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[b]House Committee supports full competition on shuttle decision[/b]
Ohio and Oregon members of a key House science panel today successfully fought off an attempt by lawmakers from Florida and Texas to restrict NASA's ability to choose the best locations for its soon-to-be-retired space shuttles.
The House Committee on Science and Technology approved an amendment offered by committee members Representatives Marcia L. Fudge and Charles A. Wilson from Ohio and David Wu of Oregon that ensures a competitive process for determining where the space shuttles will be exhibited.
The amendment replaced language that would have given priority consideration to Texas and Florida sites. NASA will continue to be responsible for evaluating a number of sites from around the country, including the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio, that have expressed an interest in the shuttles.
Officials from the National Aviation Heritage Alliance in Dayton, Ohio, and the Dayton Development Coalition were pleased to see the coordinated effort made by the entire Ohio delegation in getting the amendment approved. Representative Mike Turner has provided the local leadership with the delegation on the shuttle issue and assisted Representatives Fudge and Wilson to advocate for the full and open competition for a shuttle.
John Bosch, chair of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance responded to the vote by saying, "Democracy works. With the help of the entire delegation it was possible to have the amendment pass and ensure that a decision will be made that reflects the entire contributions of the nation to the shuttle program and not just those of two states. We recognize this remains a very competitive process and that's how it should be until a final decision is made by NASA."
Jim Leftwich, President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition said, "Our whole Ohio Congressional delegation and the Governor, working with the Coalition, NAHA and the Air Force Museum Foundation, pulled together like a championship team to make this happen."
A full vote by the House on the bill remains. The Senate NASA bill contains a provision similar to the language removed in the House version.
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