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The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has postponed the hearing on LightSquared that was scheduled for tomorrow.
Rep. Gabriele Giffords (D-AZ) returned to her job representing her Tucson, AZ district in the House of Representatives today after a seven month absence following an assassination attempt in January. Her vote helped the House pass the debt limit/deficit reduction deal agreed upon by the White House and congressional leaders yesterday.
The House passed the bill 269-161, but the big story was the return of Rep. Giffords.
Today, President Obama nominated Ashton B. Carter to be the new Deputy Secretary of Defense.
This is part of the change in command at the top level of the Department of Defense. Bob Gates resigned as Secretary of Defense and was replaced by Leon Panetta last month.
The White House website has a fact sheet outlining the deal that was reached last night on raising the debt limit and reducing the deficit. The House and Senate still must approve it.
President Obama told the nation that agreement has been reached on raising the debt limit and reducing the deficit.
He said, however, that the deal still must be approved by Congress. The White House released a fact sheet describing the compromise. House and Senate leaders are expected to discuss it with their caucuses tomorrow.
Companies involved in building commercial crew systems with financial support from NASA so far have taken advantage of a type of "other transaction authority" contracting tool called a Space Act Agreement (SAA). Now that the system designs are maturing and NASA needs to levy requirements on what those systems must do, the agency wants to change how they contract with these companies. The companies are not happy about it.
Jeff Foust has an excellent recap of the problems facing NASA and the companies in today's Space Review. The companies essentially worry that being brought under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) that government agencies like NASA typically use will sharply increase their costs. NASA feels that it is the only way it can ensure that safety requirements, for example, are met.
UPDATE: The LightSquared hearing on August 3 has been postponed.
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The Senate defeated Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempt to bring to the floor his plan to raise the debt limit and reduce the deficit. The vote was 50-49; 60 aye votes were needed to bring the bill to the floor.
All eyes are now on the White House where the President and representatives of both parties reportedly continue to work on a compromise. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier today that a compromise was "very close," but the New York Times quoted Senator Reid after the vote as saying a number of issues remain to be resolved.
Washington news sources are reporting as good news a decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to postpone a vote on his version of a debt limit/deficit reduction bill.
The vote had been scheduled for 1:00 am EDT Sunday (minutes from now), but will take place at 1:00 pm instead to give negotiators more time.
To the extreme dissatisfaction of House Democrats, House Republicans today brought up the text of the bill that Senator Harry Reid introduced in the Senate and defeated it to demonstrate that it does not have sufficient bipartisan support in the House to pass. However, it was brought up under a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote to pass, much more than the majority vote that is needed typically.
House Rules Committee Chairman David Drier (R-CA) said during floor debate this afternoon that House Republicans were doing this to demostrate that the Reid plan would not pass the House despite Senator Reid's assertion that it would. The bill has not passed the Senate yet; a vote is expected in the wee hours overnight. It was introduced as a House bill and quickly moved to the floor.
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