 
to the existing civil service statute. Despite our questions, 
NASA has still not said why they need this new authority or 
what they will use it for. In fact, they currently have 
authority for a demonstration project of 5,000 employees. What 
this bill does is add--increase that to an additional 8,000, 
which means all of the non-collective employees. And I think 
that it is instructive to note that the Senate Governmental 
Affairs Committee chose not to include that provision in the 
bill that it reported out on June the 17th by a 10 to 1 
bipartisan vote.
    Now I will concede that you probably will prevail on a 
party-line vote on the bill before us today, as was the case in 
the House Government Reform. However, I continue to believe 
that the party-line votes are not a signal that more work 
needs--or is a signal that more work needs to be done on 
legislation that should not be controversial. Concern for the 
wellbeing of the NASA workforce is not unique to one party. We 
all want to ensure that NASA has the skilled workforce it needs 
to carry out its mission in the years ahead. And we are 
prepared to consider whatever legislative measures are needed 
to strengthen that workforce.
    We also need to ensure that the rights of NASA workers are 
protected. Moreover, NASA already has one of the highest 
percentages of workforce contracted out in the Federal 
Government. For better or worse, that level of contracting has 
a significant impact on the roles and responsibilities of the 
NASA civil servants. We need to understand the implications of 
that reality, also, and the Gehman Board may be able to assist 
us in that task.
    Mr. Chairman, I would propose that this subcommittee defer 
this markup on this legislation until after we have a chance to 
review what the Gehman Board has to say. Let us also take a 
look at what the Senate has done on a 10 to 1 bipartisan basis. 
And let us sit down and try to come up with legislation that 
reflects a consensus of this subcommittee and the Full Science 
Committee. It is likely that we are going to have the chance to 
do only one NASA workforce bill this year, so let us take the 
time and do it right.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Gordon follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Representative Bart Gordon
    Mr. Chairman, I cannot support the proposal before us today, and I 
would like to spend a few minutes explaining why. On May 13th of this 
year, all of the Members of the Democratic caucus of the Science 
Committee sent a joint letter to Chairman Boehlert. I would like to ask 
unanimous consent that the letter be inserted into the record of this 
markup. In that letter, we asked him to delay the markup of any NASA 
workforce legislation until the Columbia Accident Investigation Board 
has reported and the Committee has had a chance to review its findings 
and recommendations. Admiral Gehman has said on several occasions that 
the Accident Investigation Board is examining issues related to NASA's 
personnel, contractors, and culture as it attempts to ascertain the 
root causes of the accident. Indeed, Admiral Gehman was quoted in 
yesterday's Washington Post as saying a ``goodly portion of the report, 
perhaps half,'' will deal with issues of management at NASA. We should 
wait to hear what the Board concludes before we adopt legislative 
provisions that might prove either counterproductive or insufficient to 
address the underlying problems identified by the board.
    No case for urgency appears to exist that would outweigh the 
benefits of waiting until after the Board reports. The July 25th 
deadline given to the Science Committee for its consideration of H.R. 
1836 is not relevant: we are not marking up H.R. 1836 today. The bill 
that is before us, on the other hand, is not scheduled for a Full 
Committee markup until just before the August recess and will not be 
ready for Floor consideration until the fall under the best of 
circumstances.
    I have an additional concern about today's markup. The proposed 
amendment in the nature of substitute that we received just 72 hours 
ago contains numerous provisions that were not in H.R. 1085. It also 
retains provisions that are controversial to say the least. For 
example, the so-called ``enhanced demonstration project authority'' 
contained in the bill before us today was opposed by all of the 
Democratic Members of the House Government Reform committee at the 
recent markup of H.R. 1836. As they noted in their Minority View, 
``This provision would allow NASA to exempt the entire agency from most 
federal civil service laws.'' It is instructive to note that the Senate 
Governmental Affairs committee chose not to include that provision in 
the bill that it reported out on June 17th.
    I will concede that you might prevail on a party line vote today, 
as was the case in the House Government Reform markup. Yet it is also 
highly likely that such a provision ultimately will not survive a 
House-Senate conference. More to the point, I believe that party-line 
votes are a signal that more work needs to be done on legislation that 
should be non-controversial. Concern for the well being of the NASA 
workforce is not unique to one party. We all want to ensure that NASA 
has the skilled workforce that it needs to carry out its mission in the 
years ahead. And we are prepared to consider whatever legislative 
measures are needed to strengthen that workforce.
    We also need to ensure that the rights of NASA's workers are 
protected. Moreover, NASA has one of the highest percentages of work 
contracted out in the Federal Government. For better or worse, that 
level of contracting has a significant impact on the roles and 
responsibilities of the NASA civil servants. We need to understand the 
implications of that reality too, and the Gehman Board may be able to 
assist us in that task.
    Mr. Chairman, I would propose that this subcommittee defer its 
markup of this legislation until after we have had a chance to review 
what the Gehman Board has to say. Let's also take a look at what the 
Senate has done. And then let's sit down and try to come up with 
legislation that reflects a consensus of the subcommittee and the Full 
Science Committee. We are probably going to have only one chance this 
year to pass a NASA workforce bill. Let's take the time to do it right.
    Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Rohrabacher. Thank you very much, Mr. Gordon. And 
no, that was a very good opening statement. And Sherwood 
Boehlert has instructed me, as Subcommittee Chairman, to make 
sure we get this job done and move forward as soon as possible. 
And although I think your requests were very reasonable, and I, 
of course, follow the direction of my Full Committee Chairman 
and respect his judgments as well. So we will be moving 
forward, but I appreciate your concerns.
    I would ask unanimous consent to--for the authority to 
recess this subcommittee at any point. Without objection, so 
ordered. So--and let me say, I think that this may be the time 
we are going to have to recess until Chairman Boehlert blesses 
us with his presence. And he has an amendment to offer, and 
that is the most important issue of the day to get through. So 
I think that I will declare--yes. Do you want to do that? That 
is a good idea.
    Okay. We have to--this parliamentary procedure has to be 
exactly right. That is right. Wait a minute, we don't have a 
first reading of the bill yet, right? All right. We are going 
to have a short recess. So we are now in recess for five 
minutes.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman Rohrabacher. And we are called back into order, of 
course. And let us see. We will now consider bill H.R. 1085. 
And I recognize Mr. Boehlert, the bill's sponsor, and the 
Chairman, of course, of the Full Committee on Science for any 
opening remarks that he may have. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and 
thank you for the courtesy of delaying, somewhat, the opening. 
I apologize to my colleagues, but when you get in the middle of 
a conversation that is important on the telephone, you just 
can't say, ``Sorry, Dana is summoning me.'' But I cut it short, 
because I said you were summoning me.
    I am pleased to be able to take this bill up today, Mr. 
Chairman. We need to act as soon as possible to assist NASA at 
this critical time. I think it is simple and obvious that NASA 
needs to improve its ability to attract and retain the best and 
the brightest. Within five years, a quarter of the NASA 
workforce will be eligible to retire. That point has been made 
in numerous reports by the Government Accounting Office, 
including the latest report issued in January, not long before 
the loss, the tragic loss, of the Space Shuttle Columbia. So I 
don't think we can afford to wait any longer in dealing with 
this issue.
    I know that my Democratic colleagues suggested that we wait 
until Admiral Gehman reports before taking up this bill. I 
heartily disagree. Admiral Gehman's report is not likely to say 
anything specific about workforce reforms. That is hardly the 
Gehman Board's focus. If anything, Admiral Gehman will simply 
reiteratewhat we already know, that NASA needs to do more to 
attract and retain the best possible workforce. We can begin to help 
NASA do that today by approving 1085. This bill is a carefully tailored 
approach to NASA's problems. I will discuss some of the details of the 
bill when I offer my amendment.
    I just want to make two points right now. First, we just 
didn't take what NASA gave us. Quite frankly, we don't just 
take what any agency gives us. We have great respect for the 
agencies. We value their input, but we exercise some judgment 
on this committee. We rejected some ideas immediately, such as 
creating an industry exchange program and allowing 
demonstration projects to become permanent automatically. We 
altered the language of NASA's proposals to make sure they 
accomplish their stated purpose and no more. And we added 
significant reporting requirements without saddling the agency 
with anything onerous or pointless.
    Second, the authorities that we provide NASA in this bill 
are not radical departures from current law. They are 
extensions of existing authorities. For example, the bill 
allows NASA to pay higher bonuses than it can now, but it can 
already pay bonuses. In short, H.R. 1085 is a moderate, 
targeted, careful approach to enable NASA to overcome one of 
its fundamental pressing problems. In the next few months, this 
committee is going to spend a lot of time figuring out how to 
address a range of issues at NASA. Here is something we know 
how to do and we know how to do it now. It is time to act.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. All right. It is the Chairman's 
intention that we try to get this job done in the next 15 
minutes so we can just----
    Chairman Boehlert. You tell me if you think it is doable or 
not, but I would ask unanimous consent to put in the record my 
letter to Mr. Gordon about his request for delay. And I want to 
stress this. This committee has not suddenly changed its modus 
operandi. We have continually, throughout my chairmanship, 
worked across the center aisle on a bipartisan basis. We 
continue to keep the Minority Staff advised of what we are 
doing as we proceed. We don't just one day walk in and say, 
``Now, here is what we are going to do, we have decided, 
because we are in the Majority.'' That is not the way this 
committee operates. And it is not going to operate any 
differently in the future.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. And you keep the Chairman of the 
Subcommittee informed as well.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, because the Chairman is a very 
important part of the leadership structure on this committee, 
as are the Ranking Members, I might add.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Okay.
    Chairman Boehlert. This is not a solo act.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Okay. Without your--without 
objection, your letter will be placed in the record.
    [The information follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Rohrabacher. And all Members with opening remarks 
may place them into the record at this point and--or at any 
point in the future.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Feeney follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Representative Tom Feeney
    I commend Chairman Boehlert and Chairman Rohrabacher for resolutely 
focusing on this issue and crafting a workable and needed solution.
    NASA possesses an aging skilled workforce and a threatened loss of 
significant skills and knowledge. Four challenges must be faced: (1) 
retaining key personnel, (2) shaping a workforce responding to 
spaceflight's demanding and unique needs, (3) preserving and 
transferring institutional memory, and (4) recruiting new and energetic 
talent.
    After careful study and patient negotiation, Chairman Boehlert and 
Committee staff have constructed a package of personnel management 
tools that can and should be used to assemble this required human 
capital. The time to act is now, not later. Delay and endless analysis 
are unacceptable options. Let's move forward.

    [The prepared statement of Ms. Johnson follows:]
       Prepared Statement of Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
    First, I would like to thank the Chair and Ranking Member for 
calling us together today to mark up this very important legislation.
    The space exploration research program has been one of the most 
successful research programs in the history of this country. The Space 
Shuttle Program has yielded many lifesaving medical tests, 
accessibility advances for the physically challenged, and products that 
make our lives more safe and enjoyable.
    Unfortunately the world has new evidence of the dangers associated 
with space exploration. Human space exploration is inherently risky. 
Distance, speed and an environment that cannot support human life 
combine to make human space flights particularly precarious.
    I pledge to do what I can to help our space program recover from 
this terrible setback so these important endeavors can flourish in the 
future. As a Senior Member of the Science Committee and the Ranking 
Member of the Science Subcommittee on Basic Research, I will work 
closely with my House colleagues to assist NASA and Harold Gehman, Jr., 
who will lead the special investigative commission.
    I am a firm believer that the United States will continue our space 
program that has accomplished so much in the areas of research and 
science. With two Americans and a Russian still stationed at the 
International Space Station, it is imperative that this program not 
come to a halt.

    Chairman Rohrabacher. And the bill is open for discussion.
    Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. I don't mean to belabor this, but since Mr. 
Boehlert just came in, let me just quickly say that I think 
there was a good faith effort to try to move this bill. I am 
concerned that it has taken a different direction along the 
way. Although we had been given notification, we didn't get 
this bill until last night, so it is a little hard to be a 
partner when we don't get it until last night. And the previous 
one, we didn't get it until 72 hours before. And----
    Chairman Boehlert. Would you yield just for one second?
    Mr. Gordon. Yes, sir. Certainly.
    Chairman Boehlert. I would like to point out that every 
step of the way you have had information exchanges. The final 
language, which is--should come as no surprise to anyone, was 
just put together yesterday, so you got it as I did, too. But I 
want to stress, Mr. Gordon, and I hope you will appreciate 
this, that we have worked Staff to Staff every step of the way. 
And we have high regard for your Professional Staff, and I know 
that regard, I think,is mutual. And this is a committee where 
we work across the center aisle.
    Mr. Gordon. Well, thank you, sir. And I also--let me 
compliment you on not including the industry exchange program. 
I think that was a wise decision. But I--and I did receive your 
letter concerning Admiral Gehman. It is one of the situations 
where I guess we heard things differently, and I will have my 
response to that as part of the record with unanimous consent.
    And I also remind you that yesterday Admiral Gehman was 
quoted in the New York Post [sic, Washington Post] as saying 
that a ``goodly portion of the report, perhaps half,'' will 
deal with issues of management of NASA. Now in all fairness, 
clearly all of that wasn't going to deal with this issue at 
point, but it would certainly seem that there would be 
something to be learned from this. Particularly this is a 
management-oriented board, so I don't think that there would be 
any type of bad surprises for NASA. And as I had pointed out 
earlier, just--we are only going to have a chance to do this 
once, so we ought to do it right, and it just doesn't seem 
reasonable not to wait 24--or one month until we get this 
information from Admiral Gehman.
    And I would also point out that in the Senate, there was a 
bipartisan bill that passed 10 to 1 that worked out some of 
these other problems, as I had mentioned in my earlier 
statement, which I won't reiterate right now.
    But thank you, and in an effort to move forward, I will 
leave it at that.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. All right. So I ask for unanimous 
consent that the bill is considered--let me just say, as far as 
I am concerned, this is a good bill. It is needed. There is an 
honest disagreement on timing here. Sherry wants to get on with 
the job and get it done. And Mr. Gordon has made some points 
that I think are very reasonable points on the other side that 
we should wait until after the Gehman Report. But as I say, I 
respect the Chairman's leadership and his decision to make sure 
that we move forward and try to get the job done. So with that, 
I ask unanimous consent that this bill is considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point and that amendments proceed 
in order of the roster. And without objection, so ordered.
    [Note: H.R. 1085 is located in the Appendix.]
    Chairman Rohrabacher. The first amendment on the roster is 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. 
Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent that the amendment in the 
nature of a substitute be treated as original text. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Boehlert, you--are you ready to proceed with your 
amendment?
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I will make 
this brief, and I will submit the full statement for the 
record, in its entirety, but just a couple of opening comments.
    This amendment reflects extensive negotiations with NASA 
and, as Mr. Gordon so rightly observed, they wanted some things 
that we didn't agree to, and we rejected them, and extensive 
negotiations with the Government Reform Committee, and with the 
unions that represent NASA employees. They must be considered. 
They have a point of view. And we listened, and I am glad we 
did. These have been productive negotiations. This version of 
the bill is endorsed enthusiastically by the International 
Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, the largest 
union at NASA. Labor and management have to work together to 
have success, and we are.
    NASA, too, supports passage today, and we know of no 
concerns on the part of Chairman Davis from the Government 
Reform Committee. This version of the bill is also closer to 
the bill reported out of the Senate Government Affairs 
Committee on a bipartisan basis, so I am hopeful we will be 
able to get this bill to the President's desk early this fall. 
And let me point out that if we report this out, as I 
anticipate we will, in the Subcommittee, we will know more from 
Admiral Gehman and his people before the Full Committee acts. 
But I don't think this is a time for delay. I think we must 
move forward.
    [Note: The amendment is located in the Appendix.]
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
    Is there any further discussion? If no, then thus all in 
favor, I would say, all in favor, say aye. All those opposed, 
say no. The ayes seem to have it. And the amendment is agreed 
to.
    Let us see. The next amendment to the roster was supposed 
to be my amendment. And I have reached agreement with Chairman 
Boehlert to defer my--offering my amendment until the bill goes 
to Full Committee for consideration. And I have been assured 
that my amendment will be acceptable to, at least to offer at 
that time, and perhaps we can work out some of our minor 
differences that we have with the concept.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Chairman, if I may.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Certainly.
    Chairman Boehlert. And I would point out that the amendment 
you are referring to is scholarship for service, and that is an 
enlightened approach to a problem that has to be addressed. And 
I very much look forward to working with you to make sure we 
target it specifically, as is needed, to accomplish what we 
hope to accomplish. So there is no disagreement in principle. 
We are both enamored with the concept of scholarship for 
service to help these youngsters pay for their college 
education in return for a commitment to serve in the agency, 
and so I am confident we can work this out.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. Right. And there is a commitment on 
both sides of the aisle and from both Chairmen to make sure 
that gets done.
    Are there any--and so I am withdrawing my amendment.
    Are there any further amendments? Hearing none, the 
question is on the bill, H.R. 1085, the NASA Flexibility Act of 
2003, as amended. All those in favor, say aye. All those 
opposed, say no. In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes have it.
    I will now recognize Mr. Boehlert to offer a motion.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Chairman, I move that the 
Subcommittee favorably report H.R. 1085, as amended, to the 
Full Committee. Furthermore, I ask unanimous consent that the 
Staff be instructed to make all necessary technical and 
conforming changes to the bill, as--well, to the bill, in 
accordance with the recommendations of the Subcommittee.
    Chairman Rohrabacher. The Chair notes the presence of a 
quorum. The question is on the motion to report the bill 
favorably to Full Committee. Those in favor for the motion, 
signify by saying aye. Those opposed. The ayes appear to have 
it. The bill is favorably reported. Without objection, the 
motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
    Thank you very much.
    And this concludes our Committee markup. And without any 
objection, we will declare this committee adjourned. So I do 
declare this committee meeting adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:25 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
                                Appendix

                              ----------                              


Roster, Amendment, H.R. 1085, Section-By-Section Analysis, and Summary 
                              of H.R. 1085






108th CONGRESS
    1st Session

                                H. R. 1085

To make certain workforce authorities available to the National 
    Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.
                               __________
                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                             March 5, 2003
Mr. Boehlert introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
    Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committee on 
    Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by 
    the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as 
    fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
                               __________

                                 A BILL

To make certain workforce authorities available to the National 
    Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``NASA Flexibility Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN EXCEPTED PERSONNEL.

    (a) In General.--Subparagraph (A) of section 203(c)(2) of the 
National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2473(c)(2)(A)) is 
amended by striking ``the highest rate of grade 18 of the General 
Schedule of the Classification Act of 1949, as amended,'' and inserting 
``the rate of basic pay payable for level III of the Executive 
Schedule,''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section shall take 
effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning on or after 
the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. WORKFORCE AUTHORITIES.

    The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (42 U.S.C. 2451 and 
following) is amended by adding at the end the following:

                    ``TITLE V--WORKFORCE AUTHORITIES

                             ``definitions
    ``Sec. 501. For purposes of this title----
            ``(1) the term `employee' means an individual employed in 
        or under the Administration;
            ``(2) the term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
        --
                    ``(A) the Committee on Science and the Committee on 
                Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and
                    ``(B) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation and the Committee on Appropriations of 
                the Senate;
            ``(3) the term `critical need' means a specific and 
        important requirement of the Administration's mission that the 
        Administration is unable to fulfill because the Administration 
        lacks the appropriate employees either because of the inability 
        to fill positions or because employees do not possess the 
        requisite skills;
            ``(4) the term `Workforce Plan' means the plan required 
        under section 502(a); and
            ``(5) the term `redesignation bonus' means a bonus under 
        section 504 paid to an individual described in subsection 
        (a)(2) thereof.
          ``planning, notification, and reporting requirements
    ``Sec. 502. (a) Not later than 90 days before first exercising any 
of the workforce authorities made available by this title, the 
Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a 
written plan, which shall include a description of----
            ``(1) each critical need of the Administration and the 
        criteria used in its identification;
            ``(2) the functions, approximate number, and classes or 
        other categories of positions or employees that address 
        critical needs and that would be eligible for each authority 
        proposed to be exercised under section 503, and how the 
        exercise of those authorities with respect to the eligible 
        positions or employees involved would address each critical 
        need identified under paragraph (1);
            ``(3) any critical need identified under paragraph (1) 
        which would not be addressed by the authorities made available 
        by section 503, and the reasons why those needs would not be so 
        addressed;
            ``(4) the specific criteria to be used in determining which 
        individuals may receive the benefits described in sections 504, 
        505, and 506 (including, in the case of sections 504 and 505, 
        the criteria for granting bonuses in the absence of a critical 
        need), and how the level of those benefits will be determined;
            ``(5) the safeguards or other measures that will be applied 
        to ensure that this title is carried out in a manner consistent 
        with merit system principles;
            ``(6) the means by which employees will be afforded the 
        notification required under subsection (b) and the third 
        sentence of subsection (c)(1), respectively; and
            ``(7) the methods that will be used to determine if the 
        authorities exercised under section 503 have successfully 
        addressed each critical need identified under paragraph (1).
    ``(b) Not later than 60 days before first exercising any of the 
workforce authorities made available by this title, the Administrator 
shall provide to all employees the Workforce Plan, along with any 
additional information which the Administrator considers appropriate.
    ``(c)(1) The Administrator may from time to time modify the 
Workforce Plan. Not later than 90 days before implementing any such 
modifications, the Administrator shall submit a description of the 
proposed modifications to the appropriate committees of Congress. Not 
later than 60 days before implementing any such modifications, the 
Administrator shall provide an appropriately modified plan to all 
employees of the Administration.
    ``(2) Any reference in this title or any other provision of law to 
the Workforce Plan shall be considered to include any modification made 
in accordance with this subsection.
    ``(d) None of the workforce authorities made available by section 
503 may be exercised in a manner inconsistent with the Workforce Plan.
    ``(e) Not later than 6 years after the date of enactment of this 
title, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees of 
Congress an evaluation and analysis of the actions taken by the 
Administration under this title, including----
            ``(1) an evaluation, using the methods described in 
        subsection (a)(7), of whether the authorities exercised under 
        section 503 successfully addressed each critical need 
        identified under subsection (a)(1);
            ``(2) to the extent that they did not, an explanation of 
        the reasons why any critical need (apart from the ones under 
        subsection (a)(3)) was not successfully addressed; and
            ``(3) recommendations for how the Administration could 
        address any remaining critical need and could prevent those 
        that have been addressed from recurring.
    ``(f) Whenever the Administration submits its performance plan 
under section 1115 of title 31, United States Code, to the Office of 
Management and Budget for any year, the Administration shall at the 
same time submit a copy of such plan to the appropriate committees of 
Congress.
                        ``workforce authorities
    ``Sec. 503. (a) The workforce authorities made available by this 
title are as follows:
            ``(1) The authority to pay recruitment, redesignation, and 
        relocation bonuses, as provided by section 504.
            ``(2) The authority to pay retention bonuses, as provided 
        by section 505.
            ``(3) The authority to apply subchapter II of chapter 35 of 
        title 5, United States Code (relating to voluntary separation 
        incentive payments), as added by section 1313(a)(1)(A) of the 
        Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296), in 
        accordance with section 506.
            ``(4) The authority to make term appointments and to take 
        related personnel actions, as provided by section 507.
            ``(5) The authority to fix rates of basic pay for critical 
        positions, as provided by section 508.
            ``(6) The authority to extend intergovernmental personnel 
        act assignments, as provided by section 509.
    ``(b) No authority under this title may be exercised with respect 
to any officer who is appointed by the President, by and with the 
advice and consent of the Senate.
    ``(c) Unless specifically stated otherwise, all authorities 
provided under this title are subject to section 5307 of title 5, 
United States Code. For purposes of applying such section 5307, cash 
payments made under authority of this title shall be treated in the 
same way as if they had instead been made under the corresponding 
provisions of such title 5 (if any).
          ``recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses
    ``Sec. 504. (a) Notwithstanding section 5753 of title 5, United 
States Code, the Administrator may pay a bonus to an individual, in 
accordance with the Workforce Plan and subject to the limitations in 
this section, if the Administrator determines that the Administration 
would be likely, in the absence of a bonus, to encounter difficulty in 
filling a position, and if the individual----
            ``(1) is newly appointed as an employee of the Federal 
        Government;
            ``(2) is currently employed by the Federal Government and 
        is newly appointed to another position in the same geographic 
        area; or
            ``(3) is currently employed by the Federal Government and 
        must relocate to a different geographic area to accept a 
        position with the Administration.
    ``(b) If the position is described as addressing a critical need in 
the Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2), the amount of a bonus 
may not exceed----
            ``(1) 50 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a of 
        title 5, United States Code) as of the beginning of the service 
        period multiplied by the service period specified pursuant to 
        subsection (d)(1)(A); or
            ``(2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic 
        pay (including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a 
        of title 5, United States Code) as of the beginning of the 
        service period.
    ``(c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical 
need in the Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2), the amount of 
a bonus may not exceed----
            ``(1) 25 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
        (including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a of 
        title 5, United States Code) as of the beginning of the service 
        period multiplied by the service period specified pursuant to 
        subsection (d)(1)(A); or
            ``(2) 100 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic 
        pay (including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a 
        of title 5, United States Code) as of the beginning of the 
        service period.
    ``(d)(1) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent 
upon the individual entering into a service agreement with the 
Administration. The service agreement shall, at a minimum, set forth--
--
            ``(A) the required service period;
            ``(B) the method of payment, including a payment schedule; 
        the method of payment may include a lump-sum payment, 
        installment payments, or a combination thereof;
            ``(C) the amount of the bonus and the basis for calculating 
        such amount; and
            ``(D) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been 
        completed, and the effect of the termination.
    ``(2) For purposes of determinations under subsections (b)(1) and 
(c)(1), the employee's service period shall be expressed as the number 
equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, rounding the 
fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth part of a year. The 
service period may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 
years.
    ``(3) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be part 
of the basic pay of an employee.
    ``(e) Before paying a bonus under this section, the Administration 
shall establish a plan for paying recruitment, redesignation, and 
relocation bonuses, subject to approval by the Office of Personnel 
Management.
    ``(f) The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress, not later than February 28 of each year, a summary of all 
bonuses paid under subsections (b) and (c) during the previous calendar 
year. Such summary shall include the number of bonuses paid, the total 
amount of bonuses paid, and the average percentage used in calculating 
the total average bonus amount, under each such subsection.
                          ``retention bonuses
    ``Sec. 505. (a) Notwithstanding section 5754 of title 5, United 
States Code, the Administrator may pay a bonus to an employee, in 
accordance with the Workforce Plan and subject to the limitations in 
this section, if the Administrator determines that----
            ``(1) the unusually high or unique qualifications of the 
        employee or a special need of the Administration for the 
        employee's services makes it essential to retain the employee; 
        and
            ``(2) the employee would be likely to leave in the absence 
        of a retention bonus.
    ``(b) If the position is described as addressing a critical need in 
the Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2), the amount of a bonus 
may not exceed 50 percent of the employee's annual rate of basic pay 
(including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a of title 5, 
United States Code).
    ``(c) If the position is not described as addressing a critical 
need in the Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2), the amount of 
a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of the employee's annual rate of 
basic pay (including comparability payments under sections 5304-5304a 
of title 5, United States Code).
    ``(d)(1) Payment of a bonus under this section shall be contingent 
upon the employee entering into a service agreement with the 
Administration. The service agreement shall, at a minimum, set forth--
--
            ``(A) the required service period;
            ``(B) the method of payment, including a payment schedule; 
        the method of payment may include a lump-sum payment, 
        installment payments, or a combination thereof;
            ``(C) the amount of the bonus and the basis for calculating 
        such amount; and
            ``(D) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
        terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been 
        completed, and the effect of the termination.
    ``(2) The employee's service period shall be expressed as the 
number equal to the full years and twelfth parts thereof, rounding the 
fractional part of a month to the nearest twelfth part of a year. The 
service period may not be less than 6 months and may not exceed 4 
years.
    ``(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a service agreement is not 
required if the Administration pays a bonus in biweekly installments 
and sets the installment payment at the full bonus percentage rate 
established for the employee with no portion of the bonus deferred. In 
this case, the Administration shall inform the employee in writing of 
any decision to change the retention bonus payments. The employee shall 
continue to accrue entitlement to the retention bonus through the end 
of the pay period in which such written notice is provided.
    ``(e) A bonus under this section may not be considered to be part 
of the basic pay of an employee.
    ``(f) An employee is not entitled to a retention bonus under this 
section during a service period previously established for that 
employee under section 5753 of title 5, United States Code, or under 
section 504.
    ``(g) Before paying a bonus under this section, the Administration 
shall establish a plan for paying retention bonuses, subject to 
approval by the Office of Personnel Management.
    ``(h) The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress, not later than February 28 of each year, a summary of all 
bonuses paid under subsections (b) and (c) during the previous calendar 
year. Such summary shall include the number of bonuses paid, the total 
amount of bonuses paid, and the average percentage used in calculating 
the total average bonus amount, under each such subsection.
               ``voluntary separation incentive payments
    ``Sec. 506. (a) In applying subchapter II of chapter 35 of title 5, 
United States Code, the Administrator may provide for voluntary 
separation incentive payments in excess of the dollar-amount limitation 
that would otherwise apply under section 3523(b)(3)(B) of such title, 
subject to subsection (b).
    ``(b) Voluntary separation incentive payments described in 
subsection (a)----
            ``(1) may not exceed 50 percent of the annual rate of basic 
        pay of the employee receiving such payments (computed 
        disregarding any comparability payments under sections 5304-
        5304a of title 5, United States Code);
            ``(2) may not, in any calendar year, be made to more than--
        --
                    ``(A) 10 employees; or
                    ``(B) such greater number of employees as the 
                Administrator may, with the approval of the Office of 
                Management and Budget, establish in lieu of the number 
                specified in subparagraph (A) following notification to 
                the appropriate committees of Congress;
            ``(3) may not be made to an employee if the employee has 
        within the last 12 months received, or if the employee is then 
        receiving, a bonus or allowance under section 5753 or 5754 of 
        title 5, United States Code, or under section 504 or 505; and
            ``(4) may be made only if the position in which the 
        employee is serving addresses a critical need identified in the 
        Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2).
    ``(c)(1) The proposed use of workforce authorities in this section 
shall be included in the plan required by section 3522 of title 5, 
United States Code.
    ``(2) Whenever the Office of Personnel Management approves the 
Administration's plan required in such section 3522, the Administration 
shall submit a copy of theapproved plan to the appropriate committees 
of Congress within 15 days after the date on which it is so approved.
                          ``term appointments
    ``Sec. 507. (a) The Administrator may authorize term appointments 
within the Administration made under authority of subchapter I of 
chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, for a period of not less 
than 1 year and not more than 6 years.
    ``(b) Notwithstanding chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, or 
any other provision of law relating to the examination, certification, 
and appointment of individuals in the competitive service, the 
Administrator may convert an employee serving under a term appointment 
to a permanent appointment in the competitive service within the 
Administration without further competition if----
            ``(1) such individual was appointed under open, competitive 
        examination pursuant to provisions of subchapter I of chapter 
        33 of title 5, United States Code, to the term position;
            ``(2) the announcement for the term appointment from which 
        the conversion is made stated that there was potential for 
        subsequent conversion to a career-conditional or career 
        appointment;
            ``(3) the employee has completed at least 2 years of 
        current continuous service under a term appointment in the 
        competitive service;
            ``(4) the employee's performance under such term 
        appointment was at least fully successful or equivalent; and
            ``(5) the position to which such employee is being 
        converted under this section is in the same occupational 
        series, is in the same geographic location, and provides no 
        greater promotion potential than the term position for which 
        the competitive examination was conducted.
    ``(c) Notwithstanding chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, or 
any other provision of law relating to the examination, certification, 
and appointment of individuals in the competitive service, the 
Administrator may convert an employee serving under a term appointment 
to a permanent appointment in the competitive service within the 
Administration through internal competitive promotion procedures if the 
conditions under paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (b) are met.
    ``(d) An employee converted under this section becomes a career-
conditional employee, unless the employee has otherwise completed the 
service requirements for career tenure.
    ``(e) An employee converted to career or career-conditional 
employment under this section acquires competitive status upon 
conversion.
    ``(f) Not later than February 28 of each year, the Administrator 
shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress----
            ``(1) the total number of term appointments converted 
        during the previous calendar year; and
            ``(2) of that total number, the number of conversions that 
        were made to address a critical need described in the Workforce 
        Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2).
                 ``pay authority for critical positions
    ``Sec. 508. (a) For the purpose of this section, the term 
`position' means----
            ``(1) a position to which chapter 51 of title 5, United 
        States Code, applies, including a position in the Senior 
        Executive Service;
            ``(2) a position under the Executive Schedule under 
        sections 5312-5317 of title 5, United States Code;
            ``(3) a position established under section 3104 of title 5, 
        United States Code; or
            ``(4) a senior-level position to which section 5376(a)(1) 
        of title 5, United States Code, applies.
    ``(b) Authority under this section----
            ``(1) may be exercised only with respect to a position 
        which is described as addressing a critical need in the 
        Workforce Plan pursuant to section 502(a)(2), and which 
        requires expertise of an extremely high level in a scientific, 
        technical, professional, or administrative field;
            ``(2) may be exercised only to the extent necessary to 
        recruit or retain an individual exceptionally well qualified 
        for the position; and
            ``(3) may be exercised only in retaining employees of the 
        Administration or in appointing individuals who were not 
        employees of another Federal agency as defined by section 
        5102(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code.
    ``(c)(1) Notwithstanding section 5377 of title 5, United States 
Code, the Administrator may fix the rate of basic pay for a position in 
the Administration in accordance with this section. The Administrator 
may not delegate this authority.
    ``(2) The number of positions with pay fixed under this section may 
not exceed 10 at any time.
    ``(d)(1) The rate of basic pay fixed under this section may not be 
less than the rate of basic pay (including any comparability payments) 
which would otherwise be payable for the position involved if this 
section had never been enacted.
    ``(2) The annual rate of basic pay fixed under this section may not 
exceed the per annum rate of salary payable under section 104 of title 
3, United States Code.
    ``(3) Notwithstanding any provision of section 5307 of title 5, 
United States Code, in the case of an employee who, during any calendar 
year, is receiving pay at a rate fixed under this section, no 
allowance, differential, bonus, award, or similar cash payment may be 
paid to such employee if, or to the extent that, when added to basic 
pay paid or payable to such employee (for service performed in such 
calendar year as an employee in the executive branch or as an employee 
outside the executive branch to whom chapter 51 of such title 5 
applies), such payment would cause the total to exceed the per annum 
rate of salary which, as of the end of such calendar year, is payable 
under section 104 of title 3, United States Code.
    ``(e) The Administrator shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress, not later than February 28 of each year, the number of 
critical pay positions that were established and the number of critical 
pay positions that were disestablished during the previous calendar 
year.
   ``assignments under the intergovernmental personnel act mobility 
                                program
    ``Sec. 509. For purposes of applying the third sentence of section 
3372(a) of title 5, United States Code (relating to the authority of 
the head of a Federal agency to extend the period of an employee's 
assignment to or from a State or local government, institution of 
higher education, or other organization), the Administrator may, with 
the concurrence of the employee and the government or organization 
concerned, take any action which would be allowable if such sentence 
had been amended by striking `two' and inserting `four'.
               ``enhanced demonstration project authority
    ``Sec. 510. When conducting a demonstration project at the 
Administration, section 4703(d)(1)(A) of title 5, United States Code, 
may be applied by substituting `such numbers of individuals as 
determined by the Administrator' for `not more than 5,000 individuals'.
                             ``termination
    ``Sec. 511. The workforce authorities under section 503 shall 
terminate as of October 1, 2009, except that nothing in this section 
shall----
            ``(1) affect any bonus payment under sections 504 or 505 
        agreed to by the employee and the Administration before the 
        termination date;
            ``(2) prevent an employee from being allowed to complete a 
        term appointment made under section 507(a) if the appointment 
        was made before the termination date;
            ``(3) prevent the Administrator from converting any term 
        employees to career or career-conditional status under section 
        507 if the term appointment was made before the termination 
        date;
            ``(4) prevent an employee from continuing to receive a rate 
        of basic pay fixed under section 508 before the termination 
        date; or
            ``(5) prevent an employee assigned under section 3372 of 
        title 5, United States Code, from completing the extended term 
        made under section 509 if the extension was made before the 
        termination date.''.
                     Section-By-Section Analysis of
                H.R. 1085, NASA Flexibility Act of 2003

Section 1. Short Title.

    ``The NASA Flexibility Act of 2003.''

Section 2. Compensation for Certain Excepted Personnel.

    Amends section 203(c) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 
1958 to tie the pay scale for NASA Excepted (NEX) Employees to level 
III of the Executive Schedule rather than the obsolescent pay scale of 
grade 18 of the General Schedule. Directs that the amendment in this 
section takes effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning 
on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

Section 3. Workforce Authorities.

    Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to provide an 
additional title, ``Title V Workforce Authorities'' with the following 
sections included under that title.

Section 501. Definitions.

    Defines terms used in the text. Defines the term ``critical need'' 
as a specific and important requirement of NASA's mission that the 
agency is unable to fulfill because NASA lacks the appropriate 
employees either because of the inability to fill positions or because 
employees lack the requisite skills. Defines the term ``redesignation 
bonus'' as a bonus which could be paid to an employee moving from one 
government job to another, including within NASA, without relocating to 
a different geographic region.

Section 502. Planning, Notification, and Reporting Requirements.

    Requires the NASA Administrator to submit a Workforce Plan to 
Congress not later than 90 days before exercising any of the 
authorities under this title. The Workforce Plan shall be developed in 
consultation with the Office of Personnel Management. Requires that 
this Workforce Plan describe: (1) each of NASA's critical needs and the 
criteria used in its identification; (2) the functions, approximate 
number, and classes or other categories of positions or employees that 
address critical needs and that would be eligible for each workforce 
authority provided in this title and proposed to be exercised, and how 
the exercise of those authorities with respect to the eligible 
positions or employees involved would address each critical need 
identified; (3) any critical need which would not be addressed by the 
workforce authorities provided in this title and the reasons why those 
needs would not be so addressed; (4) the specific criteria to be used 
in determining which individuals may receive the benefits described in 
sections 504, 505, and 506 (including, in the case of sections 504 and 
505, the criteria for granting bonuses in the absence of a critical 
need), and how the level of those benefits will be determined; (5) the 
safeguards or other measures that will be applied to ensure that this 
title is carried out in a manner consistent with merit system 
principles; (6) the means by which NASA employees will be afforded the 
notification required for the Workforce Plan or any modifications 
thereof; and (7) the methods that will be used to determine if the 
workforce authorities provided in this title have successfully 
addressed each critical need identified. Requires that NASA provide the 
Workforce Plan to all employees 60 days before exercising any of the 
workforce authorities provided in this title. Authorizes the NASA 
Administrator to modify the Workforce Plan, provided that not later 
than 90 days before implementing any such modifications the 
Administrator submit a description of proposed modifications to 
Congress and submit such description not later than 60 days beforehand 
to all employees. Directs that none of the workforce authorities 
provided in the title may be exercised in a manner inconsistent with 
the Workforce Plan. Requires the NASA Administrator to submit an 
evaluation and analysis of the actions taken under this title not later 
than six years after its enactment. Requires that this evaluation and 
analysis include: (1) an evaluation using the methods described in the 
Workforce Plan of whether the authorities exercised under this title 
successfully addressed each critical need identified; (2) to the extent 
that they did not, an explanation of the reasons why any critical need 
was not successfully addressed; and (3) recommendations for how the 
Administration could address any remaining critical need and could 
prevent those that have been addressed from recurring. Directs NASA to 
submit its annual performance plan to the Congress that it already 
submits to OMB under current law.

Section 503. Workforce Authorities.

    Specifies the workforce authorities provided in each of the 
following sections of this title. Prohibits all Senate-confirmed 
Presidential appointees at NASA from being eligible to benefit from the 
workforce authorities under this title.

Section 504: Recruitment, Redesignation, and Relocation Bonuses.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay recruitment, 
redesignation, and relocation bonuses to an individual in accordance 
the authority provided in this section and the Workforce Plan if the 
individual is: (1) newly appointed as an employee of the Federal 
Government; (2) currently employed by the Federal Government and is 
newly appointed to another position in the same geographic area; or (3) 
currently employed by the Federal Government and must relocate to a 
different geographic area to accept a position with the Administration. 
Authorizes recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses under the 
following formula: (1) If the position addresses a critical need, the 
amount of a bonus may not exceed 50 percent of an employee's annual 
salary (including comparability payments) multiplied by an agreed-upon 
service period; (2) If the position does not address a critical need, 
the amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of an employee's annual 
salary (including comparability payments) multiplied by an agreed-upon 
service period; and (3) In either case, the total bonus may not exceed 
the employee's annual salary (including comparability payments) at the 
beginning of the employee's period of service. Requires that payment of 
a bonus is contingent on the employee entering into a service agreement 
with NASA. Requires that the service agreement, at a minimum, 
establish: (1) the required service period; (2) the payment schedule 
and method of payment which may include a lump-sum payment, installment 
payments, or a combination thereof; (3) the amount of the bonus and the 
basis for calculating such amount; and (4) the conditions under which 
the agreement may be terminated before the agreed-upon service period 
has been completed, and the effect of the termination. Requires that an 
employee's service period may not be less than six months and may not 
exceed four years. Requires NASA to establish a plan for paying such 
bonuses, subject to OPM approval, before paying a bonus under this 
section. Directs the NASA Administrator to submit an annual report to 
Congress with specific information about the bonuses paid under this 
section for the previous calendar year not later than February 28 of 
each year.

Section 505. Retention Bonuses.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay higher retention bonuses 
than is provided under current law and in accordance with the authority 
provided in this section and the Workforce Plan if the Administrator 
determines that the unusually high or unique qualifications of the 
employee or a special need of NASA makes it essential to retain the 
employee and the employee would be likely to leave in the absence of a 
retention bonus. Authorizes retention bonuses under the following 
formula: (1) If the position addresses a critical need, the amount of a 
bonus may not exceed 50 percent of an employee's annual salary 
(including comparability payments); or (2) If the position does not 
address a critical need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 
percent of an employee's annual salary (including comparability 
payments). Requires that payment of a bonus is contingent on the 
employee entering into a service agreement with NASA unless NASA pays a 
retention bonus in biweekly installments to the employee. Requires that 
the service agreement, at a minimum, establish: (1) the required 
service period; (2) the payment schedule and method of payment which 
may include a lump-sum payment, installment payments, or a combination 
thereof; (3) the amount of the bonus and the basis for calculating such 
amount; and (4) the conditions under which the agreement may be 
terminated before the agreed-upon service period has been completed, 
and the effect of the termination. Requires that the service period may 
not be less than six months and may not exceed four years. Requires 
that an employee is not entitled to a retention bonus under this 
section during a service period when other bonuses were previously 
established for the employee. Requires NASA to establish a plan for 
paying retention bonuses, subject to OPM approval, before paying a 
retention bonus under this section. Directs the NASA Administrator to 
submit an annual report to Congress with specific information of the 
retention bonuses paid under this section for the previous calendar 
year not later than February 28 of each year.

Section 506. Voluntary Separation Incentives.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay Voluntary Separation 
Incentive (VSI) payments up to 50 percent of an employee's annual 
salary if the employee is in a position that fills a critical need. 
Requires that VSI payments under this section are limited to only 10 
employees in any calendar year, unless OMB approves a greater number of 
employees and Congress is notified. Requires that a NASA employee is 
not eligible to receive a VSI payment authorized under this section if 
the employee received certain other bonuses in the previous twelve 
months. Requires the proposed use of workforce authorities in this 
section be included in the agency's plans to OPM on the intended use 
voluntary separation incentive payments required under current law. 
Directs NASA to submit a copy of its plan on the use of incentive 
payments to Congress within 15 days after OPM's approval of the plan.

Section 507. Term Appointments.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to make term appointments within 
NASA for not less than one year and not more than six years. Authorizes 
the NASA Administrator to convert a term appointment to a permanent 
appointment in the competitive service within NASA without further 
competition if: (1) the individual was hired under the open, 
competitive examining procedures under current law; (2) the original 
announcement stated the appointment may be converted from term to 
career-conditional; (3) the individual has completed at least two years 
of the term appointment; (4) the employee's performance was at least 
fully successful or equivalent; and (5) the position is in the same 
occupational series and geographic location and provides no greater 
promotion potential than the term appointment. Authorizes the NASA 
Administrator to convert a term appointment to a permanent appointment 
in the competitive service within NASA through internal competitive 
procedures if conditions (1) through (4) above are met. Directs that an 
employee converted under this section becomes a career-conditional 
employee unless the employee has otherwise completed the service 
requirements for career tenure. Directs that an employee converted to 
career or career-conditional employment under this section acquires 
competitive status upon conversion. Directs the NASA Administrator to 
submit an annual report to Congress on the number of term appointments 
and conversions made for the previous calendar year not later than 
February 28 of each year.

Section 508. Pay Authority for Critical Positions.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to fix the salary for up to 10 
administrative, technical and professional positions described in the 
section to the salary level of the Vice-President prescribed in current 
law if the position addresses a critical need identified in the 
Workforce Plan and the position requires expertise of an extremely high 
level in scientific, technical, professional, or administrative fields. 
Directs that the NASA Administrator may not delegate this authority. 
Requires that an employee receiving pay at a rate fixed under this 
section may not be paid an allowance, differential, bonus, award, or 
similar cash payment during any calendar year that would cause the 
employee's salary total to exceed the annual rate of salary prescribed 
for the Vice-President under current law. Directs the NASA 
Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress on the number of 
critical positions established or disestablished during the previous 
calendar year not later than February 28 of each year.

Section 509. Assignments under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

    Authorizes the NASA Administrator to extend the period of an 
employee's Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment up to four 
years, rather than two years provided under current law, following an 
initial two-year assignment with the concurrence of the employee and 
the government or organization concerned.

Section 510. Enhanced Demonstration Project.

    Authorizes NASA when conducting a demonstration project to apply 
that project to ``such number of individuals determined by the 
Administrator'' rather than ``not more than 5,000 individuals'' as 
specified under current law.

Section 511. Termination.

    Directs that the workforce authorities listed under section 503 
shall terminate on October 1, 2009, except if certain specified 
conditions for salary, bonuses, or appointments made before the 
termination date are satisfied. Requires that this termination shall 
not: (1) affect any bonus payment under sections 504 or 505 agreed to 
by the employee and the Administration before the termination date; (2) 
prevent an employee from being allowed to complete a term appointment 
made under section 507 if the appointment was made before the 
termination date; (3) prevent the Administrator from converting any 
term employees to career or career-conditional status under section 507 
if the term appointment was made before the termination date; (4) 
prevent an employee from continuing to receive a salary fixed under 
section 508 before the termination date; or (5) prevent an employee 
assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act from completing the 
extended term made under section 509 if the extension was made before 
the termination date.
                 Summary of H.R. 1085, NASA Flexibility
                     Act of 2003 (Underlying Bill)

    NASA Flexibility Act of 2003--Authorizes the NASA Administrator 
certain workforce authorities greater than existing civil service 
authority that are more remunerative and flexible to implement.

    (Sec. 2) Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to 
tie the pay scale for NASA Excepted (NEX) Employees to level III of the 
Executive Schedule rather than the obsolescent pay scale of grade 18 of 
the General Schedule.

    (Sec. 3) Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to 
provide an additional title, ``Title V--Workforce Authorities'' with 
the following sections included under that title.

    (Sec. 501) Defines several terms used in the title.

    (Sec. 502) Directs the NASA Administrator to submit to Congress and 
NASA employees a Workforce Plan and any subsequent modifications 
developed in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management 
before exercising any of the authorities under this title. Directs the 
NASA Administrator to submit to Congress an evaluation of whether or 
not the authorities exercised under this bill successfully addressed 
NASA's critical needs and recommendations for how NASA could address 
any remaining critical need six years after enactment of this title. 
Directs NASA to submit its annual performance plan to the Congress that 
the agency currently submits to OMB.

    (Sec. 503) Specifies the workforce authorities and restrictions of 
this title.

    (Sec. 504) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay higher 
recruitment and relocation bonuses than provided under current law. 
Defines a new category of bonus, a redesignation bonus, which could be 
paid to an employee moving from one government job to another, 
including within NASA, without relocating to a different geographic 
region. Authorizes recruitment, redesignation, and relocation bonuses 
under the following formula: (1) If the position addresses a critical 
need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 50 percent of an employee's 
annual salary (including comparability payments) multiplied by an 
agreed-upon service period; (2) If the position does not address a 
critical need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 25 percent of an 
employee's annual salary (including comparability payments) multiplied 
by an agreed-upon service period; and (3) In either case, the total 
bonus may not exceed the employee's annual salary (including 
comparability payments) at the beginning of the employee's period of 
service. Requires that payment of a bonus is contingent on the employee 
entering into a service agreement with NASA. Requires that the service 
period may not be less than six months and may not exceed four years. 
Requires NASA to establish a plan for paying such bonuses, subject to 
OPM approval, before paying a bonus under this section. Directs the 
NASA Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress of the 
bonuses paid under this section for the previous calendar year.

    (Sec. 505) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay higher 
retention bonuses than is provided under current law if the 
Administrator determines that the unusually high or unique 
qualifications of the employee or a special need of NASA makes it 
essential to retain the employee and the employee would be likely to 
leave in the absence of a retention bonus. Authorizes retention bonuses 
under the following formula: (1) If the position addresses a critical 
need, the amount of a bonus may not exceed 50 percent of an employee's 
annual salary (including comparability payments); or (2) If the 
position does not address a critical need, the amount of a bonus may 
not exceed 25 percent of an employee's annual salary (including 
comparability payments). Requires that payment of a bonus is contingent 
on the employee entering into a service agreement with NASA unless NASA 
pays a retention bonus in biweekly installments to the employee. 
Requires that the service period may not be less than six months and 
may not exceed four years. Requires that an employee is not entitled to 
a retention bonus under this section during a service period when other 
bonuses were previously established for the employee. Requires NASA to 
establish a plan for paying retention bonuses, subject to OPM approval, 
before paying a retention bonus under this section. Directs the NASA 
Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress of the retention 
bonuses paid under this section for the previous calendar year.

    (Sec. 506) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to pay Voluntary 
Separation Incentive (VSI) payments up to 50 percent of an employee's 
annual salary if the employee is in a position that fills a critical 
need. Requires that VSI payments under this section are limited to only 
10 employees in any calendar year, unless OMB approves a greater number 
of employees and Congress is notified. Requires that a NASA employee is 
not eligible to receive a VSI payment authorized under this section if 
the employee received certain other bonuses in the previous twelve 
months. Directs NASA to submit a copy of its plan on the use of 
incentive payments to Congress within 15 days after OPM's approval of 
the plan.

    (Sec. 507) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to make term 
appointments within NASA for not less than one year and not more than 
six years. Authorizes the NASA Administrator to convert a term 
appointment to a career-conditional appointment under certain 
conditions: (1) the individual was hired under the open, competitive 
examining procedures in title 5; (2) the original announcement stated 
the appointment may be converted from term to career-conditional; (3) 
the individual has completed at least two years of the term 
appointment; (4) the employee's performance was at least fully 
successful or equivalent; and (5) the position is in the same 
occupational series and geographic location and provides no greater 
promotion potential than the term appointment. Directs the NASA 
Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress on the number of 
tern appointments and conversions made for the previous calendar year.

    (Sec. 508) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to fix the salary for 
up to 10 administrative, technical and professional positions described 
in the section to the salary level of the Vice-President if the 
position addresses a critical need identified in the Workforce Plan and 
the position requires expertise of an extremely high level in 
scientific, technical, professional, or administrative fields. Directs 
that the NASA Administrator may not delegate this authority. Directs 
the NASA Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress on the 
number of critical positions established or disestablished during the 
previous calendar year.

    (Sec. 509) Authorizes the NASA Administrator to extend the period 
of an employee's Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment up to 
four years with the concurrence of the employee and the government or 
organization concerned.

    (Sec. 510) Authorizes NASA when conducting a demonstration project 
to apply that project to ``such number of individuals determined by the 
Administrator'' rather than ``not more than 5,000 individuals'' as 
specified under current law.

    (Sec. 511) Directs that the workforce authorities listed under 
section 503 shall terminate on October 1, 2009, except if certain 
specified conditions for salary, bonuses, or appointments made before 
the termination date are satisfied.
   XXIV. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup on H.R. 1085, NASA 
                 Flexibility Act of 2003, July 22, 2003

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:20 a.m., in room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Sherwood L. 
Boehlert (chairman of the committee) presiding.
    Chairman Boehlert. The hearing will come to--the markup 
will come to order. I want to welcome everyone here for this 
morning's markup.
    Today we will be bringing to fruition much of the work the 
Committee has conducted over the past 7 months. The six bills 
we will approve will protect the environment, improve 
education, increase air passenger safety, prevent fires, enable 
buildings to better withstand earthquakes, and enable NASA to 
conduct its business more efficiently and effectively. Not bad 
for a day's work.
    I will save my comments on the NASA bill until we get to 
that item on the agenda. But let me say that the rest of these 
bills are bipartisan and they, as usual, reflect months of 
cooperative work by the Republicans' and Democrats' staffs and 
Members alike. They are all carefully crafted, well-targeted 
approaches to solving real problems. The harmful algal bill, 
for example, will help support new research on the serious 
threat to the environment and human health. I want to 
congratulate Chairman Ehlers and Mr. Udall for their work on 
this measure. I should add that my area in upstate New York has 
a particular interest in this issue.
    Harmful algal blooms are a growing problem in Oneida and 
Keuka Lakes and some of the leading experts in the country at 
the State University College of Environmental Science and 
Forestry recently rewarded a major grant to study this 
phenomenon. After working--however, NOAA took some of the 
funding away to fund other laboratory activities. After working 
with NOAA, the funding was restored. To prevent this in the 
future, I worked with Mr. Ehlers to amend the legislation to 
ensure that this game of research will not occur in the future.
    The Minority Serving Institution bill reflects months of 
work, and I want to thank Mr. Forbes and Mr. Towns for working 
so cooperatively with us to amend their original bills. I also 
wanted to thank Ms. Johnson and Senator McCain for their 
cooperative work on this. The version of the bill we have 
before us today will provide needed funding for minority 
institutions without changing the nature and mission of the 
National Science Foundation. I should add that we will, 
however, continue to work with NSF to increase its support of 
minority institutions through its ongoing programs. I know the 
Administration has objections to this bill, but I believe we 
should move forward, as the Senate did, and we can see if there 
are any ways to accommodate Administration concerns as the bill 
moves forward, but move forward it must.
    Mr. Forbes has also worked with the Committee and 
particularly with Chairman Rohrabacher on his Federal Aviation 
Administration Reauthorization bill. We are already deeply 
engaged in the staff level conference negotiations on the 
larger FAA bill, as this measure will put the Committee on 
record supporting these provisions as part of the conference. 
Today's bill has been our starting point in the negotiations.
    Chairman Smith has worked assiduously on the fire and 
earthquake bills before us today. The earthquake bill takes the 
important step of making the National Institutes of Standards 
and Technology the lead agency for this program. After over a 
decade of complaints about the way the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency has handled that role, the time has come to 
make some changes. This is especially true given that FEMA has 
been absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security. The 
bill does make clear, however, that FEMA continues to have 
responsibilities that are essential to the program. The fire 
bill creates a new program that originated in bills offered by 
Representative Camp and Senator McCain to create new standards 
for fire equipment and to require those standards to be met in 
most cases when equipment is purchased with federal money. This 
should upgrade the ability of our fire departments to provide 
for the public safety. And whenever I mention fire safety 
programs or any programs related to the emergency responders, I 
am always thankful that this Committee is graced by the 
presence of Curt Weldon, who is just a national leader of 
outstanding ability and commitment in this area.
    All of these important measures reflect a great deal of 
work, and they will do a great deal of good. I look forward to 
their passage today and to their passage on the Floor this 
fall.
    With that, the Chair now turns to the distinguished 
gentleman from the Lone Star State, Mr. Hall of Texas.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you. And I have a few opening remarks about 
the NASA bill, that I would like to make before we start 
considering amendments to the legislation.
    First, I have to say that I am disappointed that we are not 
deferring consideration of this legislation until after the 
Gehman Board has completed its report on the Space Shuttle 
Columbia accident. As the Chairman knows, the Democratic 
Members of this Committee have formally requested such a delay. 
While I know that the Chairman has said that he believes we 
shouldn't wait, the reality is that we are marking up this 
legislation just days before the start of the August recess. As 
a result, this legislation will not be going to the Floor until 
September, at the very earliest. Based on Admiral Gehman's 
statements, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board will have 
issued its report well before then.
    And I will say more about my own amendment at the 
appropriate time, but its intent is to anticipate some of the 
Gehman Board's likely findings and recommendations. I would 
prefer to have those findings and recommendations in front of 
us as we debate the amendments, but the schedule we are on 
makes that absolutely impossible. However, since this appears 
to be the only NASA legislation that would be addressed by the 
Committee during this session, I don't think we can avoid 
addressing the issues raised by the shuttle accident as we 
consider this legislation.
    Well, we have a lot to consider this morning, so I will 
conclude my remarks at this point and yield back the balance of 
my time.
    [Statement of Mr. Hall follows:]

                Opening Statement of Hon. Ralph M. Hall

    I just have a few opening remarks that I would like to make before 
we start considering amendments to this legislation. First, I have to 
say that I am disappointed that we are not deferring consideration of 
this legislation until after the Gehman Board has completed its report 
on the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. As the Chairman knows, the 
Democratic members of this Committee had formally requested such a 
delay. While I know that the Chairman has said that he believes that we 
shouldn't wait, the reality is that we are marking up this legislation 
just days before the start of the August recess. As a result, this 
legislation will not be going to the Floor until September at the 
earliest. Based on Admiral Gehman's statements, the Columbia Accident 
Investigation Board will have issued its report before then.
    Admiral Gehman has indicated that at least half of his report will 
deal with management and workforce issues. We may wind up not agreeing 
with his Board's recommendations. We may think that they go too far--or 
not far enough. Whatever we conclude, it seems to me that this 
Committee would benefit from having the Board's findings and 
recommendations available to us before we mark up NASA workforce 
legislation--especially since this bill is not going to be considered 
by the House anytime soon.
    However, assuming that the Chairman decides to proceed with the 
markup of this legislation today, I and some of my colleagues will be 
offering a number of amendments that address some key issues--and that 
we hope the Chairman will support. Those issues range from issues 
raised by the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to the current lack of 
challenging goals to motivate the NASA workforce.
    I'll say more about my own amendment at the appropriate time, but 
its intent is to anticipate some of the Gehman Board's likely findings 
and recommendations. I would prefer to have those findings and 
recommendations in front of us as we debate the amendments, but the 
schedule we are on makes that impossible. However, since this appears 
to be the only NASA legislation that will be addressed by this 
Committee during this Session, I don't think we can avoid addressing 
the issues raised by the Shuttle accident as we consider this 
legislation.
    Well, we have a lot to consider this morning, so I will conclude my 
remarks at this point and yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Hall.
    Our first order of business today is to recognize the 
newest Member of the Committee, the gentleman from Texas, Mr. 
Neugebauer. I am certain that you all will join me in welcoming 
him to the Committee. I ask unanimous consent to expand the 
ratio--I know Mr. Hall would like to say a few words about his 
colleague from Texas.
    Mr. Hall. Yeah, I am looking for the words I am about to 
say. The words escape me except that we are honored to have him 
and look forward to working with him in the future. And I ask--
I am going to object to almost any unanimous consent that you 
request, Mr. Chairman, but I am going to make a unanimous 
consent that I be allowed to speak about him a little bit later 
in the day.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection. We will allow you to 
extol his virtues for as long as you would like whenever you 
want. Thank you very much.
    I ask unanimous consent to expand the ratio of the 
Subcommittee on Research from 11 Republican Members and 9 
Democrats to 12 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    I ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from Texas, Mr. 
Neugebauer, be appointed to the Subcommittee on Research. 
Without objection, so ordered.
    Pursuant to notice, the Committee on Science is meeting 
today to consider the following measures: H.R. 1085, the NASA 
Flexibility Act of 2003, as amended; H.R. 1856, the Harmful 
Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research Amendments Act of 2003, as 
amended; H.R. 2801, the Minority Serving Institution Digital 
and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act of 2003; H.R. 2734, the 
Federal Aviation Administration Research and Development 
Reauthorization Act, as amended; H.R. 2608, the National 
Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 
2003, as amended; and H.R. 2692, the United States Fire 
Administration Authorization Act of 2003.
    We will start with H.R. 1085, the NASA Flexibility Act of 
2003. I ask unanimous consent for the authority to recess the 
Committee at any point, and without objection----
    Mr. Hall. I would object, Mr. Chairman. I do object.
    Chairman Boehlert. You do object? All in favor, say aye. 
There you--the ayes appear to have it.
    Mr. Hall. I would ask for a recorded vote, Mr. Chairman. I 
would like to be heard on it.
    Chairman Boehlert. Right to a vote. The Clerk will call the 
roll.
    Mr. Hall. Do I understand that you overrule my right to 
speak on the amendment?
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, it is my understanding from 
Counsel. What do I know about these things? I go to Counsel and 
ask for expert advice. Counsel, what do----
    Mr. Hall. You ought to ask me.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, first I will ask Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Well, we are not going to call the law or cross 
the river or anything. If you want to vote, let us go ahead and 
vote.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, we are going to have consultation. 
We are not going to be like some other infamous players in this 
drama on Capitol Hill and call each other names or anything 
else. We will try to work this out. Let us figure out what is 
going on.
    Mr. Hall. What is a fruitcake? I guess, if we get our tail 
kicked, we might as well have some fun, guys.
    Chairman Boehlert. Here is what the Chair is going to do, 
in the interest of comity. The Chair is going to recognize Mr. 
Hall for 3 minutes, and then we will have a vote.
    Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, the reason that I object to it is 
that we are going to have a hard day, and we have some 
differences. We have not been able to get together on a lot of 
these things--we don't believe that we really ought to be 
proceeding as we are, as I stated in my opening remarks. But I 
remember a time here not too long ago when we had the Honda 
amendment up, for example. You had asked for approval and 
unanimous consent earlier, and we had agreed to it, and you had 
the authority. I don't question your authority. I don't even 
question your purpose, because you have a goal in mind. Delayed 
any hearing until you could get your forces back here in place 
to prevail in the vote, and you had the right to do that, and 
you did that. I want us today--we are going to be on course. We 
can be here until late tonight if we have to argue every issue 
at every crossroads that we come to.
    I think the Honda amendment is the reason I object to you 
having the right to recess at any time. I would just ask for a 
regular order and suggest regular order and urge the Members on 
this side and all of the reasonable Members on that side to 
vote with me.
    And I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you for the explanation.
    See how we do things in this Committee? We give the other 
side an opportunity to speak its peace, and then we proceed. 
Now the Chair will recognize Mr. Smith for a----
    Mr. Smith of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Chair 
have the authority to recess at any point.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Hall. Here I move to table then.
    Chairman Boehlert. Vote. All in favor of tabling, say aye. 
Opposed no. The nos appear to have it. The nos have it.
    Mr. Hall. I ask for a recorded vote, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert?
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no. Mr. Weldon?
    Mr. Weldon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes no. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes no. Mr. Barton?
    Mr. Barton. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert?
    Mr. Calvert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes no. Mr. Nick Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no. Mr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes no. Mr. Ehlers?
    Dr. Ehlers. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht?
    Mr. Gutknecht. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht votes no. Mr. Nethercutt?
    Mr. Nethercutt. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas?
    Mr. Lucas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes no. Mrs. Biggert?
    Mrs. Biggert. No.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes no. Mr. Gilchrest?
    Mr. Gilchrest. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin?
    Mr. Akin. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson?
    Mr. Johnson. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart?
    Ms. Hart. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart votes no. Mr. Sullivan?
    Mr. Sullivan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes?
    Mr. Forbes. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes no. Mr. Gingrey?
    Mr. Gingrey. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey votes no. Mr. Bishop?
    Mr. Bishop. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop votes no. Mr. Burgess?
    Mr. Burgess. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes no. Mr. Bonner?
    Mr. Bonner. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner votes no. Mr. Feeney?
    Mr. Feeney. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes no. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes no. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes yes. Mr. Gordon?
    Mr. Gordon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes yes. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes yes. Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey votes yes. Mr. Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes yes. Mr. Larson?
    Mr. Larson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Larson votes yes. Mr. Udall?
    Mr. Udall. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes yes. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda?
    Mr. Honda. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda votes yes. Mr. Bell?
    Mr. Bell. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes yes. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes yes. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes yes. Ms. Lofgren?
    Ms. Lofgren. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman?
    Mr. Sherman. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes yes. Mr. Moore?
    Mr. Moore. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes yes. Mr. Weiner?
    Mr. Weiner. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes yes. Mr. Cardoza?
    Mr. Cardoza. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Cardoza votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Nethercutt recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt is not recorded.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Akin recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin is not recorded.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Dr. Ehlers recorded?
    The Clerk. Dr. Ehlers is not recorded.
    Dr. Ehlers. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How are the staff--no, no. The Clerk 
will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes, 16; no, 21.
    Chairman Boehlert. The question is now on Mr. Smith's 
motion to grant the Chair authority to recess at any time. All 
in favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it. The ayes have 
it.
    We will now consider the bill H.R. 1085, the NASA 
Reauthorization--the NASA Flexibility Act of 2003 as amended. I 
am going to open by repeating what I said about this bill at 
our Subcommittee markup, because everything I said then is just 
as true today, especially my primary point: we need to act as 
soon as possible to assist NASA at this critical time. I think 
it is simple and obvious that NASA needs to improve its ability 
to attract and retain the best and the brightest. Within 5 
years, 1/4 of the NASA workforce will be eligible to retire. 
That point has been made in numerous reports by the Government 
Accounting Office, including the latest report issued in 
January, not long before the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle 
Columbia. So I don't think we can afford to wait any longer in 
dealing with this issue.
    I know that some of my colleagues will suggest that we wait 
until Admiral Gehman reports before taking up this bill. I 
strongly disagree. Admiral Gehman's report is not likely to say 
anything specific about workforce reform. That is hardly the 
Gehman Board's focus. And let me point out, Mr. Hall and I have 
had lengthy conversations with Admiral Gehman and the Board 
Members. If anything, Admiral Gehman will simply reiterate what 
we already know, that NASA needs to do more to attract and 
retain the best possible workforce. We can begin to help NASA 
do that today by approving H.R. 1085. And I should add that if 
we are wrong, we will have a chance to amend the bill further 
on the Floor once the Gehman Report is released.
    This bill is a carefully tailored approach to NASA's 
problems. We didn't just take what NASA gave us. We rejected 
some ideas immediately out of hand, such as creating an 
industry exchange program and allowing demonstration projects 
to become permanent automatically. We altered the language of 
NASA's proposals to make sure that they accomplished their 
stated purpose and no more. And we added significant reporting 
requirements, without saddling the agency with anything onerous 
or pointless.
    Also, the authorities that we provide NASA in this bill are 
not radical departures from current law. They are extensions of 
existing authorities. For example, the bill allows NASA to pay 
higher bonuses than it can now, but it can already pay bonuses. 
In short, H.R. 1085 is a moderate, targeted, careful approach 
to enable NASA to overcome one of its fundamental pressing 
problems. In the next few months, this Committee is going to 
spend a lot of time figuring out how to address a range of 
issues at NASA. Here is something we know how to do right now. 
It is time to act. Let us do it.
    I understand that we will have some difficult votes today, 
and a lot of them are going to be procedural, and they are 
going to take up a lot of time. Let me say at the outset, no 
one is going to call anybody names. No one is going to call the 
cops. No one is going to ask anybody to vacate any space. This 
is a place where we have a collegial atmosphere, and it has 
always been pleasant, and we want it to continue. We are going 
to have differences. That is the nature of a system like this. 
But the fact of the matter is we are charged with sorting out 
our differences. And we have got to keep our eye on the overall 
objective: to give NASA some much needed flexibility to do what 
we expect it to do to attract the best and the brightest to 
help it with its very important mission.
    I just want to point out that while this bill has been 
available for all to read since our June markup, we did not 
receive any Democratic amendments until 5:30 last night. And 
some of them arrived after 6:00. That is understandable on 
occasion, but I just want to put that on the record so we will 
all understand that. Nevertheless, we have gone through the 
amendments carefully, and believe we have separated the wheat 
from the chaff. So let us proceed with this bill.
    With that, I am proud and pleased to turn to my 
distinguished Ranking Member, the gentleman from Texas, Mr. 
Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I won't take a lot of 
time to answer your statements, except that we will have some 
helpful and correcting amendments as the day wears on.
    [Statement of Mr. Hall follows:]

                Opening Statement of Hon. Ralph M. Hall

    I just have a few opening remarks that I would like to make before 
we start considering amendments to this legislation. First, I have to 
say that I am disappointed that we are not deferring consideration of 
this legislation until after the Gehman Board has completed its report 
on the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. As the Chairman knows, the 
Democratic members of this Committee had formally requested such a 
delay. While I know that the Chairman has said that he believes that we 
shouldn't wait, the reality is that we are marking up this legislation 
just days before the start of the August recess. As a result, this 
legislation will not be going to the Floor until September at the 
earliest. Based on Admiral Gehman's statements, the Columbia Accident 
Investigation Board will have issued its report before then.
    Admiral Gehman has indicated that at least half of his report will 
deal with management and workforce issues. We may wind up not agreeing 
with his Board's recommendations. We may think that they go too far--or 
not far enough. Whatever we conclude, it seems to me that this 
Committee would benefit from having the Board's findings and 
recommendations available to us before we mark up NASA workforce 
legislation--especially since this bill is not going to be considered 
by the House anytime soon.
    However, assuming that the Chairman decides to proceed with the 
markup of this legislation today, I and some of my colleagues will be 
offering a number of amendments that address some key issues--and that 
we hope the Chairman will support. Those issues range from issues 
raised by the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to the current lack of 
challenging goals to motivate the NASA workforce.
    I'll say more about my own amendment at the appropriate time, but 
its intent is to anticipate some of the Gehman Board's likely findings 
and recommendations. I would prefer to have those findings and 
recommendations in front of us as we debate the amendments, but the 
schedule we are on makes that impossible. However, since this appears 
to be the only NASA legislation that will be addressed by this 
Committee during this Session, I don't think we can avoid addressing 
the issues raised by the Shuttle accident as we consider this 
legislation.
    Well, we have a lot to consider this morning, so I will conclude my 
remarks at this point and yield back the balance of my time.

    Mr. Hall. I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Okay. Without all--without objection, 
all Members may place opening statements in the record at this 
point.
    [The statements follow:]

                  Statement of Hon. Jerry F. Costello

    Good morning. Today, the House Science Committee is considering six 
bills for mark-up. Most are non-controversial and receive wide 
bipartisan support.
    However, I have strong reservations regarding H.R. 1085, the NASA 
Flexibility Act of 2003. I believe we must wait for recommendations and 
guidance from the Gehman Commission that will address management 
issues. If we are going to address the problems concerning NASA, we 
need to take into account the goals and vision of NASA and manned space 
flight. I understand that NASA needs to do more to attract and retain 
the best possible workforce; however, I believe we can assist NASA by 
waiting to hear what recommendations the Gehman Commission makes so we 
can address all the management problems affecting NASA and its 
workforce. I believe we must also continue to review NASA's existing 
workforce authority and why it is underutilized.
    Mr. Chairman, instead of rushing to complete this significant 
legislation, I believe we must take a step back and review all our 
options before moving forward on legislation that does not address the 
problem.
    Aside from H.R. 1085, I believe the other pieces of legislation 
have been considered in a bipartisan fashion and expand programs in 
numerous agencies. For example, H.R. 2692, the United States Fire 
Administration (USFA) Authorization Act of 2003, authorizes funding for 
USFA activities, such as training, fire research and public education 
over the next three years. Over the last three decades, America's fire 
safety record has significantly improved. However, there are still 
opportunities for further improvements in our fire safety record, such 
as encouraging the use of sprinkler systems in homes. H.R. 2692 will 
lead us in the right direction. As a member of the Congressional Fire 
Services Caucus, I am proud to support this legislation.
    Further, I am glad the House Science Committee is moving forward on 
the FAA Research and Development Reauthorization Act of 2003. As a 
conferee to the FAA bill for the Science Committee, I look forward to 
working with my colleagues to enhance the research and development 
programs as laid out in the legislation before this committee.
    Mr. Chairman, I want to thank the committee for all their hard work 
on these important issues and look forward to today's proceedings.
                                 ______
                                 

         Opening Statement of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

    Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your commitment to improving NASA, and 
to America's mission in space in general. I am pleased that we are 
focusing on the challenges that face NASA, and looking for creative 
strategies for rejuvenating the aging workforce. However, I associate 
myself with the remarks of Democratic Ranking Member Hall and Mr. 
Gordon on the issue of the timing of this markup. Soon we will receive 
a detailed report from Admiral Gehmen and the Columbia Accident 
Investigation Board, that will give us not only technical information 
about what brought down the shuttle, but also comprehensive 
recommendations for improving the hierarchical structure and 
communications and management at NASA--in order to improve safety.
    Instead of waiting for that report, and learning from it, so that 
we can put safety first--we are jumping the gun and putting bonuses and 
``flexibility'' above safety. I will offer an amendment later that 
addresses this safety issue and ensures that we get our priorities back 
in order.
    I wish we could have heard Admiral Gehman's recommendations before 
deciding whether to give the Administrator the option of redesigning 
the workforce. I hope we can work toward rejuvenating the NASA 
workforce in a way that will enhance safety, in a bipartisan fashion 
once the CAIB issues its report and hearings here in the Science 
Committee begin in a couple of months.
    Thank you.

    Chairman Boehlert. And in line with the previous promise of 
the majority, we recognize Mr. Gordon for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I just want to echo my--the remarks made earlier by Mr. 
Hall. As you know, I opposed the markup of this bill at the 
Subcommittee level, because I strongly believe that we should 
wait until the Columbia Accident Investigation Board has 
completed its work. As Mr. Hall has noted, Admiral Gehman has 
indicated that management and workforce issues are going to be 
a substantial part of the Board's report. I think it would be 
to the Committee's benefit for us to be able to see and assess 
the Board's findings and recommendations in this area before we 
markup a workforce legislation.
    In his May 20 letter to me, the Chairman indicated that he 
did not believe that the Board would be addressing the 
workforce incentives included in this legislation. We will have 
to wait for the Board's report to know whether or not that is 
the case or not. However, my concern is not primarily whether 
the Gehman Board has specific recommendations regarding such 
things as recruitment or retention bonuses, it is whether the 
Board uncovers some serious management and workforce issues 
that require legislative attention by this Committee. Based on 
the comments of the Board Members, it appears that they will be 
identifying such issues in this report.
    If that is the case, we need to be focusing on those issues 
in order to ensure that we truly are addressing the most 
important problems facing the NASA workforce. Otherwise we will 
have applied at most a Band-Aid that only gives limited 
assistance to that workforce. In that regard, I am reminded of 
the fact that NASA's own documentation indicates that it has 
not been making full use of its existing bonus authority, not 
because the bonus levels authorized are too low, but because 
overall budgetary problems at the centers prevent them from 
fully funding those bonuses, something this legislation does 
not fix.
    Mr. Chairman, as Mr. Hall has indicated, a number of us 
will be offering amendments to this legislation if you decide 
to proceed with the markup. I hope that you can support some. 
Since you have indicated that there will not be a NASA 
authorization bill this session of Congress, this bill 
represents our only opportunity to deal with important 
workforce-related issues that we feel strongly need attention. 
I hope that we can approach our task constructively and achieve 
an outcome that has good bipartisan support.
    And let me also say, Mr. Chairman, you mentioned that some 
of our amendments did not get to you until 5:30 or 6:00. That 
shouldn't--that is wrong. You should have gotten them before. 
But I also want to remind you that your major amendment we did 
not receive until 7:15 last night. So I think there really 
needs to be an effort on both parts, I hope that we can talk 
about--we are going to proceed on with this bill today, but we 
need to talk about our procedures to have better consultations 
so that we are in sync.
    [Statement of Mr. Gordon follows:]

                 Opening Statement of Hon. Bart Gordon

    Mr. Chairman, I want to echo the remarks made by Ranking Member 
Hall. As you know, I opposed the markup of this bill at the 
subcommittee level because I strongly believe that we should wait until 
the Columbia Accident Investigation Board has completed its work. As 
Mr. Hall has noted, Admiral Gehman has indicated that management and 
workforce issues are going to be a substantial part of the Board's 
report. I think it would be to the Committee's benefit for us to be 
able to see and assess the Board's findings and recommendations in this 
area before we mark up workforce legislation.
    In his May 20th letter to me, the Chairman indicated that he did 
not believe that the Board would be addressing the workforce incentives 
included in his legislation. We will have to wait for the Board's 
report to know whether that will be the case or not. However, my 
concern is not primarily whether the Gehman Board has specific 
recommendations regarding such things as recruitment or retention 
bonuses--it is whether the Board uncovers some serious management and 
workforce issues that require legislative attention by this Committee. 
Based on the comments of Board members, it appears that they will be 
identifying such issues in their report.
    If that is the case, we need to be focusing on those issues in 
order to ensure that we truly are addressing the most important 
problems facing the NASA workforce. Otherwise we will have applied at 
most a ``bandaid'' that only gives limited assistance to that 
workforce. In that regard, I am reminded of the fact that NASA's own 
documentation indicates that it has not been making full use of its 
existing bonus authority--not because the bonus levels authorized are 
too low, but because overall budgetary problems at the Centers prevent 
them from fully funding those bonuses--something this legislation does 
nothing to fix.
    Mr. Chairman, as Mr. Hall has indicated, a number of us will be 
offering amendments to this legislation if you decide to proceed with 
the markup. I hope that you will support them. Since you have indicated 
that there will not be a NASA Authorization bill this session of 
Congress, this bill represents our only opportunity to deal with 
important workforce-related issues that we feel strongly need 
attention. I hope that we can approach our task constructively and 
achieve an outcome that has good bipartisan support.
    Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.

    Mr. Gordon. So with that, Mr. Chairman, I thank you and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Gordon.
    Just a couple of observations. First of all, I have met a 
number of times, as has Mr. Hall and as have several Members of 
this Committee, with Admiral Gehman. And he was indicating 
repeatedly that the report is--that this bill has--is totally 
separate from what he is going to be reporting and 
recommending. He has no problem with us going forward with this 
report. Anyone who looks at the space program, anyone who looks 
at the current needs of NASA can agree that this bill should go 
forward. They need, like, ASAP, retroactively, if possible, the 
flexibility we are going to provide.
    Interestingly enough, some of the amendments that are being 
proposed, and some of them we will accept, I might add, from 
the Democrat side, but some of them that are going to be 
proposed really should be deferred until we have the benefit of 
the Gehman Committee Report. We recognize some instances where 
that should be true. And I don't want anyone to leave this room 
feeling that we are not going to reauthorize NASA in this 
Congress. We are probably not going to be able to get it 
completed this year because of the schedule, but we are going 
to do--deal with the reauthorization of NASA.
    So with that, let us go on. I ask unanimous consent that 
the substitute to H.R. 1085----
    Mr. Hall. Would the gentleman yield before you go on?
    Chairman Boehlert. I would be glad to yield to the 
distinguished gentleman.
    Mr. Hall. Why do you think it is so important to rush to 
judgment when you haven't had a reauthorization bill since you 
have been Chairman? What is the hurry? Why can't we wait for 
that report?
    Chairman Boehlert. You mean the reauthorization of this 
bill?
    Mr. Hall. Yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. Oh, no. The--this bill----
    Mr. Hall. But we have had no reauthorization bill, that I 
remember, in the last two and a half--NASA reauthorization----
    Chairman Boehlert. You are right. And----
    Mr. Hall [continuing]. For the last 2\1/2\ or maybe 3 
years.
    Chairman Boehlert. The reauthorization expires at the end 
of this year, and so then we should go forward with the 
reauthorization. We would have that completed by now had----
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, it expired last year.
    Chairman Boehlert. The point is, on February 1, 10:59--8:59 
on a sad Saturday morning, everything changed with respect to 
this Committee and the manner in which to address NASA. We had 
every intention of going forward this year early on with the 
reauthorization of NASA. That is on hold for very obvious 
reasons. But what should not be held hostage is our desire to 
give NASA the flexibility it needs to do what we expect it to 
do. And we want to give them this opportunity for things like 
bonuses, retention flexibility, recruitment flexibility. No one 
can argue with the basic premise of this bill.
    The only argument has been, the only difference of opinion 
between this side and your side, and they meld so often, and 
very effectively I might add, and good public policy results 
from that, the only real disagreement has been the timing. And 
everyone--some people keep insisting that we wait until we have 
the benefit of the Gehman Commission Report. And we are saying 
unequivocally, based upon conversations with Admiral Gehman and 
Members of the Board, that what they are proposing in their 
report is not, in any way, shape, or manner, contrary to what 
we are suggesting in this legislation. And I say let us get on 
with the job.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, we have had differences. Less than 
45 minutes ago, I was told you were going to oppose my 
amendment.
    Chairman Boehlert. Is that the amendment we got yesterday 
at 5:30, Mr.--Counsel?
    The Counsel. Yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes. Yeah, that is----
    Mr. Hall. And that you didn't answer at 7:30 last night.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, but how can we develop our 
Manager's Amendment until we have the benefit of your input? 
Because the Manager's Amendment reflects the interests of the 
entire Committee, Republican and Democrat alike. So we can't go 
forward with the Manager's Amendment until we know what all 
sides to the argument want to advance.
    Mr. Hall. We told you a long time ago we were going with my 
amendment. I think you had that knowledge, but if you didn't, I 
accept your word for that.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, we knew you were going to have an 
amendment, and we always know you are going to have an 
amendment, as you should have an amendment. You are entitled to 
have an amendment, but we didn't know the details of it. Quite 
frankly, I am enamored with some of the things you have in your 
amendment, and I am unalterably opposed to other things you 
have in your amendment.
    Let us go forward. Let us go forward. I ask unanimous 
consent that the substitute to H.R. 1085, as adopted by the 
Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics be considered as the 
original text for the purpose of the markup at Full Committee. 
Hearing no objection, so ordered.
    I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point and that the Members proceed 
with the amendments in the order of the roster. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    The bill is now open for amendment.
    The first amendment on the roster is the Manager's 
Amendment offered by me. I ask unanimous consent that the 
amendment be considered en bloc. Without objection, so ordered.
    This is our first amendment. Per our discussions with the 
majority at government reform and government affairs, the 
amendment drops the voluntary separation payment, caps the 
scholarship pay back period at 4 years, reduces the layover 
period for changes to the workforce plan to 60 days, requires 
NASA to submit reports for 6 years rather than 10, and adds the 
Senate provision requiring the workforce report to include a 
reaction to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
    The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. En Bloc Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. 
Boehlert.
    Chairman Boehlert. Now I just reversed the order. I just 
gave my statement before the amendment was offered, so the 
amendment is now offered. Do you have the statement explaining 
what it is?
    I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. And 
without objection, so ordered.
    And I just explained the amendment. Now is there further 
discussion on the amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I have some discussion on it.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair recognizes Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I had not really intended to seek a 
recorded vote, even on your amendment, but at this time, I see 
very little reason to support it. If anything, the fact that 
there have been major changes to the workforce bill just hours 
prior to both the Subcommittee markup and now this Full 
Committee markup indicates that this is still not a mature 
piece of legislation, I am sorry to say. I am told that these 
latest changes are not the result of negotiations with the 
minority on these proposed provisions. The amendment reinforces 
my opinion that we shouldn't be marking up the bill at this 
time.
    If anything, the latest en bloc amendment seems to weaken 
the oversight requirements on NASA at a time when I think we 
should be strengthening them. This is not the time to get weak 
on safety, and it is not the time to get weak on reporting. 
This is a time to upgrade that. This is a time to seek safety 
as our number one thrust in this bill or any other bill that 
emanates or passes through this Committee. And I am afraid that 
the innocuous provision that asks NASA, simply asks them to 
include a reaction to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board 
recommendations does very little to address the serious issues 
being considered by the Board. And of course, the workforce 
plan itself is essentially non-binding on NASA.
    Quite simply, the proposed provision has no teeth, and NASA 
will not be required to implement any of the Gehman Board's 
recommendations. We could do that if we had them. And we are 
just a few days away from having them. Nothing is going to 
happen for the next 3, 4, 5, or 6 weeks. Mr. Chairman, I 
reluctantly conclude that this amendment really doesn't address 
our concerns with the bill. It doesn't even start to. Actually, 
I think, you have weakened the report requirements. And I just 
don't think that is good, and I urge you to reconsider it.
    I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Just let the Chair state, without any hesitation or 
equivocation so that everyone is crystal clear, everyone in 
this Committee, every single Member, safety, safety, safety 
first and foremost. We are not, in any way, shape, or manner, 
putting that commitment in jeopardy.
    Secondly, we don't just ask NASA, we require NASA to 
respond to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. If there 
is no further discussion, the vote occurs on the amendment.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. All in favor, say----
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, as often is the case with amendments, there 
is good news and bad news. The good news--and let me concede 
this. The good news is that there are some aspects of this bill 
that--on your en bloc that do improve the bill. The bad news is 
that we did not receive this until 7:15 last night. It does 
include some portions, as Mr. Hall said, that we think harm the 
bill. But this is a product, just unilaterally, of the work of 
the majority of the Science Committee and the majority of the 
Government Reform Committee with no effort to bring even modest 
improvements with consultation from the majority. We did not 
see this until 7:15 last night.
    Again, there are good aspects to this. I think that we 
could have made it a little bit better. It is always going to 
be your bill. The vast majority of all of this will be your 
bill. We would like to have a--play a positive role, where we 
can, in trying to make it a little bit better, and we were not 
given that opportunity in this one.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much for your comments on 
a dialogue that has been in process for several months now. We 
all agree on the basic problem. We want to provide a solution. 
We are not willing to wait for that solution. We want to move 
forward, so if----
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes. Mr. Rohrabacher, the distinguished 
Chair of the Subcommittee on Space?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Yes, it is almost the--for this 
discussion, I thought I might be the extinguished rather than 
the distinguished Chairman.
    I just--I mean, I sympathize with our colleagues on the 
other side of the aisle, but just to note, we did have a 
markup, and we did have a hearing on this. And we have had 
discussion on this over the last few months, and so this 
hasn't--this issue has not been, you know, locked away. It has 
been open, and we have had action on it at the Subcommittee, so 
just to note.
    Mr. Gordon. Would my friend yield?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I certainly will.
    Mr. Gordon. I don't think anybody in this body has a better 
Subcommittee Chairman than I do. Yes, you are correct; this has 
been on the table a long time. We have talked about it. Again, 
no one could ask any more of you. But there is a difference 
between the general bill of the subject and an en bloc 
amendment that we didn't get until last night. A lot of these 
issues have not been on the table, have not been discussed. So 
where we are now is we have agreed to disagree as to the 
timing, in terms of should we wait for Gehman or not. You know, 
we have--or the Committee has decided to go forward.
    Now the question is how can we get the best bill. And that 
is what we want to try to do is be a part of helping you get 
the very best bill. And so again, we need to distinguish 
between something--the general discussion. We are past the 
general discussion. We are past whether or not we are going to 
go forward today. Now we are talking about specific matters to 
try to make the bill better.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Reclaiming my time, I can't find anything 
I disagree with my colleague about. Thank you.
    Chairman Boehlert. Can you believe that? We are getting 
along well here.
    The vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor, say aye. 
Opposed no. The ayes have it. The ayes have it, and the 
amendment is agreed to.
    Mr. Hall. I would like a recorded vote, please.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert?
    Chairman Boehlert. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes yes. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Weldon?
    Mr. Weldon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes yes. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Aye.
    The Clerk. Yes. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes. Mr. Barton?
    Mr. Barton. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert?
    Mr. Calvert. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes yes. Mr. Nick Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes yes. Mr. Ehlers?
    Dr. Ehlers. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht?
    Mr. Gutknecht. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht votes yes. Mr. Nethercutt?
    Mr. Nethercutt. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt votes yes. Mr. Lucas?
    Mr. Lucas. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes yes. Mrs. Biggert?
    Mrs. Biggert. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes yes. Mr. Gilchrest?
    Mr. Gilchrest. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin?
    Mr. Akin. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes yes. Mr. Johnson?
    Mr. Johnson. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart?
    Ms. Hart. Yes.
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart votes yes. Mr. Sullivan?
    Mr. Sullivan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes?
    Mr. Forbes. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes yes. Mr. Gingrey?
    Mr. Gingrey. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop?
    Mr. Bishop. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop votes yes. Mr. Burgess?
    Mr. Burgess. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes yes. Mr. Bonner?
    Mr. Bonner. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner votes yes. Mr. Feeney?
    Mr. Feeney. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes yes. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes yes. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes no. Mr. Gordon?
    Mr. Gordon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes no. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes no. Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey votes no. Mr. Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes no. Mr. Larson?
    Mr. Larson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Larson votes no. Mr. Udall?
    Mr. Udall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes no. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda?
    Mr. Honda. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda votes no. Mr. Bell?
    Mr. Bell. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes no. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes no. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Davis votes no. Ms. Jackson Lee?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes no. Ms. Lofgren?
    Ms. Lofgren. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman?
    Mr. Sherman. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes no. Mr. Moore?
    Mr. Moore. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes no. Mr. Weiner?
    Mr. Weiner. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes no. Mr. Cardoza?
    Mr. Cardoza. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Cardoza votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Johnson recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson is not recorded.
    Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson of Illinois votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Ehlers of Michigan recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers is not recorded.
    Dr. Ehlers. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Wu of Oregon recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Wu is not recorded.
    Mr. Wu. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Wu votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes, 22; no, 16.
    Chairman Boehlert. Okay. The amendment is agreed to.
    The next amendment on the roster is amendment number two 
offered by Ms. Jackson Lee of Texas.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. I thank the Chairman----
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Ms. Jackson 
Lee of Texas.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    Ms. Jackson Lee is recognized for 5 minutes to offer her 
amendment.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would 
like to associate myself with the words of the Ranking Member 
and the Chairman.
    First of all, the words of the Ranking Member, and let me 
thank him for his leadership. I think all of us have gone 
through this for the number of years that we have served on 
this Committee, and that is that we do wish to work across 
party lines in this Committee. And we believe that this 
Committee does extremely important work, but timing is always a 
question of relevance. And I do associate myself with the idea 
of wishing that this legislation would be delayed until we 
could get the full Gehman Report and have a full understanding 
of the complete needs of NASA as it reinvents itself in this 
very crucial time.
    Mr. Chairman, we have noted the good news is that a large 
percentage of Americans are dedicated, committed, and loyal to 
the human space shuttle program. That is great news, because I 
believe this Committee is also committed to such. And I would 
like to associate my words with the Chairman where we have 
worked across party lines in a collegiate manner in this 
Committee. And I am delighted that the Chairman would only use 
first responders for the duties that they are to--that are 
serious as opposed to duties coming into Committee rooms with 
Members of Congress. So I thank him for that.
    Saying that, I do have an amendment that deals with the 
question of safety, and I would simply like to say, as an 
opening point, that we do need to change the culture of NASA. 
Let me share with my colleagues a statement by--in the New York 
Times article dated July 17, ``Shuttle Investigator Faults NASA 
for Complacency Over Safety''. NASA managers grew so complacent 
about safety that at time inspectors were prevented from 
performing spot checks, an independent investigator said 
yesterday.
    Brigadier General Duane Deal of the Air Force, a member of 
the independent board investigating the shuttle Columbia 
disaster, told The Associated Press that the program that 
oversees shuttle inspections within the National Aeronautics 
and Space Administration would ``take a pretty big hit'' in the 
final report by the board, which is due at the end of August. 
That was a New York Times article dated July 17, and I ask 
unanimous consent to submit it into the record.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection.
    [The information follows:]

                [From the New York Times, July 17, 2003]

      Shuttle Investigator Faults NASA for Complacency Over Safety

                           (By John Schwartz)

    NASA managers grew so complacent about safety that at times 
inspectors were prevented from performing spot checks, an independent 
investigator said yesterday.
    Brig. Gen. Duane Deal of the Air Force, a member of the independent 
board investigating the shuttle Columbia disaster, told The Associated 
Press that the program that oversees shuttle inspections within the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration would ``take a pretty big 
hit'' in the final report by the board, which is due at the end of 
August.
    General Deal, who has conducted 72 private interviews with NASA 
workers as part of the investigation, called the inspection program 
poor, and said that inspectors were prevented from making spot checks 
and in one case had to buy their own magnifier when the procurement 
process dragged on for months.
    He said the decline in inspections over time suggested that some 
NASA managers were ``perhaps out of touch with the realities of manned 
spaceflight'' and its high level of risk.
    Attempts to reach General Deal yesterday through the board were not 
successful.
    But in public briefings, he and other members of the board have 
spoken extensively about the decline in inspections and the need for 
NASA to go back thinking of the shuttle as an experimental vehicle, not 
an operational craft.
    Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., the board's chairman, said at a briefing 
last week that NASA should not have the expectation that ``when the 
thing lands, that you can turn it around and get it back into the air 
again quickly.''
    In a briefing on May 28, General Deal said that the interviews were 
showing widespread dissatisfaction with the quality assurance programs 
at NASA. ``We've interviewed many, many people, from line technicians 
all the way up through management, and none of them out there agree 
that we're at the 100 percent point,'' he said. ``It's time for a 
relook.''
    During that briefing, General Deal said that the number of 
mandatory inspection points on the shuttle had dropped to around 8,500 
from more than 40,000.
    He said the board interviewers had encouraged NASA safety workers 
to talk about general issues as well as specific ones. Along with the 
questions whether they have the budget and the people to do the job 
well, he said, ``We ask what I commonly call the `King for a Day' or 
`Queen for a Day' question: `If you were in charge of all of NASA, 
what's been gnawing at you? What would you change if we gave you the 
right budget?' ''
    The board has conducted some 200 interviews, with a promise of 
anonymity.
    Kyle Herring, a NASA spokesman, said it would be inappropriate to 
discuss statements by board members before the final report comes out. 
Mr. Herring said the NASA administrator, Sean O'Keefe, had been 
``unwavering'' in his commitment to carry out the board's 
recommendations once the report is published and had appointed a task 
group to oversee the accomplishment of those recommendations. ``NASA 
will take every one of those recommendations seriously,'' he said.
    In a board briefing with reporters last Friday, General Deal said 
the goal of the report would be to reinvigorate the safety culture of 
NASA at all levels. ``You can revise the programs out there and fix the 
top of the pyramid, but if we're not taking care of the bottom of it, 
things are going to crumble,'' he said.

    Ms. Jackson Lee. In addition, in an article dated--
Washington Post, July 12, ``Gehman commented similarly on e-
mail, released recently by NASA, that had been sent to the 
Columbia crew during the flight, in which a flight director 
casually dismissed the foam strike as `not even worth 
mentioning.' Gehman said, `It tells me how widespread and 
deeply ingrained this sense was that foam can't hurt an 
orbiter.'
    ``The astronauts in orbit responded to the e-mail report in 
kind, with lighthearted dismissal.'' This is a Washington Post 
July 12 that I would like--July 12 that I ask unanimous consent 
to put in the record.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection.
    [The information follows:]

               [From the Washington Post, July 12, 2003]

 NASA Errors To Be Cited In Report--Mistakes Termed `Equal' to Direct 
                           Cause of Accident

                   (By Kathy Sawyer and Eric Pianin)

    The board investigating the Columbia accident has concluded that 
NASA management and safety system failures were as much a factor in the 
destruction of the shuttle and its seven-member crew as the foam that 
delivered a fatal blow to the shuttle's wing during liftoff.
    Retired Adm. Harold W. Gehman Jr., chairman of the Columbia 
Accident Investigation Board, told reporters yesterday that the final 
report will give the same weight to the space agency's decision-making 
errors as it will to the direct physical cause of the Feb. 1 loss of 
the vehicle and its crew.
    ``We've now decided that these things are equal,'' he said. He 
spoke in Washington at the final formal briefing the board has 
scheduled before the release of its report near the end of August.
    On Monday, the last in a series of impact tests sponsored by the 
panel proved conclusively that its theory on the disaster's cause is 
valid: A piece of foam insulation that fell off Columbia's propellant 
tank and struck the front of the wing during the Jan. 16 launch could 
easily have punched out a piece of the heat-shield material known as 
RCC, for reinforced carbon carbon, leading to the catastrophe two weeks 
later.
    The test Monday, designed to re-create the launch-day impact, not 
only left a 16- to 17-inch hole in the carbon fiber panel, board member 
Scott Hubbard reported yesterday, it also dislodged an adjoining T-
seal, broke a lug that held the seal in place, and left ``a maze'' of 
cracks running through the carbon fiber panel around the hole.
    Board members said the launch-day breach in the wing was probably a 
little smaller--in the six- to 10-inch-wide range--but ``in the same 
ballpark.''
    Gehman said there has been a pervasive and virtually unquestioned 
assumption within the shuttle program that the foam could not possibly 
have done such damage, even though NASA engineers had no data to prove 
it.
    This led to a series of flawed decisions, including the failure by 
top managers to act on engineers' requests for spy satellite images of 
the shuttle in orbit. Several board members said yesterday that, based 
on Monday's test, the damage was likely severe enough that an 
inspection in space could well have revealed it, depending on lighting, 
shadow, contrast and other conditions.
    The board has also determined that on Jan. 16, the foam chunk was 
almost twice as large as the next largest piece that had fallen off the 
tank during previous launches. ``The fact that this piece of foam * * * 
is much, much larger than NASA's previous experience is, of course, 
important,'' Gehman said, ``because it gets into the question of why 
didn't that alarm the engineers in the program? That's kind of basic to 
our investigation.''
    Shuttle engineers referred to the Jan. 16 debris strike with the 
phrase ``in family,'' meaning similar to past experience and, they 
assumed, well-understood.
    Gehman commented similarly on e-mail, released recently by NASA, 
that had been sent to the Columbia crew during the flight, in which a 
flight director casually dismissed the foam strike as ``not even worth 
mentioning,'' Gehman said: ``It tells me how widespread and deeply 
ingrained this sense was that foam can't hurt an orbiter.''
    The astronauts in orbit responded to the e-mail report in kind, 
with lighthearted dismissal.
    In an informal exchange after the briefing, Gehman said the board 
has met twice with the astronaut corps, urging its members to ``get 
more aggressive and formal'' in addressing potential safety issues.
    After the investigation into the 1986 Challenger accident, a 
presidential panel recommended that present or former astronauts play a 
more prominent role in shuttle management and safety, and they have. In 
addition to veteran astronauts currently in high management positions, 
the active corps has small groups of astronauts that follow specific 
issues, Gehman noted. They ``have responded positively'' to his 
suggestion to do even more.
    Panel members have expressed confidence that NASA will fix the 
short-term, mechanical problems such as foam shedding from the external 
tank, but they indicated that an independent body should be given 
responsibility for monitoring the needed changes in the broader system 
and culture. This is among several questions the board will leave for 
Congress or NASA to address, Gehman said.
    Congress intends to respond swiftly to the board's final report 
this fall with a series of hearings and action on a new spending bill 
to provide NASA with the funds it will need to correct problems and 
resume shuttle operations sometime next year, according to 
congressional aides.
    The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has 
scheduled at least two hearings, to begin shortly after Labor Day, an 
aide to Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, while the House Science 
Committee will begin a series of hearings in September that will 
continue throughout the fall.
    The witness lists for the public hearings are certain to include 
current and former NASA officials and contractors who were allowed to 
testify in secret before the board.

    Ms. Jackson Lee. This amendment specifically will provide a 
work plan requirement to include a description of the 
safeguards that will be applied to ensure that the safety or 
survival of any spacecraft or crew is not compromised. Simply 
saying that as this legislation moves forward, I would hope 
that bonuses and management flexibility do not come before 
safety.
    I would be concerned--or am concerned by reports that NASA 
may not have given high enough priority to safety and quality 
assurance in the past. We will learn more by the report. But I 
believe that it is extremely important that as we give 
authority to the Administrator and give flexibility to relocate 
or re-designate workers or to encourage experienced people to 
retire that we do not lose critical knowledge and expertise and 
compromise missions in the future.
    I am aware of the fact that the underlying bill includes a 
provision that the NASA Administrator must submit a written 
plan to Congress 90 days before exercising any new workforce 
authorities. But I am also aware of a particular circular that 
is utilized, OMB8-76 that involves outsourcing and 
privatization. I am obviously opposed to that and in large 
scale throughout the government. And I understand that this 
Administration strengthened that. I don't want to outsource 
safety. I don't want to privatize safety, and I don't want to 
outsource the expertise that we are needing to make NASA and 
the human space shuttle flight more safe.
    This will require the--this amendment will require that the 
Administrator does a thorough assessment of how flexibility 
might affect various programs, manned and unmanned. We must 
protect our heroic astronauts, but it would also be tragic if 
we began to lose more multi-billion dollar satellites or probes 
because we saved a few thousand dollars offering someone early 
retirement.
    I would like to see a well thought out system set up by the 
Administrator to screen the job descriptions of any employees 
impacted by this act. If those employees have roles in safety 
or quality assessment, a detailed assessment should be done of 
how to compensate for the loss of their expertise.
    I believe it is possible to have flexibility while ensuring 
safety, but it will take some forethought in planning. For too 
long, it seems, safety has been an afterthought. For many years 
in this particular Committee, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, 
all of us have spoken about safety. I have spoken about safety, 
I think, for the 10 years or so that I have been on this 
Committee, almost 10 years. The culture in NASA has to change. 
This amendment will be a beginning, but it is not the end. And 
I hope that this Committee, as it reviews the Gehman Report, 
will have an extensive review of the single most important 
question for human space flight, and that is safety. I hope my 
colleagues will support this amendment.
    [Statement of Ms. Jackson Lee follows:]

             Statement of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

    Mr. Chairman, this amendment will help ensure that we do not put 
bonuses and management ``flexibility'' before safety. I am concerned by 
reports that NASA may not have given high enough priority to safety and 
quality assurance in the past. We will learn more about it from the 
Gehman report later, however, I understand that in some cases there is 
only a single safety expert responsible for a given project subsection.
    Therefore, I am worried that if we give the Administrator 
flexibility to relocate or redesignate workers, or to encourage 
experienced people to retire--we could lose critical knowledge and 
expertise, and compromise missions in the future.
    I am pleased that the underlying bill includes a provision that the 
NASA Administrator must submit a written plan to Congress 90 days 
before exercising any of the new workforce authorities. My amendment 
adds that that plan will describe: ``the safeguards and other measures 
that will be applied to ensure that this chapter is carried out in a 
manner that does not compromise the safety or survival of any 
spacecraft or crew thereof.''
    This will require the Administrator does a thorough assessment of 
how flexibility might affect various programs--manned and unmanned. We 
must protect our heroic astronauts, but it would also be tragic if we 
began to lose more multi-billion dollar satellites or probes, because 
we saved a few thousand dollars offering someone early retirement. I 
would like to see a well-thought out system set up by the Administrator 
to screen the job descriptions of any employees impacted by this Act. 
If those employees have roles in safety or quality assessment, a 
detailed assessment should be done of how to compensate for the loss of 
their expertise.
    I believe it is possible to have flexibility while ensuring safety, 
but it will take some forethought and planning. For too long, it seems, 
safety has been an afterthought. This amendment will help set that 
right. I hope you can support it.
    Thank you.

    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    The gentlelady makes a valued addition to this measure, and 
the Chair is prepared to accept your amendment. I will 
recognize Mr. Hall in just a moment to have further comment, 
but once again, this put emphasis where emphasis is due. In 
this Committee in this Congress, I don't think there is any 
dividing line when it comes to safety. We are of one mind.
    Thank you very much for a valued addition. The Chair is 
prepared to accept it, but before doing so, will recognize Mr. 
Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Yeah, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for accepting it, 
and I certainly add my support for Ms. Jackson Lee's amendment. 
It is a very sensible addition to the workforce plan that NASA 
is to provide under the terms of the bill. And as the Chairman 
has said, anything that relates to safety, we are all for it, 
and it is very important. I thank the gentlelady and yield back 
my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. The vote is on the 
amendment. All in favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes appear to 
have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    The next amendment on the roster is amendment number three 
offered by Mr. Miller. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Miller.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Miller is recognized--I ask 
unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Miller is recognized for 5 minutes to offer his 
amendment.
    Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The purpose of bonuses is to reward good performance that 
the Chairman has pointed already in this hearing or in this 
markup the importance of attracting very well qualified, very 
committed employees to NASA. Bonuses help attract and retain 
good employees by rewarding hard work and excellent 
performance. And the tragic events--we have been tragically 
reminded of just how important it is to have that kind of 
workforce at NASA, that we do need to have the best engineers 
and scientists on the planet employed at NASA.
    I am, however, very concerned that the bonuses are being 
used for employees of NASA who are not scientists, who are not 
engineers, but who are political appointees. They are not 
career employees. They are not engineers. They are not 
scientists. Their only real qualification is that they have 
political loyalty, political connections, but is not to say 
that they are unqualified or not doing good work. But certainly 
the purpose of the bonus is to reward those career employees to 
keep them in the government service and not the people who 
serve for a short period of time during a given Administration.
    Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, NASA has been 
extraordinary in their use of bonuses for the political 
appointees. Eleven out of eleven got bonuses last year. The 
only other agency in the Federal Government that got 100 
percent was the Agency for International Development, which 
gave bonuses to three of three as opposed to eleven of eleven. 
And for purposes of comparison, Department of Defense, 1 
percent; Department of Labor, 2 percent; Department of 
Commerce, 2 percent; and others in that vein. Certainly giving 
these bonuses to 11 of 11 does raise the specter of political 
cronyism of a political reward. It is hard to imagine that all 
of these people are doing such extraordinary work and that it 
is not creating resentment among the ranks of the very career 
professional folks that we want to retain.
    So that is the purpose of this amendment. Other 
Administrations have not used bonuses for political appointees, 
and certainly that is a very strong argument that I embrace. 
And this amendment would prohibit bonuses for those political 
employees, appointees.
    Chairman Boehlert. I thank Mr. Miller. At this time, I 
would like to offer a second-degree amendment, and the Clerk 
will distribute my second-degree amendment.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, we know what the amendment is and 
we think it is a good amendment. We will accept it.
    Chairman Boehlert. Then the vote is on the amendment.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, wait. First of all, the Clerk has 
to dispense it, and then the Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment offered by Mr. Boehlert to the 
amendment offer by Mr. Miller of North Carolina.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    And I recognize myself for 1 minute to thank Mr. Hall for 
agreeing to accept the amendment to perfect the amendment.
    So the vote now is on the amendment, as----
    Mr. Miller. Mr. Chairman, could I just ask a question? I 
believe I do hold with Mr. Hall and agree that this is an 
amendment that is perfectly fine, but I just had a couple of 
questions, if I may direct them to the Chair.
    Chairman Boehlert. Direct it to Counsel.
    Mr. Miller. Who are the folks that are now excluded from 
this exclusion? Who are the folks who are limited term 
appointees? What kind of duties do they have? What are their 
job duties?
    The Counsel. Yes, sir. A limited term appointee is defined 
in Title 5, because an individual appointed on a nonrenewable 
appointment for a term of 3 years or less to an SES position, 
because the duties of that position will expire at the end of 
such term. And in discussions with NASA, a limited term 
appointee is typically used for project-based work, and they 
currently have nine of those employees. And they have zero 
limited emergency appointees, which allows a limited term 
appointment for 18 months versus 3 years.
    Mr. Miller. Mr. Chairman, I agree that those do not fall 
really in the category of political appointees, and I agree 
that----
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. I would like to say that I plan to vote for the 
Miller Amendment. And I don't consider this amendment to be any 
reflection on the political appointees of NASA. I think they 
are just as dedicated to government service as the civil 
servants are, but as I look at it, it is a simple matter of 
what problem we are trying to address with this legislation. I 
think you ought to probably even, with your amendment, going to 
oppose this--the Miller Amendment?
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    Mr. Hall. Okay.
    Chairman Boehlert. Cooperation.
    Mr. Hall. I guess we agree that the funds available for 
that purpose are going to be limited, and we ought to apply 
these funds where they will have the most pressing needs, and 
those are the civil service workforce. We don't want to dilute 
that effort, and I urge my colleagues to support the Miller 
Amendment as amended.
    Chairman Boehlert. So the vote is on second-degree 
amendment to the Miller Amendment. All in favor, say aye. 
Opposed, no. The ayes appear to have it.
    The vote now is on the base amendment, as amended. All in 
favor, say aye. No. The ayes appear to have it. The amendment 
is agreed to.
    Moving right along, the next amendment on the roster is 
amendment number four, offered by Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller, are 
you ready to proceed? All right. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Miller.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered. And Mr. Miller is 
recognized for 5 minutes to offer his amendment.
    Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I agree that many of the safeguards in the civil service 
system that were adopted as a great reform to end a system of 
patronage and cronyism have, at some times, led the Federal 
Government to being a lumbering unresponsive bureaucracy. And 
we do need to consider other ways to make government function 
more efficiently. And certainly, some demonstration projects, 
some experiments to see how certain kinds of different 
personnel policies may work better is entirely appropriate.
    However, NASA already has authority to have such 
demonstration projects for up to 5,000 employees. They are 
not--they currently have no demonstration projects at all. And 
rather than having us see what they are doing now, telling us 
what they might do instead or in addition to what they are 
trying now, they want to go to 8,000, which is a pretty large 
number, particularly in view of the fact that they have had 
authority to use--to have demonstration projects for up to 
5,000 employees, and they haven't done it at all.
    In addition, in answer to questions that Mr. Gordon posed 
to NASA after a hearing on this topic, they were not very clear 
at all on what kinds of things they would try with this 
additional authority. Mr. Chairman, NASA has its plate full. 
They do need to figure out what went wrong and what they need 
to do to change. Trying to come up with a whole menu of 
experiments in personnel to go beyond the 5,000 out of 18,000 
employees is perhaps something they should not be encountering 
right now and undertaking right now. And it certainly 
undermines our ability, the Congress's ability, to oversee--to 
maintain our oversight of exactly what they are doing.
    Let us leave them at 5,000. Let us see what they do with 
the 5,000. If they need more, let us let them come back later.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    And the Chair opposes the amendment. And let me point out 
that this is something we worked out very carefully will all 
concerned. And the largest union representing the employees 
supports this amendment. They understand it. They know what our 
objectives are. We are talking about a large agency with over 
18,000 people. We want to restrict--it won't surprise you to 
learn, Mr. Miller, NASA said, ``No holds barred. We want to do 
whatever we want to do when we want to do it.'' And we said, 
``That is not the way we are going to respond to your 
request.'' We want to have it in a manageable form. So I think 
the provision gives NASA the workforce flexibility it needs 
based on 25 years experience in Federal Government ofconducting 
demonstration projects. We drastically scaled back, as I pointed out 
earlier, their proposal. They just wanted to do anything at any time, 
and we said, ``Hell no. That is not the way we are going to respond to 
you. We are going to have it and something that we think is manageable 
and passes the smile test.''
    So the Chair will reluctantly oppose it. Is there anyone 
else who wishes to speak to this?
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, let me just remind the Committee 
that NASA has already had--already has the authority to have 
demonstration projects yet they have never used it. And so why 
in the world when--since they already have the authority and 
haven't used it are they asking for such a massive one now on 
top of the fact that we have asked them, ``What are you going 
to do with it?'' And they won't tell us.
    Chairman Boehlert. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Gordon. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Boehlert. Because you have got new management over 
at NASA, and in some instances, they are waking up to some of 
the realities of doing business in a highly sophisticated, very 
technologically oriented business. And they are beginning to 
realize what they should have realized earlier, but at least 
better late than never that they need some additional authority 
and flexibility to do what we expect them to do.
    Mr. Miller. If I could reclaim my time, if there is some 
time----
    Chairman Boehlert. As long as you--are you through? The 
Ranking Member just brought me a sweet, and so I am going to 
have a sweet while I listen to your sweet words.
    Mr. Gordon. Well, there is new management, but it is not 
quite as new as it was over a year ago. And once again, I think 
that it is putting the horse before the cart to say, ``Here is 
a major demonstration project, even more than you have now,'' 
without them telling us what they are going to do with it.
    So I have made my point. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    I just point out that all of the protections in current law 
are still there. They have to go forward and get OPM approval, 
so this is not just sort of carte blanche saying, ``Do whatever 
you want to do in any way--any manner you see fit,'' because we 
all hope and pray that the result is something that will be 
acceptable to us. There will be some restrictions on them.
    And the Chair recognizes Mr. Weiner.
    Mr. Weiner. I yield my time to the gentleman, Mr. Miller.
    Mr. Miller. And Mr. Chairman, I ask that the Chairman will 
yield to a question or two.
    Chairman Boehlert. I will do my best to yield to the 
question, and I will do my best to give the answer. If I don't 
know the answer, I will finesse it until the staff tells me 
what to say.
    Mr. Miller. Mr. Chairman, you said that the principal union 
representing NASA employees supports this amendment. Is it 
really accurate to say that they support it or that they do not 
oppose it?
    Chairman Boehlert. Support. I think that--the largest union 
supports this provision in this form. We have a letter. We 
would be glad to include the letter in the record.
    Mr. Miller. Okay. Well, I would like to see that. I can't 
help but notice that the number in this bill of 8,000 employees 
is the number of employees at NASA who are not members of the 
union. Is there an understanding that the employees who will be 
part of this demonstration project are the non-union employees?
    Chairman Boehlert. Counsel, bail me out here, Counsel.
    The Counsel. Yes, sir. To answer the question--first off, 
we will be--here is the letter we will be sending up to you, 
sir.
    Chairman Boehlert. Would you give Mr. Miller a copy of the 
letter, because we--and let me assure Mr. Miller the way you 
are going to respond. No one is more interested in the 
workforce, quite frankly, than their union representatives. And 
they have a history of being very, very attentive to their 
needs. And we worked this with them. We don't want to go 
through the back door and have them waiting on the sideline. We 
worked it through them and the letter that you now have 
indicates their response. And then I will let Counsel respond 
to your specific question.
    The Counsel. Sir, to your question on what is required in--
with NASA management and labor organizations in existing 
demonstration project authority, which this amendment does not 
touch, in other words, this continues as law. Employees within 
a unit with respect to a labor organization are accorded 
exclusive recognition under Chapter 71 of this title and shall 
not be included within any project under Subsection A of this 
section if the project would violate a collective bargaining 
agreement, as defined in law, between the agency and the labor 
organization, unless there is a written agreement with respect 
to the project between the agency and the organization 
permitting the inclusion.
    Do you want me to get you a copy of this, sir?
    Mr. Miller. Was that yes?
    The Counsel. They would need to--sir, they would need to 
re-negotiate the collective bargaining agreement in order to be 
a part of that demonstration process.
    Mr. Miller. So the understanding, in effect, is that all of 
the 8,000 non-union employees would be subject to the 
demonstration projects?
    The Counsel. They would need to be consulted, sir.
    Mr. Weiner. Permit me to reclaim my time. Can I ask the 
offer the--the offer of the amendment question. Is there 
anything precluding this Committee at such time as they finally 
wake up and decide they want to do these demonstration projects 
returning to the Committee and asking for authorization 
authority in a separate piece of legislation?
    Mr. Miller. Mr. Weiner, that is pretty much what I said 
when I first explained the amendment is that they have had the 
right along with the authority to have up to 5,000 employees on 
a demonstration project. They have not used that authority at 
all. They have not had any demonstration projects----
    Mr. Weiner. But even if we do reclaiming----
    Mr. Miller. Right.
    Mr. Weiner. Even if we passed your striking amendment, 
there is nothing stopping us in considering a freestanding bill 
tomorrow if they suddenly decide----
    Mr. Miller. That is correct. That is correct. But we might 
ask hard questions like, ``What are you going to do with this 
authority?'' Which has not been a question that has been 
addressed to this point.
    Chairman Boehlert. If there is no----
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I want to add my support to Mr. 
Miller's amendment. I think he has explained it very well, and 
I would like to reinforce what he said. When NASA sent over 
their enhanced workforce demonstration proposal, they were 
seeking, as has been said here, to have the entire NASA 
workforce included, and nothing less would do. Nothing less 
would be accepted. Now NASA is saying, ``Nevermind, 8,000 
employees will do just fine.'' Well, if 8,000 employees is an 
acceptable substitute for 18,000 employees, why not the 5,000 
employees allowed under existing law, as has been pointed out 
here?
    NASA has presented no clear basis for 8,000 versus 5,000 to 
this Committee. And before the fact, NASA has never even 
attempted a workforce demonstration project, even though they 
could, once again, as Mr. Miller has stated, under existing 
law, so they have no basis for knowing what would be an 
acceptable number. NASA has also been unwilling, and has 
refused to tell this Committee what exactly it intends to do 
with the enhanced demonstration project authority that it is 
seeking.
    Now the reality is that NASA is going to have its hands 
full with dealing with the aftermath of the Space Shuttle 
Columbia accident and the management issues that have surfaced. 
I think NASA needs to get its house in order before it goes 
seeking additional workforce authorities. I urge Members to 
support this amendment.
    I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    If there is no further discussion, the vote is on the 
amendment. All in favor, say aye. Opposed no. The nos appear to 
have it.
    Mr. Miller. Mr. Chairman, I ask for a recorded vote.
    Mr. Hall. I ask for a recorded vote.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert?
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Weldon?
    Mr. Weldon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes no. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I pass.
    The Clerk. Mr. Barton?
    Mr. Barton. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert?
    Mr. Calvert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes no. Mr. Nick Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers?
    Dr. Ehlers. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes no. Mr. Gutknecht?
    Mr. Gutknecht. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht votes no. Mr. Nethercutt?
    Mr. Nethercutt. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt votes no. Mr. Lucas?
    Mr. Lucas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes no. Mrs. Biggert?
    Mrs. Biggert. No.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes no. Mr. Gilchrest?
    Mr. Gilchrest. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin?
    Mr. Akin. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes no. Mr. Johnson?
    Mr. Johnson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson votes no. Ms. Hart?
    Ms. Hart. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart votes no. Mr. Sullivan?
    Mr. Sullivan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes?
    Mr. Forbes. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes no. Mr. Gingrey?
    Mr. Gingrey. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop?
    Mr. Bishop. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess?
    Mr. Burgess. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner?
    Mr. Bonner. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner votes no. Mr. Feeney?
    Mr. Feeney. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes no. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Smith of Texas recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith of Texas is not recorded.
    Mr. Smith of Texas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lamar Smith votes no. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes yes. Mr. Gordon?
    Mr. Gordon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes yes. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes yes. Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey votes aye. Mr. Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes yes. Mr. Larson?
    Mr. Larson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Larson votes yes. Mr. Udall?
    Mr. Udall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes yes. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Wu votes yes. Mr. Honda?
    Mr. Honda. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda votes yes. Mr. Bell?
    Mr. Bell. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes yes. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes yes. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Davis votes yes. Ms. Jackson Lee?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes yes. Ms. Lofgren?
    Ms. Lofgren. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman?
    Mr. Sherman. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes yes. Mr. Moore?
    Mr. Moore. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes yes. Mr. Weiner?
    Mr. Weiner. Aye
    The Clerk. Mr. Weiner votes yes. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes yes. Mr. Cardoza?
    Mr. Cardoza. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Cardoza votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, let us see. First of all, Mr.--how 
is Mr. Burgess recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess is not recorded.
    Mr. Burgess. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is the distinguished Chairman of the 
Subcommittee, Mr. Rohrabacher?
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher is not recorded.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. The distinguished Chairman of the 
Subcommittee always backs the Chairman of the Full Committee 
and votes no.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Dr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes no.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Sherman? How is Mr. Sherman 
recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman is not recorded.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes, 20; no, 20.
    Chairman Boehlert. The amendment is defeated, and we 
proceed onto the next.
    The next amendment on the roster is amendment number five 
offered by Mr. Rohrabacher from California. Are you ready, Mr. 
Rohrabacher, to proceed?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I guess I am ready.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. 
Rohrabacher.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask for unanimous consent to dispense 
with the reading. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. 
Rohrabacher is recognized for 5 minutes to offer his amendment.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. This amendment, it changes and amends what 
is currently in this bill dealing with the scholarship program. 
Our Subcommittee had hearings and Full Committee had hearings 
looking into NASA--the NASA workforce requirements. And one of 
the great complaints we got were, of course, that NASA is not 
being able to attract engineering and science students to fill 
its ranks with capable people. And at the same time, we have 
also had hearings reflecting that. We have a scholarship 
program--excuse me, that we have graduate programs in science 
and engineering in which a vast--in which the majority of 
students taking part in these graduate programs throughout the 
United States are non-U.S. citizens. And in fact, many of them 
are foreigners that return home with the skills that we give 
them.
    This amendment would modify the scholarship program that is 
currently in the bill by suggesting that where the bill already 
suggests that there indicates that there will be 2 years of 
service for every 1 full year of scholarship for every 
engineering and science student that participates in the 
program. We have had a--somewhat of an internal debate as to 
how extensive this scholarship program should be. I suggested 
that this just be a--would be only available to graduate to 
undergraduate students. In our debate over whether it should be 
extended to all engineering and science students, we have 
reached a compromise, Mr. Chairman, in which the scholarship 
program is available to juniors and seniors as well as graduate 
student programs. But freshmen and sophomores will not be 
available, because at that point, people are just going through 
their prerequisites.
    So my amendment codifies this compromise that has been 
reached that juniors and seniors and graduate students would be 
covered by the scholarship program. My amendment also covers 
the concern by Mr. Wu who was making sure that the scholarships 
would be available not just to U.S. citizens but also to legal 
residents, people who are in this country legally and certainly 
have every right of every other resident and citizen of the 
United States. So this amendment covers that concern. And I 
understand that there will be en bloc language or there was 
some language included in the en bloc amendment that will be 
altered by the--by an amendment at the last--the final 
amendment to this series of amendments that will further shape 
this scholarship program. And I appreciate that very much.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Rohrabacher. 
And I want to say, this Committee is providing leadership, as 
evidenced by you and Mr. Wu, on scholarship for service. It 
just makes so much sense, and we are going to continue to 
provide that leadership. Is there anyone else that----
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add my support to 
this thoughtful compromise.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. I certainly support the Rohrabacher Amendment as 
I support most Rohrabacher Amendments and have for years and 
years and years. And I would make a suggestion while I have the 
opportunity, that my amendment, I think, is coming up next, and 
why don't we go vote to give you time to think through my 
amendment a little more and have more time to consider it.
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. The question is on the 
amendment as offered by Mr. Rohrabacher in cooperation with Mr. 
Wu. All in favor say aye. No. The ayes appear to have it. And 
the amendment is agreed to.
    I think we have got to go forward now at this particular 
juncture before we hear from our distinguished colleague from 
Texas, Mr. Hall. So the Committee will stand in recess. We 
don't have enough time to go forward now. Let us go forward and 
we will be back shortly.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman Boehlert. Next on the amendment roster is 
amendment number seven offered by Mr. Hall from Texas. Are you 
ready to proceed, Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Member will suspend.
    The Chair recognizes Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Mr. Chairman, I wish to reserve a point of 
order.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Member has reserved a point of 
order. Mr. Hall may proceed with his amendment. The Clerk will 
report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Hall.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Hall is recognized for 5 minutes to offer his 
amendment.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, my amendment is straightforward. It 
consists of a series of provisions intended to address a number 
of the key issues raised by the Space Shuttle Columbia 
accident.
    I would briefly like to describe these provisions. They are 
all related to ensuring the health and safety of the NASA 
workforce and the safety of the Space Shuttle program in 
general. First, the Gehman Board has highlighted problems with 
NASA's independent safety office, indicating that it has 
inadequate resources to provide the safety oversight needed by 
the agency, the funding and civil service personnel ceiling 
history of NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance 
clearly shows a decline in both areas. And I ask unanimous 
consent that that history be entered into the record of this 
markup. And without objection, I hope you will do so.
    Chairman Boehlert. Sir?
    Mr. Hall. I ask unanimous consent that the funding and 
civil service personnel ceiling history of NASA's Office of 
Safety and Mission Assurance clearly shows the decline, I 
think, in both areas, but there would be people that could 
analyze it and say it is in decline or it is not in decline. I 
just simply ask unanimous consent that their--that history be 
entered into the record of this markup.
    Chairman Boehlert. Without objection.
    [The information follows:]

    The NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance was established in 
December 1986.
    Budget numbers are research and development funds that are managed 
by the Headquarters Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. They fund 
development of tools and processes pertaining to system safety, 
reliability, maintainability, non-destructive testing, quality 
assurance, software assurance, and risk management, as well as limited 
independent assessment of Centers and programs. The numbers do not 
include safety and mission assurance funding managed by NASA programs 
and Centers.

                        SAFETY & MISSION QUALITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Cumulative        Cumulative
                                         obligations      disbursements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1986................................       $10,625,487       $10,490,027
1987................................        21,242,564        18,118,069
1988................................        15,082,574         8,760,314
1989................................        22,836,605        22,836,609
1990................................        31,445,914        31,445,914
1991................................        33,421,817        33,421,819
1992................................        34,428,996        34,438,993
1993................................        33,960,602        33,960,599
1994................................        36,372,481        36,372,468
1995................................        35,961,152        35,960,988
1996................................        32,329,766        32,329,683
1997................................        34,962,082        34,900,261
1998................................        30,408,666        28,644,020
1999................................        28,481,075        26,889,829
2000................................        27,820,752        26,374,740
2001................................        28,407,483        27,397,807
2002................................        30,919,107        24,520,872
2003................................         5,918,219         1,435,518
------------------------------------------------------------------------
UPN budget for Safety & Mission quality is $28.3M in FY 2003 and $28.5M
  in FY 2004.

Civil Service ceilings for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at 
NASA

Fiscal year:
    1987..........................................................    64
    1988..........................................................    68
    1989..........................................................    73
    1990..........................................................    82
    1991..........................................................    82
    1992..........................................................    86
    1993..........................................................    72
    1994..........................................................    83
    1995..........................................................    64
    1996..........................................................    50
    1997..........................................................    44
    1998..........................................................    40
    1999..........................................................    40
    2000..........................................................    40
    2001..........................................................    42
    2002..........................................................    43
    2003..........................................................    47
    2004..........................................................    47

    Mr. Hall. All right. My amendment simply reverses that 
decline and helps to strengthen--I think we help to strengthen 
the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. It also directs the 
NASA Administrator to provide Congress with a formal response 
to the Gehman Board's safety-related findings and 
recommendations. I just don't think that is asking too much. I 
think he ought to do that. He ought to want to do that. And I 
am hopeful that he will do that. We need to hear what NASA 
intends to do in response to the Board's recommendations in 
this area.
    Second, my amendment addresses a safety issue that I feel 
very strongly about, and that is an issue that other Members on 
both sides of the aisle have suggested. That is the need to 
provide a crew escape system for the astronauts that fly the 
Space Shuttle. I think we absolutely have to start addressing 
that. I think we have addressed it before. Their answer has 
always been it is either too heavy, the materials would not be 
workable, it is too expensive. When we are dealing with lives 
of youngsters, and if I had a son that was an astronaut, I am 
not sure I would want him flying in these four shuttles that we 
have left until we work out the absolute, without any question, 
causation of the last serious loss and tragedy that we had.
    We need to provide crew escape systems for the astronauts, 
and my amendment provides a step in that direction. In the 17 
years since the Challenger accident, NASA has done very little 
to address Space Shuttle crew escape. Buzz Aldrin has pushed 
for that. Others have pushed for that. It makes sense. It is 
something we ought to do. It is something we can't say we don't 
have enough money to do when lives are held certainly in 
constant fear of that that might happen. No one expected this 
accident that happened with the Columbia. No one could foresee 
the Challenger that was destined from its--from the takeoff 
from the rings that were frozen there. There is just something 
that we can do about things like that. And if we can't preclude 
the happening or the causation of those serious accidents like 
that, we can do something about their opportunity to escape 
from it, to have some hope, some parachute that would let them 
down to the Earth as they have something that occurs up there.
    In the past, their agency has argued that weight and cost 
impacts made it impractical. Well, I don't think that the 
combined talents of NASA and the aerospace industry are 
incapable of rising to the challenge of coming up with a viable 
escape system. And that is all we are asking for. We need to 
collect the best ideas. And after we have picked one, we need 
to move out and equip the remaining shuttle fleet with a crew 
escape system that can protect the entire crew, not just two of 
them or four of them as they say--some of them say they can do 
today. We ought to protect that entire crew.
    Third, my amendment contains a provision that I think is 
just plain good common sense. The bill before us, as well as 
other legislation, would allow NASA to offer generous buyouts 
to the NASA employees. Early retirement for people that we 
probably need. Well, I think that before any buyouts are 
approved, the NASA Administrator needs to certify to this 
Congress that critical Space Shuttle and Space Station safety 
skills won't be lost. That would be a prudent step at any time, 
but it is even more important now with the Shuttle fleet facing 
a difficult return to flight status and the Space Station 
program limping along with the Shuttle fleet grounded.
    Fourth, my amendment addresses another concern that has 
been raised by the Gehman report by the Board: the extent of 
contracting out and NASA's Space Shuttle program. Admiral 
Gehman has expressed his own concerns over NASA's level of 
dependence on contractors for important Shuttle functions, but 
we don't know what he is going to say, because we are going 
ahead with this legislation before we get his report. He has 
made indications of what is going to be in it, but we don't 
know. I don't want to prejudge what the Gehman Board is going 
to say in this area. However, I think it is important for this 
Committee to put the brakes on any additional contracting out 
beyond what already exists until we have heard from the Gehman 
Board on this issue as well as NASA's response.
    Mr. Chairman, the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and 
its brave crew was a tragedy. I know it was a tragedy to you. 
It is a tragedy to Republicans and Democrats alike, to the 
American people. But it is up to this Committee to learn from 
that tragedy and to take measures to support the health and 
safety of the NASA workforce.
    I hope that you and the other Members of this Committee 
will support this amendment. The Senate bill doesn't go far 
enough, and there have been efforts to try to say, ``Well, we 
will just substitute the Senate bill.'' It excludes my 
amendment, and it doesn't go far enough. And any message should 
be safety in reporting. Nick Lampson's vision ought to be 
included in this for space human program. My crew escape thrust 
is just not in there, and it doesn't go far enough. Yes, it is 
better, I think, than what we have. I think it is better than 
what we are passing. But it is not good enough, and it doesn't 
assure those men and women that have bet their future. And when 
they are strapped to that missile, they bet their life that 
they are going to get to come back. Give them an even shot. 
Give them a way out if something happens that is unforeseen, 
and most accidents are unforeseen.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You have been kind and generous 
with the time. I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. The gentleman 
doesn't have any time to yield back, but because we were so 
anxious to hear what you had to say, we extended the time 
afforded you. So thank you. I wish I could support this 
amendment, but both out of respect for Mr. Hall and for the 
issue it raises, I think I owe the Committee a full explanation 
in my reasoning for not supporting this amendment on this 
particular bill at this time.
    The first portion of the amendment puts in place specific 
safety requirements. We have no idea, at this point, if the 
safety measures in the Hall Amendment are the right ones to 
pursue. We don't know if the Office of Safety should continue 
as it does now, how much money it should have, or how many 
people. And we are not alone in feeling at sea. The 
Appropriations Committee put off any discussions on those 
issues just yesterday, because of a lack of information. My 
Democrat friends keep saying we ought to wait until the Gehman 
Commission reports before taking up items on which Admiral 
Gehman will offer guidance. This safety provision is precisely 
the kind of item on which the Gehman Board will have plenty to 
say, and I couldn't agree more with the Democrats in their 
urging that we ought to wait until the Gehman Commission Report 
before addressing this area.
    The concern with safety is one we all share. The sensethat 
H.R. 1085 does not solve all of NASA's problems and that many, many 
more significant steps will have to be taken, we all agree with that. 
H.R. 1085 just takes care of some of the easy things. Major issues, 
such as how to ensure safety, need to wait for the Gehman Report. We 
can't be voting on these matters today if we are going to be fully 
informed.
    The same can be said perhaps even more so about the crew 
safety provisions of this amendment. Is there anyone on this 
Committee on either side of the aisle that isn't concerned 
about crew safety? The answer is clearly no.
    The other two sections of the Hall Amendment raise other 
issues. His third provision prevents the use of voluntary 
separation payments. We have already removed from the bill 
today through my amendment, any expansion of voluntary 
separation authority. This amendment would go further and 
prevent NASA even from using its authorities under current law. 
There is no indication that NASA is misusing its authorities 
and no reason to take NASA--to make NASA the only federal 
agency that cannot take advantage of current law.
    The last provision in the amendment is a sweeping 
prohibition against contracting out. It is so broad that it 
might even prevent contracting out for some of the very studies 
that would be required by other Democrat amendments. I agree 
that NASA's contracting processes have to be examined, and they 
raise questions. This is one of the issues on which I am most 
interested in hearing from Admiral Gehman and the Columbia 
Accident Investigation Board. It is also the reason we rejected 
NASA's, what I think, is misguided proposal to create an 
industry exchange program. Contracting out is one of those 
issues on which we need more information. The language here is 
so broad that it could have unintended consequences. We don't 
even know what kinds of routine contracts might be let in the 
next few months that would be blocked by this amendment.
    So I respect Mr. Hall and the issues he is raising. Those 
are issues that need to be raised. Those are issues this 
Committee needs to address. We will deal with these issues 
after the Gehman Board reports in numerous hearings and in 
conjunction with that consideration of the authorization bill. 
Therefore, I reluctantly oppose the amendment, but I applaud 
Mr. Hall for bringing up these very important subjects. And I 
would ask that--is there any other Member who wishes to be 
heard on this amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Would the gentleman yield?
    Chairman Boehlert. I would be glad to yield to Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. In order that you have all of the information, I 
am sure you are aware of the fact that the buyouts are still in 
the Homeland Security Act and that this addresses that.
    Chairman Boehlert. We--my statement said that, and we 
referred to it. We referred to that. The answer is yes, and the 
statement refers to that. Anything else, Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Have you reconciled that? Do you understand what 
I am saying?
    Chairman Boehlert. Yeah. Yeah. This amendment would go 
further and prevent NASA even from using its existing authority 
under current law. There is no indication that NASA is misusing 
its authorities and no reason to make NASA the only federal 
agency that cannot take advantage of current law.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Go ahead.
    Chairman Boehlert. Ms. Johnson.
    Ms. Johnson. Just a simple question. Do you know when this 
report will be coming, when the Committee will hear it? How 
soon?
    Chairman Boehlert. The tentative date now, Ms. Johnson, is 
August 26. The initial date was July 23, and when Mr. Hall and 
I had a lengthy meeting with Admiral Gehman and the Columbia 
Accident Investigation Board, as a matter of fact, 10 of the 13 
Board Members were there. We had about a 3-hour meeting----
    Ms. Johnson. August 26 while we are out?
    Chairman Boehlert. Right.
    Ms. Johnson. Who is he going to give it to?
    Chairman Boehlert. Oh, the--they are going to give it to 
everybody. We are going to get it in a hurry, unless we are----
    Ms. Johnson. We are still on recess.
    Chairman Boehlert. I understand, but quite frankly, most of 
us spend a good share of recess working, and we don't get 
enough appreciation for the fact that--you know, so many people 
think that--when they look at the schedule that Congress 
begins----
    Ms. Johnson. Well, all of us work----
    Chairman Boehlert. Let us see. You have got this recess and 
you have got that recess. What are you people doing up there? 
You seem to spend almost as much time in recess as you do 
working. Those recesses, as a practical matter, and the 
gentlelady knows full well, really are mislabeled. They are 
district work periods, and most of us work in all of those 
recesses. And we all have families, and I will tell you this, I 
am going to take a week's vacation with my family. I hope you 
do, too.
    Who seeks--Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I have reserved a point of order, and now I 
will press the point of order. While the amendment has some 
good aspects, unfortunately, the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Texas is not germane to the bill, and I would 
ask the Chair's ruling on that.
    Chairman Boehlert. Would the gentleman suspend for a 
moment? Would you defer it, because we want to give the 
majority--the minority side a chance to further comment on Mr. 
Hall's well-intentioned amendment?
    Who seeks recognition? Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. I would have two comments, Mr. Chairman. First 
is, you know, I can't say that I disagree with your argument 
that we should wait for the Gehman Board before we proceed on 
these types of serious issues. I mean, I--again, I think that 
is the proper position. However, this seems like the last train 
out of town and the reason that we are trying to perform some 
good on this bill. Now as you know, we haven't had an 
authorization in a couple of years. Why is it going to be 
different this year?
    Chairman Boehlert. You may consider this the last train, 
but it is not going very far. It is going out of this Committee 
right over to the Floor. And the Floor actually will be 
scheduled after we have the benefit of the Gehman Report, so we 
will have plenty of opportunity to deal with this, in a very 
meaningful way.
    Mr. Gordon. So you are saying then that these issues then 
will be relevant and that we can--I guess you are saying on the 
Floor, and that we are going to go ahead and rush and pass this 
now, but that we can then raise these issues after Gehman comes 
back on the Floor on this bill?
    Chairman Boehlert. As I have said repeatedly, Admiral 
Gehman is not going to be dealing specifically with the items 
contained in this narrowly defined bill. Now Mr. Hall wants to 
deal with something much broader, subject matter that I agree 
has to be dealt with in a very thorough, responsible manner. 
That should not prevent us from going forward with this 
narrowly defined bill to address a very real problem that 
exists right now and that we have an ability to address right 
now.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I understand your--I don't agree, 
but I understand your position. What I am asking is what will 
be the vehicle to address Mr. Hall's very legitimate safety 
issues?
    Chairman Boehlert. We are going to have--the authorization 
bill is the natural vehicle, and we are going to be dealing 
with that.
    Mr. Gordon. Even though we haven't dealt with it in a 
couple of years, you are saying we are going to get one done 
here?
    Chairman Boehlert. Oh, sure. I have every intention of 
moving forward on the authorization bill. We would have had the 
authorization bill behind us----
    Mr. Gordon. Well, one more----
    Chairman Boehlert [continuing]. At this time in the 
legislative calendar except for the tragic moment at 8:59 a.m. 
on the morning of February 1. And that changed everything.
    Mr. Gordon. One more question on the germaneness issue. As 
you know, Mr. Hall's amendment was a multi-part amendment. The 
first one was that NASA would report back to Congress on the 
recommendations of the Gehman Commission and what they are 
going to do about it. I would certainly assume that would be 
germane. Could I ask for that information, whether that would 
be germane, that aspect of the bill? The first provision? The 
first provision?
    Chairman Boehlert. My leader here is guiding me. It also 
directs the NASA Administrator to provide Congress with a 
formal response to the Gehman Board's safety-related findings 
and recommendations. We have already done that in the bill.
    Mr. Gordon. Is that accomplished in the bill?
    Chairman Boehlert. Is that in the base bill?
    The Counsel. It is in the En Bloc Amendment.
    Chairman Boehlert. In the En Bloc Amendment, and we can 
refer to the specific language, if you want us to.
    Mr. Hall. We are trying to find out what NASA would intend 
to do in response to the Board's recommendations, and you can't 
know that until we get the Board's recommendation.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yeah, well, I agree with that. The Board 
has got to have recommendations.
    Mr. Hall. And you know, how much time are we going to have 
with probably Congress adjourning early in, maybe, October?
    Chairman Boehlert. You want to bet?
    Mr. Hall. Yeah, I will bet.
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. Let us have a wager. Is it 
legal in the District of Columbia to wager?
    Mr. Hall. No, but we can go to Las Vegas and place your 
bet.
    Chairman Boehlert. The fact of the matter is I think we all 
are pretty well acclimated to the basic logical response that 
we are not going to be out of here early October.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, would you continue with the 
gentleman from Tennessee's----
    Chairman Boehlert. We will continue with the gentleman----
    Mr. Hall [continuing]. In the event I drop part of my 
amendment, your attitude on holding the other part germane. For 
example, if I would drop everything except the crew escape, and 
nobody can differ on that, where would you be? That would 
certainly be germane, wouldn't it?
    Chairman Boehlert. But it isn't germane. Yeah. No, it isn't 
germane on a workforce reauthorization bill. Look. You know and 
I know all of the conversations we have had informal and formal 
with--before the world and in a Committee hearing where we have 
recorders here that we are both vitally interested in crew 
escape and we want to do everything humanly possible to deal 
with it. But this is not the vehicle to deal with that. We are 
going to deal with that after the Gehman Commission Report. We 
are going to deal with that in the reauthorization. Part of the 
problem in this town is that too many people just rush to 
judgment in a whole wide range of areas before thinking it 
through thoroughly. I want the best possible review and 
analysis of a crew escape vehicle. I want not a seat of the 
pants judgment. I want something that is documented and that 
has been thoroughly vetted with a whole wide variety of experts 
who can give us the best possible opinion.
    What I am trying to do today, and I think the gentleman 
knows full well, is move forward with a narrowly targeted bill 
to address a very real problem that exists at NASA today as we 
are deliberating. We can do that. The items you raise in your 
comprehensive amendment, though not germane to this bill, are 
very important to the overall program. And I certainly want to 
work cooperatively with the gentleman to address items like 
safety, crew reentry, escape vehicles, and that type of thing.
    Anyone else seek to be recognized?
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, if I could, just for a point of 
clarification, again, I really am not trying to be 
argumentative. Again, we didn't get this bill until 7:15 last 
night. You may have covered it. You know, what I am asking 
may----
    Chairman Boehlert. No, that has nothing to do with it, 
quite frankly.
    Mr. Gordon. Well, no, okay. Again, I just want information, 
because you may have covered it. A part of Mr. Hall's amendment 
said that within 60 days after the date of enactment of this 
act, the Administrator that is of NASA shall submit to the 
Committee on Science of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee of Commerce and Transportation a response to the 
findings and recommendations of the Columbia Accident 
Investigation Board relating to the safety and mission 
assurance. Again----
    Chairman Boehlert. I have already said to the gentleman, 
and the gentleman's time is expired, and the Chair is being 
generous because we enjoy this colloquy in terms of 
enlightenment, but I have already pointed out, that is 
incorporated in the En Bloc Amendment.
    Mr. Gordon. And could--again, I am not trying to be 
argumentative. We can't find it. Just tell us where it is so we 
can read it, if you don't mind. Again, I don't want to be 
argumentative, I am just--you know, I think this is something--
--
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. If you would look at the En 
Bloc Amendment. In paragraph nine, line one through line six, 
``Any reforms to the Administration's workforce management 
practices recommended by the Columbia Accident Investigation 
Board, the extent to which those recommendations were accepted, 
and if necessary, the reasons why any of these recommendations 
were not accepted.'' That, to me, is pretty clear.
    Mr. Gordon. Okay. That is just part. We are asking for 
safety and mission assurance, also.
    Chairman Boehlert. Those are not germane to this bill. We 
are dealing with workforce restructuring----
    Mr. Gordon. Okay.
    Chairman Boehlert [continuing]. To deal with a very real 
problem here and now. That is not to say that the subject 
matter you are bringing up does not deserve the fullest 
possible airing of all views and our undivided attention. It is 
not the vehicle here and now that we are discussing. It is 
another time, another vehicle, another place that doesn't 
denigrate or lessen, in any sense of the word, the importance 
of the subject matter that Mr. Hall is bringing up in his 
amendment and you, not to be argumentative, are arguing very 
persuasively for it.
    Now is there anyone else that seeks recognition?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I am not really----
    Chairman Boehlert. I will go with--now wait a minute. I 
will go with Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I just wanted to associate myself with the remarks made by 
both the Ranking Member Mr. Hall and the Ranking Member on the 
Space Subcommittee, Mr. Gordon. I think that if anyone leaves 
this meeting, they should leave with the feeling that our 
utmost concern does have to do with the safety of the folks who 
are involved with our exploration in space and that they have a 
feeling that we are concerned and express every interest in a 
real future for our space involvement, a vision, a set of 
goals, something that people can latch on to and realize that 
there is going to be a long-term future for NASA. That, to me, 
is what makes a difference in having people want to join that 
workforce and to be comfortable in knowing that they are going 
to be able to come back to their families at the end of the day 
and not having lost anything.
    We say, too often, that we want to do something. It seems 
to me that this amendment presents an opportunity for us to do 
something. When are we going to act? I believe that we should 
act on this and include this measure in there. And then if 
there are problems with it, then we can also fix them when we 
get to the Floor.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, the gentleman should note that we 
have already accepted Ms. Jackson Lee's outstanding amendment 
that enriched the bill and that focuses on safety. We don't 
want to compromise safety at all. I mean, everybody raise their 
right hand and take the pledge, ``I will not, in any way, 
compromise safety.'' That is not the subject for discussion 
here. The Chair is very patient. What I am trying to emphasize, 
and I will say it again and again and again until somehow we 
begin to appreciate what we are dealing with is a very real 
problem that exists here and now in terms of NASA's workforce. 
We are trying to respond to that problem by giving the agency 
the authority to do some things we think will help them solve 
the problem they have with their workforce.
    We are not using this vehicle to reauthorize NASA. We are 
not using this vehicle to determine whether or not we want to 
compromise safety or give it added emphasis or determine how 
many employees are going to be in which section of the agency. 
We are only dealing with a very narrowly targeted bill to 
address a real problem.
    There are other problems in NASA. We all can agree on that. 
Safety is first and foremost. We have already all agreed to 
that. A crew escape mechanism is something that we are all 
vitally interested in. Let me point out this fall when we get 
back from our recess, I hope we are all well rested and ready 
to go, because we are going to be spending a lot of time in 
this room and these hallowed halls dealing with hearings from 
getting the input from experts on all of the various subjects 
covered in Mr. Hall's amendment.
    Now is there anyone else who seeks recognition on the 
amendment? Mr. Bell.
    Mr. Bell. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The distinguished Chairman states that he wishes he could 
support Mr. Hall's amendment but, for various reasons, cannot. 
And so my suggestion to my friends on the other side of the 
aisle would be to satisfy the Chairman's wishes by going ahead 
and supporting the amendment and then allow him to live 
vicariously through you.
    The--it is an incredibly important amendment. And I am--in 
all seriousness, would agree with the Chair that on February 1, 
everything did change, that in the wake of the tragedy, we now 
have an opportunity to perhaps find a silver lining and that 
NASA can redefine its mission, refocus its mission, and 
certainly dedicate itself anew to safety. I find the timing of 
this legislation, along with a number of my colleagues on this 
side of the aisle, to be rather confusing and somewhat curious. 
I have had an opportunity to visit with Admiral Gehman, as I 
know many Members of the Committee have. And he has made it 
very clear that the report and--to be brought forth will be 
fairly wide in its scope and will not just focus on the causes 
of the tragedy but will be making suggestions as to how to 
improve the overall operations of NASA.
    If our goal today is to try to be proactive instead of 
reactive to the Gehman Report, it seems like we would do our 
best to anticipate what is going to be included in that report, 
what is going to be suggested in that report. And we all know 
that it is no big secret that one of the major points of 
emphasis is going to be safety. Therefore, it would seem to 
follow that if we are going to say we are going to do as much 
as humanly possible, then we are going to do as much as humanly 
possible. And Mr. Hall has brought forth very specific and 
important recommendations as to how, at this juncture, to go 
about improving the safety of the operations at NASA. So 
instead of just talking about it and saying that we can all 
take a pledge that we are committed to the safety of this 
agency, it seems like we can actually demonstrate that by our 
actions here today and support Mr. Hall's amendment instead of 
just finding a way to keep it from being heard. And that would 
be my advice, Mr. Chair, and I would hope that you would take 
it under serious consideration.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Bell.
    The Chair recognizes Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, I would just restate my point of order that I 
believe that the amendment from--offered by the gentleman from 
Texas is--
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair is ready to rule. The 
gentleman raising the point of order is correct. The amendment 
is not germane and is out of order, because the bill deals with 
recruitment--
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Let me finish my statement. Deals with 
recruitment--
    Mr. Hall. Let me start mine.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, the gentleman has already been 
heard not once, but several times on the issue. And if we are 
going to sit here all day and all night, we will never get to 
that summer recess that Ms. Johnson and I both want.
    So the bill deals with the recruitment in personnel 
matters, and the amendment goes beyond that subject matter.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, am I allowed to talk on my 
amendment now, the germaneness of it?
    Chairman Boehlert. You certainly are.
    Mr. Hall. We are not really talking about timing or whether 
these amendments ought to stand alone, these points that I made 
there. We are talking about germaneness. Now how can you say 
that this amendment is not germane at this time? You may not 
agree with it being brought up at this time, but by adopting 
the Boehlert En Bloc Amendment with provisions relating to 
safety, you use that word safety, and the CAIB, Mr. Boehlert, 
you opened up the subject matter for germaneness purposes. It 
is germane. I don't think there is a court in the land that 
wouldn't call this germane.
    Also, if the Chairman will concede that astronauts are a 
part of the workforce, my amendment ought to be germane. 
Safety--certainly safety makes this amendment germane. Ask a 
question. Would you feel safe sending the four remaining 
vehicles up as is? I think not. Question: Should the priority 
be given to getting people their bonuses faster or to improving 
the safety of the shuttle crews as soon as possible? Mr. 
Chairman, I would strongly argue that the amendment is germane. 
Give us a vote. You may vote us down but just not on 
germaneness, not on a technicality. It is too important. This 
bill broadly focuses on the general subjects of NASA workforce 
authorities. Surely amendments concerning the safety of the 
NASA workforce and the administration of NASA as it affects the 
welfare of the workforce, or more precisely, as personnel are 
certainly in order. And this is--really is a germane subject. 
Go on and vote us down. You have got the votes to do that, but 
I think there are people over on your side that think we ought 
to certainly make some inquiries of NASA, give them some 
nudging. Give them some nudging.
    Chairman Boehlert. Does the gentleman appeal the ruling of 
the Chair, because the Chair has already ruled?
    Mr. Hall. I don't want to do that. I am asking the Chairman 
to reconsider and give us--
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Can I speak?
    Mr. Hall [continuing]. A vote on it. I do think it is 
germane. I don't think it is a question of whether or not it is 
germane.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair has ruled, and now the next 
procedure and--
    Mr. Hall. Then, Mr. Chairman, I appeal the ruling of the 
Chairman. I don't like to do that.
    Mr. Forbes. Mr. Chairman, I move to table the appeal, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. The question is on the motion to table 
the appeal. All in favor, say aye.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman, are you cutting off debate?
    Chairman Boehlert. Opposed, no. The ayes have it. The 
motion to appeal--
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I ask for a recorded vote.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert?
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Mr. Boehlert, you 
just voted against yourself.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes.
    Mr. Hall. I move that the voting close.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes yes. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Weldon?
    Mr. Weldon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes yes. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Yeah.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes. Mr. Barton?
    Mr. Barton. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Barton votes yes. Mr. Calvert?
    Mr. Calvert. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes yes. Mr. Nick Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes yes. Mr. Ehlers?
    Dr. Ehlers. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht?
    Mr. Gutknecht. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt?
    Mr. Nethercutt. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt votes yes. Mr. Lucas?
    Mr. Lucas. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes yes. Mrs. Biggert?
    Mrs. Biggert. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes yes. Mr. Gilchrest?
    Mr. Gilchrest. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gilchrest votes yes. Mr. Akin?
    Mr. Akin. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes yes. Mr. Johnson?
    Mr. Johnson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Hart?
    Ms. Hart. Yes.
    The Clerk. Ms. Hart votes yes. Mr. Sullivan?
    Mr. Sullivan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes?
    Mr. Forbes. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes yes. Mr. Gingrey?
    Mr. Gingrey. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey votes yes. Mr. Bishop?
    Mr. Bishop. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop votes yes. Mr. Burgess?
    Mr. Burgess. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes yes. Mr. Bonner?
    Mr. Bonner. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner votes yes. Mr. Feeney?
    Mr. Feeney. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes yes. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes no. Mr. Gordon?
    Mr. Gordon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes no. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes no. Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes no. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Woolsey votes no. Mr. Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes no. Mr. Larson?
    Mr. Larson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Larson votes no. Mr. Udall?
    Mr. Udall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes no. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Wu votes no. Mr. Honda?
    Mr. Honda. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda votes no. Mr. Bell?
    Mr. Bell. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes no. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes no. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Davis votes no. Ms. Jackson Lee?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes no. Ms. Lofgren?
    Ms. Lofgren. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman?
    Mr. Sherman. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Sherman votes no. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes no. Mr. Moore?
    Mr. Moore. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes no. Mr. Weiner?
    Mr. Weiner. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes no. Mr. Cardoza?
    Mr. Cardoza. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Cardoza votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How was Mr. Weldon recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon of Pennsylvania is recorded as yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Ehlers recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers is not recorded.
    Dr. Ehlers. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes, 22; no, 19.
    Mr. Barton. Mr. Chairman, could I strike the words?
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Barton. Briefly. Briefly.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yeah.
    Mr. Barton. This Committee has had a long history of 
bipartisanship. I am looking up at these paintings, Mr. Brown, 
and Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Teige, Mr. Sensenbrenner, and Mr. Walker. 
I don't--and I don't think we are going to, but I certainly 
don't want the Science Committee to become what has happened 
over in the Ways and Means Committee. And had we had a policy 
vote, I would have voted with Mr. Hall on the policy. But you 
are the Chairman, and I think we should always vote, those of 
us in the Majority, to support the Chairman on procedural 
grounds. But I certainly hope that you meant it when you told 
Mr. Hall that you would work with him on the policy issues in 
the authorization bill that is coming, because I think the 
issues that Mr. Hall raises are extremely important issues. And 
this Committee should address those issues in a bipartisan way. 
And I know you have a long history of bipartisanship. And I 
just want to encourage you to honor your commitment to Mr. Hall 
at the appropriate vehicle.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. That is a 
commitment I fully intend to honor. Mr. Hall and I have 
enjoyed, from the moment I assumed this Chair, the best 
possible relationship. And those who are in the audience should 
observe the manner in which we are proceeding. We have strong 
differences of opinion being expressed up here, butmidway 
through the deliberations, Mr. Hall brought me a nice piece of candy. 
Somebody else said, you know, we have got to finish this by 5:30, 
because we have got to get to Mr. Hall's fund-raiser, and that was not 
from a Democrat, it was from a Republican.
    The point is, we may disagree but we don't--we are not 
disagreeable, and this Committee is not going to change. And 
this Committee allows people to be heard. And Mr. Barton, as I 
stressed to you, I couldn't agree more with the importance of 
the subject matter addressed in the Hall Amendment. And we are 
going to deal with that in a very responsible way. We are just 
saying not this vehicle, not this time.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. This is a very narrowly defined vehicle. 
And we are going to move forward to deal with a very real 
problem in a meaningful way involving the workforce, then we 
are going to proceed to deal with all of the other things, as 
Mr. Hall rightfully pointed out, deserve our undivided 
attention to----
    Mr. Barton. Thank you. And I yield back my time, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Ms. Jackson Lee.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. I move to strike the last word.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentlelady is recognized.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to certainly acknowledge the Chairman's 
graciousness in accepting the amendment that I offered, but I 
am disappointed when I was conspicuous enough to want to speak 
on the amendment that I was not acknowledged to be able to 
participate in the debate. So I will take this time to say that 
I disagree with the Chairman's position and the ruling of the 
Chair. We have lost the vote, but let me offer these words on 
the record.
    First of all, we are dealing with workforce. Crew equals 
workforce. The crew are employees of NASA, and so I believe 
that the ruling was incorrect.
    Secondarily, I would say, Mr. Chairman, for those of us who 
live in the community, if you look at the article that I have 
submitted into the record, the investigator said that they 
interviewed 200 people anonymously because people are in fear 
of telling the truth. Thank goodness that they have been 
interviewed anonymously. There is a major culture change that 
NASA needs to experience. The cavalier attitude that they had 
on the question of safety is an enormous challenge for all of 
us.
    And what I would say that even though Dr. Martin Luther 
King is not a space expert who--in his lifetime and certainly 
not in his death, he wrote a book, ``Why We Can't Wait''. And I 
believe that is an appropriate statement for what we did not do 
today. We cannot wait, because there is a terrible culture at 
NASA that needs to be changed. Mr. Hall's legislation or 
amendment suggested that we have 86 individuals put in the 
safety unit. There is nothing non-germane with that. That has 
to do with workforce. He also suggested an authorization of $50 
million if I am reading that correctly. And I would only say 
that we are making a terrible mistake by waiting, because this 
bill--this amendment does not put in permanent concrete. It has 
flexibility. What it says to NASA is that they should begin to 
look at these issues now, and in particular they should not 
outsource very vital safety questions.
    And let me say this, Mr. Chairman, being on this Committee 
since I came to this Congress, I know that I can go through the 
record and cite any number of times that collectively we have 
all spoken about safety. And I can also cite specific times 
that I have raised the question to the extent of being at odds 
with a number of chairpersons on this Committee, not you, but a 
number of them that didn't think that this was a serious issue. 
It is serious. And for those of us who have had one on one 
contacts with the astronauts, friends of ours, who say, ``Come 
talk to me off the record.'' This is a disaster waiting to 
happen if we do not address the safety question now and not 
later.
    And so I am sorry and disappointed that we found that Mr. 
Hall's very thoughtful amendment was not germane. I am 
certainly appreciative of the Committee's willingness to accept 
the amendment that I offered. By my friends, I warn you. Yeah, 
we are waiting on the Gehman Report. We have got all of the 
loyalty of the United States of America, because the public 
says, ``We like human space shuttle.'' But I tell you that you 
have a culture that needs to be changed. And the right thing 
for us to do today was to send a message to NASA that we will 
not let up on safety and that we will start thinking about 
safety now when we should have thought about it right after 
Challenger. We didn't do anything about that, and we lost the 
lives of wonderful husbands, wives, parents. People are still 
mourning, and yet we don't want to act on Mr. Hall's amendment.
    I think, as a bipartisan Committee, we could have done 
better than that. And I want to thank Mr. Smith for his 
bipartisan peanuts that I have just eaten, hoping that I would 
have a bipartisan spirit, but safety is such a crucial issue, 
we should have sent a notice out today that we are not fooling 
around with safety, passing Mr. Hall's amendment. And I am 
disappointed that the ruling was so rendered. I would ask for 
reconsideration of the Chairman's ruling.
    Chairman Boehlert. I thank the gentlelady for her comments.
    The next amendment is amendment number eight offered by Ms. 
Eddie Bernice Johnson.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, if I could strike the last word, 
and I will bring closure to this and----
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Gordon is recognized.
    Mr. Gordon. Because we are--at least my closure, because we 
are beating a dead horse here.
    I have no--we are past--we know we are going to go forward 
with this. Mr. Barton has made it clear that we all want to 
deal with this issue of safety later. I just want to point 
out--and again, let us go forward, but I want to point out that 
at the end of this week, we are going to be out until 
September. The schedule says that the--get out before Columbus 
Day. So we are on a short time limit. NASA says they want to 
launch again before the year is over, and if not, they want to 
launch early next year. And if they don't launch by, I guess, 
February or so, then we really have a problem in terms of the 
Space Station. And you know we don't get much done in January 
and February.
    So let us just keep these things in mind. I don't--I mean, 
I know you are sincere about going forward. I just lay this 
calendar out so that we can keep it in mind. And I don't need a 
response. I just wanted to lay that out.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. I would like to really and truly strike the last 
word.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall is recognized.
    Mr. Hall. We have voted, and we have been outvoted and 
outvoted and outvoted 22 to 19 several times. And it came 
pretty close one time on a tie vote, but I think we are all of 
one accord about safety. I don't question anybody's judgment on 
safety. My God, we pray for these people. We cry for them when 
we lose them. We appropriate for them as a--youngsters coming 
up in the program. I think we need to really address crew 
safety, so although I know from my early raisings on the 
ranching farm back in Texas that you don't ever rope a yearling 
when they are running downhill. And you are running downhill 
right now. You are winning. Every time we look up, we get 22 to 
19. But I believe it is unanimous in this Committee that we 
want to address safety. I am going to have an amendment just a 
little bit later for our crew safety and give us a chance to 
vote on that. I hope you will support that.
    I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much, Mr. Hall.
    Now the Chair recognizes Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson from 
Texas for amendment number eight. Are you prepared?
    Ms. Johnson. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Ms. Eddie 
Bernice Johnson of Texas.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    Ms. Johnson is recognized for 5 minutes to offer her 
amendment.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This amendment 
provides for a sense of Congress that NASA should conduct a 
continuing program for the recruitment of minorities and women 
to eliminate the under-representation in the various categories 
of civil service. We know that NASA is very short of qualified 
staff and the pool to draw them is getting slimmer. And yet if 
we would use much of what is available, we would probably be in 
a little bit better shape. And Mr. Chairman, I understand that 
you accepted this amendment?
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes, I have. I think it is a good 
amendment, and I am proud to identify with it.
    Ms. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Is there anyone else who seeks 
recognition?
    If not, the vote is on the amendment. All in favor, say 
aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it, and the amendment is agreed 
to.
    The next amendment on the roster is amendment number nine 
offered by Mr. Gordon from Tennessee.
    Mr. Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I believe this amendment should 
be non-controversial, but what I would----
    Chairman Boehlert. Let the Clerk report.
    Mr. Gordon. Okay. Excuse me.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Gordon.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Gordon is recognized.
    Mr. Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think this amendment 
will be non-controversial. I suggest everybody take a deep 
breath of air. I would also suggest that all of those Members 
that have a NASA facility in their district or close by listen 
carefully to this. I think you will be interested about this 
amendment.
    Basically, my amendment is intended to ensure that NASA 
does the assessment and planning necessary to ensure that it 
has both the workforce and the infrastructure needed to carry 
out its human space flight programs over the coming years. It 
is also intended to ensure that Congress has the information it 
needs to make sure that NASA has the appropriate level of 
resources.
    This amendment is consistent with what I thought NASA would 
be providing to Congress as a result of the Strategic Resource 
Review. NASA was directed to do an agency-wide review of its 
workforce and infrastructure needs and capabilities by the 
Office of Management and Budget as well as by the Appropriation 
Committee. I believe that such information is essential if 
Congress is to evaluate the potential workforce legislation as 
well as judge the likely NASA resource requirements we will be 
looking for over the next decade.
    I was therefore concerned to learn at our Subcommittee 
hearing last year that the Strategic Resource Review had been 
closed down by NASA with little to show for it. The questions 
that should have been addressed by the Strategic Resource 
Review are still important and relevant, and Congress still 
needs information if it is to carry out its responsibilities.
    For example, in response to a written question that I 
submitted to NASA after the February 27 hearing, the NASA 
Administrator acknowledged that, and I quote, ``The fiscal year 
2004 budget proposal shows a decreasing civil service workforce 
in FTE run out through fiscal year 2008.'' That leads to the 
obvious question: why is NASA projecting a decrease in the 
civil service workforce? Is NASA planning to outsource even 
more of its jobs over the next 5 years in spite of concerns 
expressed by Admiral Gehman over contracting out in the shuttle 
program? Or is NASA planning to do fewer projects, close 
facilities, or otherwise scale back its activities? Congress 
needs to have answers to those questions.
    And while I am concerned about the workforce and 
infrastructure needs of the entire agency, I think that the 
Columbia accident has made it clear that we need to focus 
particular attention at this program--at this time on the 
future requirements of the human space flight program.
    As a result, I have structured my amendment to direct NASA 
to do a Strategic Resource Review for all of NASA's human space 
flight activities. Congress needs NASA to tell us what its 
human space flight goals are in the future as well as what the 
workforce and infrastructure, let me say that again, 
infrastructure requirements are to achieve these goals. You 
cannot have the best workforce in the world--you can have the 
best workforce in the world, but if you don't provide the 
necessary tools and facilities, they aren't going to be able to 
achieve their goals that you have set before them.
    If we are interested in helping to attract and retain the 
best NASA workforce to meet our human space flight goals, we 
need to make sure that the infrastructure is there to support 
them, whether it is as Cape Kennedy, Marshall Space Fight 
Center, Johnson Space Center, or wherever else the work may be 
done. I think, Mr. Chairman, that my goal tries to achieve 
that.
    And let me say, Mr. Chairman, finally that as you are 
painfully aware, I have raised concerns about timeliness 
earlier. Let me admit that here I am a failure. Although you 
have had this amendment, I wanted--I have submitted a different 
amendment at the desk. Originally, this amendment said that you 
could not go forward with this workforce flexibility act until 
we received the report back from NASA on the Strategic Resource 
Review. I did that because we need some reason, or you know, 
way to get NASA to make this important report. I took that out, 
and so there is nothing dilatory here at all. This is a 
straight request that they simply give us a resource review of 
what is the infrastructure needs to carry out the goals of our 
human space flight.
    Mr. Chairman, I think this is reasonable, and I apologize 
for the late change, but it was done in an effort to try to 
make it more palpable to you and this Committee.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    The Chair reluctantly opposes this. The issues that this 
amendment raises, 20-year goals for human space flight and 
infrastructure needed to support those goals, along with the 
necessary NASA workforce levels, are exactly the issues that 
should be raised in a very meaningful way and discussed in a 
very meaningful way when considering NASA's reauthorization.
    NASA is asked to address its workforce shortfalls and 
workforce levels, as the amendment calls for, when NASA is to 
report on the agency's critical needs in the workforce plan 
already required in H.R. 1085. More reports, more reports, more 
reports. We have already got a requirement in H.R. 1085. And we 
should deal with this in a very substantive way when we deal 
with the reauthorization.
    Is there anyone else who seeks to be heard on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I would like----
    Mr. Gordon. Really, what we are doing here is asking for a 
report that NASA has refused to do even though OMB requested 
it, even though the Appropriations Committee requested it. And 
so although this bill may ask for some type of resource review 
concerning personnel, it does not talk about the infrastructure 
that is needed so that that personnel can do its job. Ask the 
folks at Kennedy. Ask the folks at Johnson whether they are--
they feel that those resources, those infrastructure resources 
are adequate. I think you will find they will say not, but we 
need to know where we are going to go with it.
    Chairman Boehlert. That report, incidentally, was completed 
by NASA in August 2002. And it is my understanding that both 
sides have received the report.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I will remind you that we had a 
hearing with Administrator O'Keefe where I specifically asked 
that question. I said Mr. O'Keefe, when you were at OMB, your 
own OMB requested this report. The Senate Appropriations 
Committee requested, or I guess I should say, you know, 
required it. He came back at that hearing before us and said 
that they weren't doing a good job and so they weren't going to 
have to continue with it. So we do not have that report, and--
--
    Chairman Boehlert. The hearing was before the final report 
came out. Subsequent to that hearing, which Mr. O'Keefe 
testified, the hearing--the report was issued. And the Majority 
and Minority have both received that.
    Mr. Gordon. Right. We have received it, and Mr. O'Keefe 
himself has said that it was not adequate and that he was not 
going to go forward with it. So we do not have that fulfilled 
report.
    Chairman Boehlert. There are a number of things going on at 
NASA that I think we could all agree, and are more----
    Mr. Gordon. This was----
    Chairman Boehlert. That are not adequate. But the fact of 
the matter is we are dealing with one narrow focus on workforce 
restructuring, and this is a bill that deals with it in a 
substantive way to address the problem that has been 
identified. That does not mean that the other problems being 
discussed here, the other concerns being discussed here, 
whether it is safety, or crew escape mechanisms, all of those 
things are vitally important. But we are not going to do 
everything in one narrowly focused bill to deal with a very 
real problem. And so I would suggest----
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Gordon. Is it your time or my time?
    Chairman Boehlert. No, your time has already expired.
    Mr. Gordon. Oh, okay.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I would note that Mr. Gordon and I--Mr. 
Lampson's amendment later on are an attempt to try to prod NASA 
into making some long-term assessments that they just aren't 
doing. And quite frankly, we have got to make sure that we deal 
with the NASA bureaucracy in a much more, how do you say, 
officious way, because we are the public officials who are 
elected to set policy for the public on this great--in this--
for NASA and this great asset for the United States. And quite 
frankly, I think Mr. Gordon and Mr. Lampson have--are well 
motivated and what they are suggesting--now your point Mr. 
Chairman is it shouldn't be on this bill. And----
    Chairman Boehlert. May the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Sure. Certainly.
    Chairman Boehlert. I have never once doubted the good 
intentions and the proper aspects of the motivation of Mr. 
Gordon and Mr. Lampson. They are valued Members of this 
Committee. They contribute constructively on every single 
measure that we consider, whether it is NASA or a whole wide 
range of other activities that come before this Committee.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I will--let me suggest that I have been in 
various Committees, this one included, where sometimes a bill 
is going through and we actually had something on the bill that 
wasn't totally in keeping with the long--with the specific 
purpose of the bill. But it was made part of the bill in order 
to help set policy for NASA. So I would back up the Chairman in 
any decision that he makes, but I would think that it is not 
totally--I would just say that Mr. Lampson and Mr. Gordon have 
some points that wouldn't be unwelcome in the legislation.
    Chairman Boehlert. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Yes, sir.
    Chairman Boehlert. No doubt about it. And I would suggest 
we deal with that in report language in a very meaningful way. 
Let me point out, we are going to get this--we are not the only 
actors in this drama. We--I think we are the most responsible 
ones, but there are other Committees involved, and this has 
been a long process and very delicate negotiations. And you 
know how some of our colleagues can be.
    I mean, can you imagine some of the other Committees having 
a markup as--like this as contentious as it is in certain 
substantive ways and yet everybody is smiling and complimenting 
each other? And we are doing it the way it should be done. 
But--so I would suggest that the comments of Mr. Gordon and Mr. 
Lampson and what their amendments propose to do and much of 
what Mr. Hall proposes to do we write a very strong report.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, I am reclaiming my time but just 
suggest that we all appreciate that you don't have the cattle 
prod mentality of some chairmen, but maybe we need to use the 
cattle prod on the NASA bureaucracy sometimes. And I think this 
is what this attempt is to do.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman, would you yield for a short 
question?
    Chairman Boehlert. Who is--who seeks recognition? Yes, Mr. 
Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. Would this amendment that is offered by Mr. 
Gordon detract from anything within your bill that you are 
intending to try to accomplish?
    Chairman Boehlert. Yeah. No. It presents problems as we 
deal with the other Committees, because the--you know, things 
that have several Committees with overlapping jurisdiction 
don't just come together neatly as we all would like. You know, 
there are turf battles and everything else. We don't have 
battles in this Committee. I mean, we work across the center 
aisle, and we try to fashion a reasonable compromise. And if we 
didn't have any other Committee to be concerned about, much of 
what has transpired previously today would not have been 
necessary. But we have other Committees that we have to deal 
with. And so I like to deal with reality. I mean, the world is 
one way. It is not as I would like it, but the world is that 
way, and I can't change it overnight.
    Mr. Gordon. If there is still time, I would like to
    Mr. Lampson. I yield to Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, you know, again, this is our 
Committee, not somebody else's Committee. We should try to do 
what we think is right here.
    Chairman Boehlert. Well, we always do, but we also have to 
keep our eye on the objective of this Committee.
    Mr. Gordon. Right.
    Chairman Boehlert. We can talk--excuse me----
    Mr. Gordon. Sir, go ahead.
    Chairman Boehlert. You have spoken several times. The Chair 
is generous with the time, and I will continue to be generous, 
but the fact of the matter--well, you are recognized.
    Mr. Gordon. If Mr. Lampson would--I am just----
    Mr. Lampson. I yield.
    Mr. Gordon [continuing]. Trying to finish up his time. 
Again, all I am pointing out is that all we are doing here is 
asking NASA to do what President Bush's OMB asked him earlier 
to do, what the Senate Appropriations Committee asked them to 
do so that we would have some of this planning information, not 
to get into an I told you--I don't want to be in an I told you 
so situation. I want to be able to help them to plan out a 
future and so that we can understand that we have to know what 
are--what are the infrastructure needs of Kennedy, what are the 
infrastructure needs of Johnson and other facilities here. 
Again, all we are doing is asking them to do what the 
Administration and the appropriators have already asked them to 
do and they have not completed.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    We will--that is why I mentioned the value of using the 
report language effectively to advance the best interests of 
what both sides of the aisle agree we have to advance.
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. That would be helpful. Thank you, 
sir. I think what we need to really have, Mr. Chairman, is some 
good testimony and good debate of what are the goals of the 
space program. There is a lot of interest, of course, in manned 
space flight, but I would suggest to you that depending on what 
our goals are, we also need to figure out what should be the 
balance between unmanned flight and manned flight.
    In our Research Subcommittee, we have had testimony that 
the dollars spent on research could be much more effective in 
unmanned space flight and actual research on the ground with 
simulation. So I think one goal that this Committee needs to 
look at, and I appreciate the interest of our Texas delegation 
with manned space flight, but really we need to get to--and 
when Mr. Lampson was talking about his amendment, and I 
appreciate his amendment, my suggestion to him was that we also 
need to fit in there the unmanned space flight andwhat are our 
goals on unmanned space. And so I just conclude, Mr. Chairman, to 
suggest that with the tightness of the budget in the future, the goals 
of the overall space flight program aren't just to put men in space but 
are to accommodate the new exploration of space to have a better 
knowledge of outer space to accrue some of the wisdom that research can 
give us in terms of our ability to better accommodate the potential 
future of outer space.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Would the gentleman yield?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. I would yield and after Mr. 
Rohrabacher is finished, I would yield back the balance of my 
time.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. I certainly think that the distinguished 
Chairman of the Research Committee is correct that space is not 
just manned--a manned system and that we should be looking at 
our space exploration and space utilization beyond manned. 
However, let me note to the distinguished Chairman of the 
Subcommittee that Mr. Gordon and Mr. Lampson are Members of the 
Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, and our responsibility does 
definitely include overseeing manned space. And they have not 
been receiving, as I have not been receiving, the type of 
answers to the questions of long-term strategy that I think 
would give me confidence that the job is being done. And thus, 
I could understand Mr. Lampson and Mr. Gordon's concern here. 
And--but the Chairman wants to make sure we accomplish this on 
another bill and another vehicle, and I think that is 
legitimate as well.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentleman is correct. Thank you very 
much. The question is on the amendment.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I will withdraw my amendment 
since you have assured us that you are going to put this in the 
request to----
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Mr. Gordon [continuing]. The Strategic Review in the report 
language. I think it is clear that everyone here thinks we need 
more planning, we need to better understand, and I think that a 
sincere effort to accomplish that through the--we don't care 
how it is done. We just want the information, and I thank you 
for putting it in the report language.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you.
    The gentleman asks unanimous consent to withdraw his 
amendment. Without objection, so ordered.
    The next amendment is amendment number ten offered by Mr. 
Lampson of Texas. Would you defer to your senior colleague on 
your side of the aisle and follow his wise ways? Mr. Lampson, 
I--
    Mr. Lampson. I have an amendment at the desk, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will read the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Lampson.
    Chairman Boehlert. I would ask unanimous consent to 
dispense with the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    Mr. Lampson is recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Lampson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    You know, I am not sure there is anything up here with the 
possible exception of the work that I do on missing and 
exploited children that I feel as strongly about as I do on 
space. And I have been going--taking students since I was a 
physical science teacher in 1968 to 1969 and later focusing on 
our accomplishments in space. And I know what it did to inspire 
children to study harder in the areas of math and science and 
engineering and to dream about going to work at NASA.
    And it is interesting to note that over the last 10 years, 
NASA's workforce has been cut from 25,000 down to 18,000 
employees. And even before the Columbia accident, the future 
direction of many of NASA's programs, such as the Space Station 
and the Space Shuttle, were left out there to be determined. 
There were no specific statements about where we were going and 
what we were going to be doing. America's human space flight 
program is adrift with no clear vision or commitment to any 
goals after the completion of the International Space Station.
    And to follow-up with what Mr. Smith said earlier, except 
that there are some, Mr. Smith, with robotic efforts in space. 
We do have specific goals that reach out--and missions that are 
planned to take us for a long period of time.
    Given that outlook, why should a good scientist or engineer 
or project manager seek to join NASA or stay there if offered 
other options, and I don't think they would? The intent of my 
amendment, therefore, is to require the NASA Administrator to 
provide Congress with a vision and a concrete set of goals for 
the Nation's human space flight program after the International 
Space Station.
    The--what I remember from a hearing where Mr. O'Keefe came 
and told us about many of the things that he was proposing that 
NASA consider that would bolster the opportunity to entice 
people to come to work for NASA, those monetary incentives, I 
remember getting up from this dais and walking out and sitting 
down with a group of about 15 or 20 college students sitting 
here in the audience. And I quietly asked those young folks 
whether it was those incentives that we were talking about or 
if it was something else that might most entice them to want a 
career with NASA. And the answer was, ``We want something to 
do. We want to be able to live a dream and to have a shot at 
accomplishing that dream. And that is more important to us than 
some monetary reward might be.''
    So the basic premise of this is that raises and retention 
bonuses are not the way to keep and retain NASA employees, 
rather an exciting, goal-based vision for human space flight is 
how you keep the best and the brightest NASA employees. So my 
amendment requires the NASA Administrator, within 90 days of 
enactment, to establish a phased series of goals over the next 
20 years, including human visits to the Earth to sun libration 
points, Earth to orbit crossing asteroids, deployment of a 
human-tended research and habitation facility on the moon, 
human expeditions to the surface and moons of Mars.
    And the real obstacle that we face in overcoming the drift 
in the Nation's human space flight program is not 
technological, and it is not financial. I said it earlier. It 
is just the lack of a commitment of getting started. Take the 
first step. Act instead of talk. A recent national poll 
conducted earlier this month found that more than half the 
people surveyed believe that we should not resume the Space 
Shuttle program until the future of the space program has been 
redefined. Fifty-two percent of our citizens, or those who were 
polled, at least, believe that we should return to the moon in 
the near future and establish a base. We need to move forward 
and outward beyond low Earth orbit. And in the process, we will 
revitalize our space program. We will energize our industrial 
and academic sectors. We will create new opportunities for 
international cooperation and, more than anything, will inspire 
our young people to want to goback into its involvement with 
NASA.
    So I, indeed, ask for support of this amendment and think 
that it is extremely germane to the workforce creation that 
George Abbey, within the first 6 months of my being in Congress 
5-6 years ago, asked us to begin to address.
    And I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentleman's timing is impeccable. We 
have 11 seconds left in your 5 minutes.
    Here is where we are right now. We have three other 
amendments. All of the arguments that need to be made have been 
made, it is just that not everyone has made them. That is an 
old saw on Capitol Hill. So we have the following choice facing 
us. We can have a vote on this amendment and then go over and 
vote on the Floor and then come back and then be interrupted by 
another one. No new light will be shed on the subject matter 
over the next 2 hours. A lot of Members will be inconvenienced. 
I am here as long as this hearing is going forward. So is Mr. 
Hall. So is there a determined effort on the part of my 
distinguished colleagues on the other side to press the point, 
or will you follow the lead set by Mr. Gordon?
    The point has been made. There are some honest differences 
of opinion. And let us wrap up this bill. What is your 
pleasure, Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, if you mean wrapping it up as 
putting all four of those amendments up here for an up or down 
vote, I am going to have to ask you for regular order.
    Chairman Boehlert. Indeed, regular order. I understand. All 
right.
    Mr. Hall. Each one is entitled--there is something 
different about it.
    Chairman Boehlert. No, no. And I understand. I understand. 
They are all in a general--very similar in nature, but we will 
proceed. Is there anyone else that seeks recognition to speak?
    Mr. Hall. Before you vote on this one--my wife is in the 
dining room and can't pay her bill. I have to get over there in 
just a minute.
    Chairman Boehlert. We would like to get a vote in on this. 
We have got 10 minutes now. Who else seeks recognition?
    Mr. Hall. I have sought recognition, not just about----
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall [continuing]. My wife, but about my friend, Nick 
Lampson.
    Nick, you are directing the Administrator to take certain 
actions that we have asked him to take and that he has not 
taken, correct?
    Mr. Lampson. Yes, sir, that is correct.
    Mr. Hall. I would remind you that this is the same 
Administrator that came before this Committee and withheld the 
fact that he had been appointed Administrator and danced around 
all of the questions we asked him. And do you know how hard it 
is to get any action out of him?
    Mr. Lampson. Unfortunately, I do. Yes, sir.
    Mr. Hall. And are you aware of the fact that as another 
example--you have talked as an example at the Columbia accident 
there was no commitment by the Administrator to restoring the 
research capabilities that had been planned for the Space 
Station. And there is still no commitment. Now is your 
amendment based on the fact that as another example a few years 
ago, NASA challenged a group of its bright young engineers to 
come up with a low-cost, reliable crew rescue vehicle for the 
Space Station and they did? It was an X-38 CRV. Did you know 
that is the one that was canceled by--unceremoniously by Mr. 
O'Keefe?
    Mr. Lampson. Unfortunately, I----
    Mr. Hall. We have to direct him to do something to get him 
to do what the Congress wants done?
    Mr. Lampson. Yes, sir. You are right.
    Mr. Hall. I support your amendment, and I ask that we 
support it and vote for it.
    Mr. Lampson. Thank you.
    Mr. Hall. I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you. It is in violation of House 
rules to vote while there is a vote in progress on the Floor, 
so the Committee will stand in recess to 5 minutes after the--
this vote is finished, if this is the only vote.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman Boehlert. To get on with the business of the 
Committee, the question is on the Lampson Amendment. All in 
favor, say aye.
    Ms. Lofgren. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Yes.
    Ms. Lofgren. Mr. Chairman, I would move to strike the last 
word, and I would like to yield time to Mr. Lampson.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentlelady strikes the last word, 
and she yields time to Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. I just wanted to reemphasize before we took 
the vote on this that--how important I felt that it is to 
consider what this can do to energize the workforce considering 
go back in or going to NASA. It is something that really a lot 
of folks have made many comments to me about, not just George 
Abbey. I think he was the first that explained the real problem 
that existed at particularly the Johnson Space Center how many 
folks were choosing to leave their--at times in their career 
that was going to create a greater hardship. And that hardship 
is what I think we are trying to address through the big bill 
as well as what this amendment can do.
    So Mr. Chairman, without belaboring the point, I would hope 
that we would give consideration to this under the 
circumstances. I would love to see the passage of this bill, 
love for you to accept it, and let us go forward with this 
included in your big bill.
    And I yield back my time to Ms. Lofgren.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    Ms. Lofgren. I yield back.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. The question is on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Lampson. 
All in favor, say aye. Opposed nay. The nays have it.
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman, I request the yeas and nays.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will call the roll.
    Mr. Lampson. Roll call.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert?
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Texas. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon?
    Mr. Weldon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes no. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Barton?
    Mr. Barton. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert?
    Mr. Calvert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes no. Mr. Nick Smith?
    Mr. Smith of Michigan. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no. Mr. Bartlett?
    Mr. Bartlett. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers?
    Dr. Ehlers. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht?
    Mr. Gutknecht. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht votes no. Mr. Nethercutt?
    Mr. Nethercutt. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas?
    Mr. Lucas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes no. Mrs. Biggert?
    Mrs. Biggert. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Gilchrest?
    Mr. Gilchrest. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin?
    Mr. Akin. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes no. Mr. Johnson?
    Mr. Johnson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson votes no. Mr. Sullivan? I am sorry. 
Ms. Hart? Ms. Hart?
    Ms. Hart. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Sullivan?
    Mr. Sullivan. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes?
    Mr. Forbes. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes no. Mr. Gingrey?
    Mr. Gingrey. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop?
    Mr. Bishop. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess?
    Mr. Burgess. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes no. Mr. Bonner?
    Mr. Bonner. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bonner votes no. Mr. Feeney?
    Mr. Feeney. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes no. Mr. Neugebauer?
    Mr. Neugebauer. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Bartlett recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett is not recorded.
    Mr. Bartlett. Bartlett votes no.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Ms. Biggert recorded?
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert is not recorded.
    Mrs. Biggert. No.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes no. Mr. Hall?
    Mr. Hall. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes yes. Mr. Gordon?
    Mr. Gordon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes yes. Mr. Costello?
    Mr. Costello. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson?
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes yes. Mr. Johnson--Ms. 
Johnson?
    Ms. Johnson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Woolsey?
    Ms. Woolsey. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson?
    Mr. Lampson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes yes. Mr. Larson?
    Mr. Larson. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall?
    Mr. Udall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes yes. Mr. Wu?
    Mr. Wu. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda?
    Mr. Honda. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell?
    Mr. Bell. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes yes. Mr. Miller?
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes yes. Mr. Davis?
    Mr. Davis. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Ms. Lofgren?
    Ms. Lofgren. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Lofgren votes yes. Mr. Sherman?
    Mr. Sherman. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird?
    Mr. Baird. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes yes. Mr. Moore?
    Mr. Moore. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Weiner?
    Mr. Weiner. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson?
    Mr. Matheson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Matheson votes yes. Mr. Cardoza?
    Mr. Cardoza. [No response.]
    The Clerk. Mr. Cardoza votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Gingrey recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey is not recorded.
    Mr. Gingrey. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Smith of Texas recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith of Texas is not recorded.
    Mr. Smith of Texas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Rohrabacher?
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher is not recorded.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Burgess recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess is not recorded--is recorded as no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Moore recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore is not recorded.
    Mr. Moore. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes, 12; no, 18.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much. The amendment is 
defeated.
    The next amendment is amendment number 11 on the roster 
offered by Mr. Miller of North Carolina. Mr. Miller, are you 
prepared to proceed?
    Mr. Miller. I am, sir.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Miller.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered. Mr. Miller is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Miller. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This bill is another--or this amendment is another that 
goes to personnel policies. The civil service system was, 
again, considered a great, great reform a century ago or more, 
replacing the spoils system, when government jobs were simply 
political payoffs, that they were given out for basically 
cronyism or political patronage, not based upon merit and not 
based upon any great sense of duty that they were to do the 
people's work and give the people their money's worth. All of 
the--I agree, though, that all of those safeguards in the civil 
service system may have become, in some instances, an 
impediment to efficient government, that they have made 
government a lumbering, unresponsive bureaucracy. And I am 
certainly willing to support some experiments to try other 
methods to make sure that we are recruiting and motivating and 
rewarding employees to make sure that we have the best 
workforce possible.
    Mr. Chairman, I do not agree that this bill is a narrow 
focus, as you have said on several occasions. I think that 
personnel is central to how an agency operates. The personnel 
policies are central to how an agency operates, and I also do 
not agree that this does not have to do with safety, because if 
human space flight is to be safe, it will be NASA employees who 
make it safe. It is very hard to read the responses of NASA to 
the inquiries--the questions put to them by Mr. Gordon and not 
come away with the impression that they simply, rather than 
having specific ideas for how to be more innovative to make 
government more flexible and more efficient, they simply found 
all of the civil procedures--all of this civil service stuff to 
be a nuisance.
    And it is also hard not to read the responses and think 
they aren't all that keen on Congressional oversight, either. 
They also think that we are pretty much a nuisance. They said 
that they oppose to having any limitation on how many people 
could be in the demonstration projects by saying that that 
would create a dual workforce with some people operating under 
one set of rules and others operating on another set of rules 
and that was intolerable. But now they say if it is 8,000 
instead of 5,000, that is all right. We have asked them exactly 
what they plan to do. They say, ``We identified additional 
tools to enhance these capabilities, and are seeking 
legislation to give us the tools.'' And in the next paragraph, 
they say, ``Although we are very interested in testing human 
capital innovations under the demonstrative project authority, 
we do not have a preconceived notion of what the features of 
the--other features of the project.'' They have some ideas, but 
they don't have some ideas, or maybe they are just not telling 
us.
    Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, this amendment 
provides for the National Academy of Public Administration, 
which is apparently a well-respected body, to contract--
requires that NASA contract with them and to conduct a study of 
exactly what flexibility they have now and how they are using 
it and if they are not using it, why they are not using it. 
Although this amendment is limited to a one-time thing--or a 
one-time provision to look at it now, it certainly is probably 
appropriate that in a year or two or after NASA has gotten 
enhanced authority to look again at how they are using their 
authority.
    But I cannot share their annoyance of having to answer to 
Congress. This seems to be our job. We should look at how they 
are running that agency. And whether human space flight is safe 
or not is going to depend very greatly, if not entirely, upon 
their employees, whether they have the talented employees, the 
dedicated employees, that they need to do the work.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you very much.
    The Chair will oppose the amendment. H.R. 1085 already 
directs NASA to submit annual performance plans and specific 
information on the use of these workforce authorities to 
Congress for the next 6 years. The Congress does not need 
another, yet another external study from NASA to take the place 
of already vigorous Congressional oversight, which this 
Committee intends to provide.
    Is there anyone else who seeks to be recognized on the 
amendment?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I strongly support Mr. Miller's 
amendment. Based on testimony and answers that we have received 
from NASA to date, NASA hasn't presented convincing evidence it 
has made full use of the workforce authorities already 
available to it under existing law and if we have not gotten 
any clear evidence that NASA even knows how effective these 
existing authorities might be if they were fully utilized. Now 
that is not just my opinion.
    When the GAO testified on NASA's workforce needs last year, 
David Walker, who is the GAO Comptroller General, stated, and I 
quote, ``At this time, without having performed a more detailed 
analysis of NASA's human capital plan, we are not in a position 
to assess NASA's use of existing authorities, the sufficiency 
of those authorities, and their relationship to agency-wide 
human capital need.'' Even they couldn't tell what they were 
doing and what they were going to say.
    Moreover, NASA has acknowledged it hasn't even collected 
basic data. For example, it currently is unable to compare its 
success rate in filling positions with that of the industry at 
large, a comparison that is very needed. I believe Congress 
needs some answers as to how NASA is using the authorities at 
NASA, as already provided it. And Mr. Miller's amendment will 
help to get those answers. I urge you to adopt his amendment.
    I yield back my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. Is there anyone else who seeks 
recognition? If not, we will vote and--or go to the Floor and 
vote. We can't vote, because there is a vote in progress.
    And when we return, the first order of business will be to 
vote on the Miller Amendment. The Committee stands in recess.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman. Boehlert. We will resume now, and as we----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Went to our recess, the pending order of 
business was a vote on the Miller----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Chairman. I would like to strike the last 
word.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair will indulge the gentlelady 
from Texas, but if we continue on and in--we recessed with the 
idea the first order of business when we come back would be to 
vote, but now the gentlelady is here. She was not here before 
the vote. We will recognize her, but the fact of thematter is 
we will never get out of here if we----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman, I was given incorrect 
information by the staff and I was told that we were still open 
on debate on this--
    Chairman Boehlert. Our staff would never give out 
incorrect----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Well, I am----
    Chairman Boehlert. Information on either side of----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. What I am going to say that and I----
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentlelady is reprimanded.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. If there is no--if the--if we are not open 
for debate on Mr. Lampson, then I am inappropriately striking 
the first word, so I don't know what is the procedure at this 
point.
    Chairman Boehlert. The last amendment has been disposed of. 
The pending amendment----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. All right. Well.
    Chairman Boehlert. Is the Miller amendment, amendment #12.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much.
    Chairman Boehlert. Thank you, and the vote then is on the 
Miller amendment. All in favor say aye. Opposed no. The nos 
have it.
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman, may I call for a rollcall vote?
    Chairman Boehlert. You certainly may call for a rollcall 
vote.
    The Clerk. Thank you. Mr. Boehlert.
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith.
    Mr. Smith. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no. Mr. Weldon.
    Mr. Weldon. No, not really.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes no. Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrbacher votes no. Mr. Barton. Mr. 
Calvert.
    Mr. Calvert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes no. Mr. Nick Smith. Mr. 
Bartlett. Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Gutknecht. Mr. Nethercutt. Mr. Lucas. 
Mrs. Biggert.
    Mrs. Biggert. No.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes no. Mr. Gilchrest. Mr. Akin.
    Mr. Akin. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes no. Mr. Johnson. Mrs.--Ms. Hart. 
Mr. Sullivan. Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes no. Mr. Gingrey.
    Mr. Gingrey. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey votes no. Mr. Bishop. Mr. Burgess. 
Mr. Bonner. Mr. Feeney. Mr. Neugebauer. Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall 
votes yes. Mr. Gordon. Mr. Costello.
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes yes. Ms. Johnson.
    Ms. Johnson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes yes. Mr. Larson. Mr. Udall.
    Mr. Udall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes yes. Mr. Wu. Mr. Honda. Mr. 
Honda votes yes. Mr. Bell. Mr. Miller.
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes yes. Mr. Davis. Ms. Jackson 
Lee. Ms. Lofgren. Mr. Sherman. Mr. Baird. Mr. Moore. Mr. 
Weiner. Mr. Matheson. Mr. Matheson votes yes. Mr. Cardoza. Mr. 
Cardoza.
    Ms. Lofgren. I recorded. Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. Jackson 
Lee recorded.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee is not recorded.
    Chairman Boehlert. Missed earlier----
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes yes. Mr. Ehlers is not 
recorded.
    Mr. Ehlers. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Bartlett.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett is not recorded.
    Mr. Bartlett. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Chairman Nick Smith.
    Mr. Smith. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nick Smith votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Feeney.
    Mr. Feeney. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Is there anyone else that seeks 
recognition? Clerk will report when she is prepared to report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes 9, no 13.
    Chairman Boehlert. The amendment is defeated, and we stand 
in recess pending the current vote on the floor. We will resume 
immediately thereafter.
    [Recess.]
    Chairman Boehlert. We, I think, have a bipartisan 
agreement. The next amendment to be offered is Boehlert 
amendment #13. The Clerk will distribute the amendment. The 
Clerk's assistants will distribute the amendment while the 
Clerk calls the amendment.
    The Clerk. The amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr.----
    Chairman Boehlert. Boehlert.
    The Clerk. Boehlert.
    Chairman Boehlert. All right. I ask unanimous consent to 
dispense with the reading. Without objection, so ordered. We 
have majority and minority agreement. This is an amendment to 
change the Aumblock amendment I had offered earlier. The 
amendment strikes language we added earlier, capping the 
scholarship payback period at 4 years. With the passage of this 
amendment, the bill will read as it had before, which is to say 
that a scholarship recipient will have to work two years at 
NASA in return for each year of assistance, regardless of how 
many years of assistance was provided. Mr. Rohrabacher is the 
author of the language in this bill on scholarships, and he 
objects to language I had offered earlier to cap the service 
period at four years. In deference to the views of the 
distinguished Chairman of the Subcommittee and his willingness 
to compromise on his earlier amendment, I am offering this 
amendment now. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, this appears to be a good faith 
technical amendment and certainly has my support.
    Chairman Boehlert. The vote is on the amendment. All in 
favor say aye. Opposed no. The ayes have it and the amendment 
is agreed to. Now we have just--one pending amendment, but the 
offerer of the amendment is not here, Ms. Jackson Lee. We 
have--Mr. Hall has one, too, so I guess we will suspendactivity 
pending the arrival of additional colleagues, and there is some 
question on the floor whether we are going to have another procedural 
vote within a couple of minutes, and some people are--most people, I 
think, are staying over there saying why come back over here, or we 
would have the bells ring and go back over there. We are going through 
this nonsense and both sides are guilty of it. When we were in the 
minority, we used to raise hell with the majority, and we were 
constantly sending signals that no one ever received, and it just 
inconvenienced everybody else. Now, they are in the minority, we are in 
the majority, the same thing is happening. We are sending signals that 
no one is receiving and everybody is inconvenienced, but that is one of 
the peculiarities of this institution. We have been advised that Ms. 
Jackson Lee is on her way. The Chair recognizes Mr. Johnson.
    Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I move to strike the 
last word, and insert----
    Chairman Boehlert. Recognized.
    Mr. Johnson. Insert in the record that if present, with 
respect to the first motion, to allow the Committee to adjourn, 
that I would have voted yes, and with respect to amendment #11, 
Mr. Miller, present, I would have voted no. If the Committee 
record would reflect that, I would be grateful.
    Chairman Boehlert. Duly noted. Anything else required? 
Anybody else seek any recognition while we are pausing to 
reflect on our deeds for the day and are awaiting the arrival 
of--offerer of the next amendment? For the purpose of offering 
an amendment, the Chair recognizes the distinguished gentlelady 
from Texas, Ms. Jackson Lee.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I have 
an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085, offered by Ms. Jackson 
Lee of Texas.
    Chairman Boehlert. I ask--being without objection, so 
ordered. The gentlelady is recognized for five minutes.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. I thank the distinguished gentleman. 
Before I begin, I might remind my colleagues that I believe 
that over the years, we have in a bipartisan way under several 
Chairmen--Chairpersons supported the MURED office that was 
established as an office of equal opportunity in 1990 to 
address the lack of significant research capabilities at 
minority-serving institutions and increase the number of 
faculty who could successfully compete in NASA's research grant 
peer review system.
    I think much has been achieved and there is much to be 
achieved. My amendment simply seeks to retain the MURED in the 
status that it is in, and as well, to focus on the importance 
of this particular task.
    As we look to rejuvenating and restructuring the NASA 
workforce, I hope we keep in mind an issue that we have all 
acknowledged and worked to correct in the past, the scarcity of 
minority employees at NASA, especially in senior management 
positions.
    Might I also add that this Committee has also discussed the 
numbers of minorities who were astronauts as well, and the 
progress that they made in being able to secure a place on an 
actual space shuttle mission. To address this problem, the 
Minority University Research and Education Division, and it was 
a division, was formed in 1990. As I said, the Division was 
initially placed in NASA's Office of Equal Opportunity and its 
Minority University Research and Education program has been 
very successful at combating the vast disparity in funding 
between majority and minority-serving institutions. Funding 
minority-serving institutions ensures that the NASA 
Administrator will have an excellent pool of diverse candidates 
to form the NASA workforce of the future.
    Recently, MURED, the division, has been eliminated, and 
MUREP, the research grant program, has been transferred to 
NASA's Office of Education. I will not, today, go into the 
issue of whether the transfer to Education was appropriate. I 
am pleased to hear that MUREP is in its new home. It is slated 
to receive good funding. However, I am concerned that when you 
lose a division status, you lose prominence, you lose focus, 
you lose recognition and, of course, you lose goals. I am 
concerned that in the long run, this vital and successful 
program again loses high profile and, perhaps, the funding in 
the future.
    We as a Committee are very supportive, but we must ensure 
that this very valuable effort by NASA is continued. This 
amendment will require that the Minority University Research 
and Education initiative is reinstated with its division 
status, ensuring that NASA Administrators have a diverse pool 
of well-qualified workforce candidates to choose from, a 
critical component of workforce flexibility.
    This is workforce generated because what we are attempting 
to do is to build a research balloon that includes all of 
America, and that trains the next generation of researchers, 
the next generation of employees at NASA and the next 
generation of space researchers and space astronauts, if you 
will.
    I would ask my colleagues to consider the simplicity of 
this amendment, is simply retains the division status. It does 
no more and no less, and I would ask my colleagues to look back 
at the history of MURED and its success. I am concerned when it 
is submerged, because of the lack of focus, and I would ask my 
colleagues to consider this amendment, and I would yield back 
my time.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair will oppose the amendment, and 
I would ask the author before I go any further if the author 
would be willing to withdraw the amendment and address this 
subject in a meaningful way in report language.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman, I know that you have been a 
sincere partner in this effort, and I thought about it, and if 
we can write language that is strong and effective, I am 
looking to get to--I would like to have a vote on this. I would 
imagine that I would lose this vote.
    Chairman Boehlert. I would imagine so, too. All right, 
but----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Maybe I should imagine that I would win 
it.
    Chairman Boehlert. Lose the issue, but you don't want to 
lose the issue, and----
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Maybe I should imagine----
    Chairman Boehlert. One mind as we address this issue.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Maybe I should imagine that I would win 
it, so I am interested in your concept. Can I have just a 
second, Mr. Chairman?
    Chairman Boehlert. Sure.
    Ms. Lofgren. Mr. Chairman. While the gentlelady is 
pondering, may I move to strike the last word?
    Chairman Boehlert. By all means. The chair yields to the 
gentlelady from California.
    Ms. Lofgren. I actually think that the gentlelady's 
amendment has merit, and while I know that the Chairman has a 
strong commitment to the same goals, I am not sure how report 
language could accomplish what Ms. Jackson Lee's amendment 
would do, and for those of us who have NASA centers either in 
their districts or nearby, you can--we can attest to the 
tremendous impact that these activities that Ms. Jackson Lee's 
amendment addresses has had, especially on low income, 
disadvantaged and also minority students.
    I had the privilege of attending an event last summer 
atNASA Ames that was organized with the National Hispanic University, 
San Jose State, Carnegie-Mellon and other institutions, and I will tell 
you, it was a very moving experience, because these were high school 
students who were going to be going to college as a consequence of 
their connection with NASA, I think organized through this division. 
Kids who had been nowhere and who the professors from Carnegie-Mellon 
told me had come from really not being able to do algebra to almost 
ready for calculus in a six week time period. It was stunning what 
these young people achieved, and not just in terms of their academic 
achievement, but their belief that they could become scientists, and 
the interesting thing was that the Ph.D. candidates and professors who 
were from--I mean, awesome universities believed that these students 
really could be part of the next generation of scientists that we so 
desperately need.
    So, I understand the desire to move this legislation 
without a lot of amendments. I would hope that maybe an 
exception might be made in this case, and I just thought that 
offering that personal observation experience might be of some 
value to the members of the Committee, and I thank the Chairman 
for yielding me these 5 minutes to share that experience, and I 
yield back.
    Chairman Boehlert. I thank you, and you know, there is no 
question that--of the gentlelady from California's commitment 
nor the commitment of the author to minority institutions, nor 
the commitment of the Chair. There should be no doubt this is 
something that we view as very, very important, but we can't 
expect NASA to reorganize about every half-hour. They are just 
going through a reorganization, and I think we should have the 
benefit of a report from NASA on just what has happened and how 
is it working, and where is it going, and we are reaching out 
to some minority groups, and quite frankly, some of the 
minority groups have told us they do have some--what I appear 
to be legitimate questions about the effect of the amendment, 
so it is not, in any way, representing a lessening of my 
commitment to minority-serving institutions. As a matter of 
fact, we are dealing with a separate bill on that subject, 
which I enthusiastically support, but NASA just recently 
created this new education enterprise to elevate the priority 
of all NASA's education initiatives, and boy, I want them to do 
that. I want every agency to do that, and in line with that, we 
want them to focus on the importance of the minority students, 
and I am convinced that they are going to do that, too, but 
they don't have a large experience factor to report back to us 
on, but I would like to know what the experience thus far with 
this new initiative tells them, and I would like some more time 
to reach out to others in the minority community to have the 
benefit of their input and counsel.
    So, for all of the above reasons, I would be more than 
happy to try to work with the gentlelady in having strong 
report language in there, but obviously, not accomplishing 
exactly what her amendment does, but I have just explained why 
I don't think now, the timing is right to do that, but one--I 
am just very much supportive of the Minority University 
Research and Education Program. I think we have to give it 
attention. I think we have to give it resources, and we have to 
give it follow-through to make certain it is getting the 
attention and the resources are being used to desired ends. Is 
there anyone else who would care?
    Mr. Gordon. Mr. Chairman, I would strike the last word.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Gordon is recognized.
    Mr. Gordon. Yes, sir. Mr. Chairman, my preference would be 
to have this language in the document. If it is not going to 
be, if it is going to be report language, I would suggest that 
there should be a time certain on reporting back. As has been 
pointed out today, I think there has been some--maybe lack of 
responsiveness, maybe it is because of too much to do, but if 
we are sincere about wanting a report back, we should have a 
time certain, and I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentlelady from Texas.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. I thank the distinguished gentleman from 
Tennessee. The Chairman has given a gracious offer. I would 
like--been so moved by the eloquence of Congresswoman Lofgren 
on this issue that I would appreciate it if the--I know that 
markups are not necessarily where we negotiate report language, 
but I would be interested in what thrust the Chairman would 
have on this language, with respect to this point.
    And might I say, Mr. Chairman, I too have engaged with a 
number of groups. I think the comfort level that you are 
hearing from them is thank God we have money and thank God we 
have an appropriations line, and certainly, I am thankful to 
that as well. I think what we are speaking of as it relates to 
the division is a viable place--a place setting at the table. 
When you are submerged under this holistic education component, 
you are in fact submerged. You are subordinate, as opposed to 
being able to speak eloquently and with legitimacy about some 
of these very deep problems that we have.
    The digital divide is one gap, but the educational science 
gap is big. I think you can count on two hands the number of 
Ph.D.'s graduating in the Class of 2003 that happen to be 
minorities or happen to be African-Americans in some of these 
very finite areas, and I think that this is a very important 
situation in being able to promote research and education in 
these institutions, being able for them to secure grants, 
because they have the expertise.
    Just as an aside, Mr. Chairman, you are on the same 
Committee I am, Homeland Security, and had someone in the 
Bioshield legislation in a debate suggests that we don't want 
to be bothered with, and certainly they were well-meaning, but 
minority institutions--because we really need high-powered 
institutions to be doing this kind of research, that was 
hurtful to me.
    I will be kind and not say that it was offensive. I am sure 
the person was not intending to be offensive, but it was 
certainly hurtful to suggest that our institutions don't have 
that kind of expertise, quality, or respect.
    Chairman Boehlert. Hit the red light.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. And I think that MUREP as a division needs 
to be moving in that direction, and I would--let me just yield 
to the distinguished Chairman and see what kind of language he 
would be suggesting.
    Chairman Boehlert. Let me say we will conclude this debate. 
I, too, was moved by the comments of the distinguished 
gentlelady from California, as I am so often moved by your 
remarks, Ms. Jackson Lee. We would have report language. We 
would operate in good faith. We would like you to take us at 
face value that we will try to develop language that addresses 
the issue in a meaningful way. That is the offer, but if you 
wish to proceed with the amendment, we will proceed with the 
amendment. You tell us, but we are going to act now. Which is 
your preference? The distinguished Mr.Palmer will report to--
this is like in Jeopardy.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your 
patience. May I just inquire for a direct question? Would the 
report language include the direction of the need for making 
MURED a division?
    Chairman Boehlert. No. Then you want to proceed with the 
vote?
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Let us proceed, and I thank for your 
graciousness.
    Chairman Boehlert. Let us go. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert.
    Chairman Boehlert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes no. Mr. Lamar Smith. Mr. 
Smith votes no. Mr. Weldon. Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Barton. Mr. 
Barton votes no. Mr. Calvert. I'm sorry. Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. 
Rohrabacher votes no. Mr. Barton. Mr. Calvert. Mr. Nick Smith.
    Mr. Smith. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes no. Mr. Bartlett.
    Mr. Bartlett. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bartlett votes no. Mr. Ehlers. Mr. Ehlers 
votes no. Mr. Gutknecht.
    Mr. Gutknecht. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gutknecht votes no. Mr. Nethercutt. Mr. 
Lucas.
    Mr. Lucas. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes no. Mrs. Biggert. Mrs. Biggert 
votes no. Mr. Gilchrest. Mr. Akin.
    Mr. Akin. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes no. Mr. Johnson.
    Mr. Johnson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson votes no. Ms. Hart. Mr. Sullivan. 
Mr. Forbes. Mr. Forbes votes no. Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Bishop.
    Mr. Bishop. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bishop votes no. Mr. Burgess. Mr. Bonner. 
Mr. Feeney.
    Mr. Feeney. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes no. Mr. Neugebauer.
    Mr. Neugebauer. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Weldon of Pennsylvania 
recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon is not recorded. Mr. Weldon votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Calvert of California.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert is not recorded.
    Mr. Calvert. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Nethercutt.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt is not recorded.
    Mr. Nethercutt. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt votes no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Feeney.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney is recorded as no.
    Chairman Boehlert. Wonderful.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall votes yes. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes yes. Mr. Costello.
    Mr. Costello. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes yes. Ms. Johnson.
    Ms. Johnson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Ms. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Woolsey.
    Ms. Woolsey. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes yes. Mr. Larson. Mr. Udall.
    Mr. Udall. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes yes. Mr. Wu. Mr. Honda. Mr. 
Bell.
    Mr. Bell. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes yes. Mr. Miller.
    Mr. Miller. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes yes. Mr. Davis. Ms. Jackson 
Lee.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes yes. Ms. Lofgren.
    Ms. Lofgren. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Lofgren votes yes. Mr. Sherman. Mr. Baird. 
Mr. Moore.
    Mr. Moore. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes yes. Mr. Weiner. Mr. Mathison.
    Mr. Mathison. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Mathison votes yes. Mr. Cardoza.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes 12, no 18.
    Chairman Boehlert. The amendment is not agreed to. Are 
there any further amendments?
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Boehlert. A member will suspend. The Chair 
recognizes Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Mr. Chairman, I wish to reserve a point of 
order.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentleman wishes to preserve a point 
of order. The gentleman may proceed with his amendment. The 
Clerk will distribute the amendment.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, when I had the other amendment, I 
had four different points in it, and we discussed all four--
excuse me. I'll go--that's--yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall, to report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1085 offered by Mr. Hall of 
Texas.
    Chairman Boehlert. May I ask unanimous consent that the 
amendment be considered as read.
    Chairman. Boehlert. Mr. Hall is recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, thank you. We have discussed this 
amendment. It was part of the amendment that I offered a while 
ago, and it was rendered as not germane, but during the 
discussion, I understood, and maybe I misunderstood, but I 
understood to say the Chairman liked part of the amendment and 
I tried to hear him say that he thought part of it was germane, 
and if I did hear him say that, I am sure the part that he 
thought was germane was the part that alluded to the crew 
escape systems, because we have all talked about that and 
needed it.
    There is something that we ought to do, and that is what 
this amendment does. It doesn't tell them to go right out and 
start building it at this time. It alludes to safety, and 
safety involves the first step of getting ideas. It simply says 
upon enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue a 
request to the aerospace industry and other interested persons 
for concepts to increase space shuttle crew survivability for a 
crew of six or seven astronauts by at least a factor of 20, 
relative to the demonstrated crew survival rate of the space 
shuttle to date, and then each of those concepts provided in 
response were to include estimates of the cost. Just giving us 
the background and how much it would take to do this, showing 
types of designs, and then the Administrator shall submit to 
the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, their 
honorable Chairman, the distinguished gentleman from New York, 
the very handsome leader of this Committee here, with generous 
outlooks toward his minority lesser lower Democrats that sit to 
the right of him. And within 270 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, concepts received in response to the 
request issued under the first sentence of this, and any 
concept developed by the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration to achieve the same crew survivability 
improvement.
    This is safety itself. It has safety written all over it. 
It involves the crew. We have members on this side who have 
given press releases saying they are not going to support the 
launching of any more of our shuttles unless we have some 
definite answers and more definite answers. We don't have those 
answers yet. They are not yet--they may not even be definite 
when we get them from the Admiral and his group.
    This is safety at its very best. It is only a first step. 
Get the ideas and get the costs. How can that not be germane? I 
urge this Chairman, and I am going to tell the Chairman ahead 
of time, I am not going to appeal his ruling. It puts others 
over there who feel as I do in a difficult position, puts you 
in a position where your folks might question whether or not 
you are really and truly for crew escape, and I know all of you 
are for that. I am not going to appeal the ruling. I urge the 
Chair to give me a vote on this.
    Chairman Boehlert. The distinguished Ranking Member didn't 
exactly hear me correct--correctly. We didn't say component 
parts were germane. We said, in essence, I like the overall 
thrust of the amendment. I like the idea that we are focusing 
on safety. I like so many of the ideas embodied in the Hall 
amendment in principle, but this is not the time, this is not 
the vehicle, and we double-checked with the parliamentarian, 
and the parliamentarian says the component part is no more 
germane than the amendment in its entirety, and for that 
reason, I must oppose it.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, before you decide, hear me a little 
further.
    Chairman Boehlert. I welcome the opportunity to hear you a 
little further.
    Mr. Hall. In a letter, you questioned the use of the 
remaining shuttles. Would you think it was more germane if you 
knew that it wasn't going to be included in the Admiral's 
report, and don't you know that if the Administrator is 
standing there and taking the position that he has taken from 
the word go, that it is too expensive, can it be too expensive 
for safety, for the safety of those young people that are 
surveying, the Magellans and Columbuses of space?
    Chairman Boehlert. That is why I am anxiously awaiting the 
Gehman Commission report. I am anxiously looking forward to the 
opportunity to digest that report, and factor in in our 
deliberations on reauthorization of the NASA program, the 
recommendations of the Gehman Commission.
    Mr. Hall. One last word. They plan on more launches, and 
some even hope they will have launches before the end of the 
year. We are going to be gone. We are gone for 30 days. We come 
back, we are going to leave here in October. We need to have 
this underway.
    Chairman Boehlert. Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. I urge you to reconsider the germaneness of this.
    Chairman Boehlert. I have reconsidered it.
    Mr. Hall. And that is my last plea.
    Chairman Boehlert. I have reconsidered it a couple of times 
and I would not have directed a personal inquiry to the 
parliamentarian if I wasn't serious about this. You and I both 
know that we are not going to launch another shuttle before the 
end of this year. You and I both know, to the person on this 
Committee, we are not going to give the green light to anyone 
who doesn't consider the full impact and recommendations of the 
Gehman Commission. We are not going to compromise on safety. We 
are going to do our job in a very responsible way and we are 
going to do it with the right vehicle, and that is the 
reauthorization of NASA with the benefit of the Columbia 
accident investigation report before us, so that we have a 
chance to study it, to analyze it, to react to it and to 
restudy it and reanalyze it and react to it yet again, and 
those deliberations that we have in connection with our 
reauthorization, I can assure you, will emphasize safety, 
safety, safety.
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Boehlert. Who sees Lampson? Is this the Texas 
cabal?
    Mr. Lampson. What--how can we gain the assurance that there 
is going to be an authorization bill during this year?
    Chairman Boehlert. You can't gain that assurance. You can 
gain the assurance that we are going to probably commence 
deliberations on reauthorization, but it is unlikely that we 
will finish it by the end of this year, and then we will go 
into early '04, but I can give you the assurance that this 
Member, as one individual out of the full Committee, as one 
Member out of 435, is committed to the proposition that we are 
going to take the Gehman Report, we are going to evaluate every 
single recommendation in that report. Incidentally, there are 
going to be a whole checklist of recommendations of things that 
should be done before we return to flight, and you know what, I 
am going to take those darn seriously, and no one is going to 
say to me, well, we don't have to this, or we don't have to do 
that, or that is inconvenient, or we don't like that idea. I am 
going to give it the full attention it deserves.
    Mr. Lampson. Well, would you agree that the--we will have 
some vehicle within which to put these concerns down, to make 
NASA give us information back that we have been asking for 
months and months and in some cases years?
    Chairman Boehlert. Oh, sure.
    Mr. Lampson. And have not gotten it.
    Chairman Boehlert. Sure. I am not reluctant, yet we don't 
need some bill like this. NASA had better understand that its 
future depends upon a lot of things, and one of the things that 
are going to help determine that future is the response NASA 
gives to this Committee for legitimate questions, legitimate 
expressions of concern. No one is just going to roll back and 
say whatever you want, you guys. We are going to do whatever 
you say. That is not the way this Committee operates on either 
side of the center aisle.
    Mr. Lampson. I think that is part of what my frustration 
is, and perhaps it is what--some of what Mr. Hall's may be. We 
have asked these things time and time again, and I have gone to 
the centers, I have talked with the folks that deal with these 
things. I have sat down with the--with people like--with 
companies that do have proposals to put on the table an idea 
about a type of crew capsule for crew safety. All of these 
things are being talked of, thought about, dreamed of, worked 
on, spent money on, yet when we ask NASA, they will not respond 
to us, and I would truly like us to make a special effort to 
get to a point where we can put this--put it down to them in 
such a way that they will give us a response, and I am hoping 
that this might be the vehicle now.
    Chairman Boehlert. I would just say everything changed, or 
so much changed on the morning of February 1. NASA now is 
almost like the deer in the headlights. I mean, NASA is under 
the very close scrutiny of a whole wide range of people, not 
just in this Committee, but in the Congress, but all across 
America, so when we demand--make legitimate demands on NASA, 
they for darn sure are going to respond to them, or else they 
are going to have some serious problems in going forward with 
their program. I think they don't want serious problems going 
forward with their programs. They are going to respond to our 
legitimate demands, but this vehicle, this narrowly-crafted 
bill, to deal with a specific need identified at NASA, should 
go forward without being encumbered with amendments that are 
not germane, no matter how well-intentioned, no matter how 
thoughtful, no matter how real beneficial in the long run. If 
this were the only vehicle going forward, I would say well, 
gee--the train is leaving, this is our only choice, but that is 
not the case at all. So unless someone else seeks recognition, 
the vote is--Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Mr. Chairman, despite the articulate and very 
compelling appeal of the distinguished gentleman from Texas, I 
must respectfully press my point of order that the amendment is 
not germane to the bill.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair is ready to rule. The 
gentleman raising the point of order is correct. The amendment 
is not germane and is out of order. That is the ruling of the 
Chair.
    Are there any further amendments? Hearing none, the 
question is on the bill, H.R. 1085, the NASA Flexibility Act of 
2003 is amended. All those in favor will say aye. Aye. All 
those opposed will say no. In the opinion of the Chair, the 
ayes have it.
    Mr. Hall. Chair.
    Chairman Boehlert. I will now recognize Mr. Hall. The Clerk 
will call the roll. A recorded vote has been requested--suspend 
for one second. The Chair recognizes Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I want a recorded vote on the 
motion to report.
    Chairman Boehlert. The chair recognizes Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee 
report the bill H.R. 1085 as amended with the recommendation 
that the bill as amended do pass. Furthermore, I move to 
instruct the staff to prepare the legislative report to make 
technical and conforming amendments, and that the Chairman take 
all necessary steps to bring the bill before the House for 
consideration.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Chair notes the presence of a 
reported quorum. The question is on the motion to report the 
bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify by 
saying aye. Those opposed no. The ayes have it.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I request a recorded vote.
    Chairman Boehlert. The gentleman has requested a recorded 
vote. The Clerk will call the roll.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert.
    Chairman Boehlert. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Boehlert votes yes. Mr. Lamar Smith. Mr. 
Weldon.
    Mr. Weldon. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Weldon votes yes. Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes. Mr. Barton. Mr. 
Calvert. Mr. Nick Smith.
    Mr. Smith. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith votes yes. Mr. Bartlett. Mr. Bartlett 
votes yes. Mr. Ehlers.
    Mr. Ehlers. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Ehlers votes yes. Mr. Gutknecht. Mr. 
Gutknecht votes yes. Mr. Nethercutt.
    Mr. Nethercutt. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mr. Nethercutt votes yes. Mr. Lucas.
    Mr. Lucas.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lucas votes yes. Mrs. Biggert.
    Ms. Biggert. Aye.
    The Clerk. Mrs. Biggert votes yes. Mr. Gilchrest. Mr. Akin.
    Mr. Akin. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Akin votes yes. Mr. Johnson.
    Mr. Johnson. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Johnson votes yes. Ms. Hart. Mr. Sullivan. 
Mr. Forbes.
    Mr. Forbes. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Forbes votes yes. Mr. Gingrey.
    Mr. Gingrey. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gingrey votes yes. Mr. Bishop. Mr. Bishop 
votes yes. Mr. Burgess.
    Mr. Burgess. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Burgess votes yes. Mr. Bonner. Mr. Feeney.
    Mr. Feeney. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Feeney votes yes. Mr. Neugebauer.
    Mr. Neugebauer. Yes.
    The Clerk. Mr. Neugebauer votes yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Calvert recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Calvert is not recorded. Mr. Calvert votes 
yes.
    Chairman Boehlert. How is Mr. Smith of Texas recorded?
    The Clerk. Mr. Smith is not recorded. Mr. Smith votes yes. 
Mr. Hall.
    Mr. Hall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Hall votes no. Mr. Gordon.
    Mr. Gordon. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Gordon votes no. Mr. Costello.
    Mr. Costello. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Costello votes no. Ms. Johnson. Ms. Johnson 
votes no. Ms. Woolsey. Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Lampson votes no. Mr. Larson. Mr. Udall.
    Mr. Udall. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Udall votes no. Mr. Wu. Mr. Honda.
    Mr. Honda. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Honda votes no. Mr. Bell.
    Mr. Bell. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Bell votes no. Mr. Miller.
    Mr. Miller. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Miller votes no. Mr. Davis. Ms. Jackson Lee.
    Ms. Jackson Lee. No.
    The Clerk. Ms. Jackson Lee votes no. Ms. Lofgren.
    Ms. Lofgren. Aye.
    The Clerk. Ms. Lofgren votes yes. Mr. Sherman. Mr. Baird.
    Mr. Baird. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Baird votes no. Mr. Moore.
    Mr. Moore. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Moore votes no. Mr. Weiner. Mr. Mathison.
    Mr. Mathison. No.
    The Clerk. Mr. Mathison votes no. Mr. Cardoza.
    Chairman Boehlert. The Clerk will report.
    The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, yes 21, no 14.
    Chairman Boehlert. The ayes appear to have it and the bill 
is favorably reported. Without objection, the motion to 
reconsider is laid upon the table. I move that members have two 
subsequent calendar days in which to submit supplemental 
minority or additional views on the measure. I move pursuant to 
Clause 1 of Rule 22 of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives that the Committee authorized the Chairman to 
offer such motions as may be necessary in the House to go to 
conference with the Senate on the bill H.R. 1085, or a similar 
Senate bill. Without objection, so ordered. [Whereupon, the 
Committee proceeded to other business.]