The full House appropriations committee today debated its 2012 spending bill, which would strip funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after a science subcommittee last week inserted the proviso. Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, tried to insert an amendment today that would have partially restored funding for JWST. He asked that $200 million be transferred to JWST from NASA’s account for Cross Agency Support. The amendment failed by a voice vote, which means that ayes and nays by the committee members are not tallied. Schiff’s district includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a NASA hotspot that is partially involved in the project.
The action today suggests that the JWST will remain stripped of funding when the bill goes before a full House vote. But many expect changes when the bill is eventually reconciled with the Senate, which includes staunch JWST supporters such as Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat from Maryland. Her district includes Goddard Space Flight Center, which is managing the project.