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Unformatted text preview: ot enumerate the power to make an expenditure, tea party members said consistently, Congress was barred from using tax dollars. The anti-pork, enumerated-powers mantra was refreshingly antithetical to the tried and true method of retaining power in Washington: Bring federal dollars to your constituents, and push the limits of the Constitution to find justification for projects that are of local importance. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center caused a problem for local tea party candidates. On the one hand, conventional political wisdom was that no elected official could hope for support in the 5th District absent strong support for Marshall. On the other hand, NASA -- which merits funding on practical and patriotic grounds -- did not exist when the founding fathers enumerated the powers of Congress. The power to protect national security certainly includes the space programs coordinated by the Air Force and National Reconnaissance Organization, but no strict interpretation could include expenditures on NASA. Budget vote The fiscal 2011 budget vote made clear that tea party favorites ignore tea party principles once in power. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, who rarely misses an opportunity to court the tea party, shot out a press release moments after the Senate passed the budget. Shelby "announced that he has successfully added language to the final Continuing Resolution for 2011 that requires NASA to fully develop its heavy lift capability. Through this addition, Sen. Shelby has saved hundreds of jobs at Marshall Space Flight Center." The budget language he added specifies that Marshall should spend $1.8 billion to build a rocket with a 130-ton lift capacity. The mission for which this rocket will be used remains unknown, and of course that's not the point. In a separate release the same day, Shelby announced his conservative voting record won him the "Taxpayers' Friend Award." A clue to his award may be that he voted against the same 2011 budget that he amended for Marshall's benefit. Rep. Brooks U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, who rode tea party support into Congress in 2010, also made sure constituents knew of his support for a budget bill "guaranteeing that Marshall Space Flight Center will continue to be pivotal in human spaceflight. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 89 Mercury Politics NASA – Popular – Public NASA is highly popular with the public – 81% of voters have a favorable opinion of NASA and only 3% have a very unfavorable opinion. Rasmussen Reports, 5/20/2009 (Biggest public opinion poll conductor in the United States, “47% Say Hubble Space Telescope Worth The Cost”, ope_worth_the_cost, accessed 6/27/11) EK As for NASA itself, 81% of voters have a favorable opinion of the space agency, with 24% who say their view is Very Favorable. Just three percent (3%) have a Very Unfavorable opi...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2013 for the course POL 090 taught by Professor Framer during the Spring '13 term at Shimer.

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