Washington, DC – Houston Mayor Annise Parker (D), and Reps. Gene Green (D), Pete Olson (R), Sheila Jackson Lee (D), Kevin Brady (R), John Culberson (R), Al Green (D), Michael McCaul (R), and Ted Poe (R) today joined together in a bipartisan effort to express unified support for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Constellation program. The President’s FY2011 budget would kill the Constellation program, placing America’s ability to send humans in to space in jeopardy and place thousands of jobs at Johnson Space Center (JSC) and across the nation in jeopardy.

Mayor Annise Parker said, “While I am pleased we have begun the discussion, many questions remain unanswered and I continue to have serious concerns about the future of human space flight and the role JSC will play under the administration’s proposed NASA budget.”

Rep. Gene Green said, “Given our current economic downturn, we cannot take the possibility of an additional 20,000 – 30,000 national job losses lightly. Our government has already invested literally years and billions of dollars into this program. We should build upon these investments and not abandon them.”

Rep. Pete Olson said, “Constellation was overwhelmingly approved by both Republican and Democratic controlled Congresses precisely because human space flight is such an intrinsic component of American exceptionalism. It is also critical to our ability to remain competitive globally in the fields of science and technology. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my Houston colleagues to make the case for the national value and benefits of the investment in Constellation.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said, “NASA’s Constellation Program is vital to maintaining America’s leadership role in human space exploration, creating jobs, and boosting the economy. Continuation of NASA’s Constellation Program is crucial to improving national security, climate, and research in science and medicine. That is why I introduced legislation March 9 to ensure that all Constellation space flight activities continue through 2016 and that we designate NASA as a national security interest and asset.”

Rep. Kevin Brady said, “NASA technologies like the Constellation Program are fundamental to the Greater Houston area not just for jobs but also for technology development. If this program is scrapped we will see an immediate job loss at a time when the Houston area needs to be creating jobs, not killing them.”

Rep. John Culberson said, “The Constellation Program is the best program to keep our country at the forefront of space exploration. I am strongly opposed to the president’s proposal because yielding the high ground in space will make America less competitive and put our space program at risk.”

Rep. Al Green said, “The ‘Constellation Program’ is a shovel ready jobs program. This program’s cancellation would not only have a negative effect on Houston’s economy, but also on the national economy. In Houston, by some estimates, 10,000 direct and indirect jobs could be lost, in addition to 20,000 to 30,000 jobs nationwide. We need to invest in these jobs as our nation continues to fight for the stability of its job market.”

Rep. Michael McCaul said
, “Every president since Washington has had a wish list but in the United States it’s the Congress that writes the budget. We have growing bipartisan support and we intend to make sure human space flight and exploration remains the core mission of America’s space program.”

Rep. Ted Poe said, ““Giving up on our space program will not only devastate our local economy and the engineering and aerospace industries, but will be a crippling blow to our national psyche. ‘Houston’ was the first word heard on the moon, not ‘Moscow,’ not ‘Beijing.’ NASA is America’s legacy – Houston’s legacy.”