McCarthy, Smith Praise Senate Passage of Commercial Space Legislation
Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas)today praised Senate passage of a bicameral, bipartisan agreement on H.R. 2262, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. The bill consolidates language from the House-passed Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 or SPACE Act with provisions from S.1297, the Senate’s commercial space legislation. It provides much-needed guidance and regulatory certainty for America’s private space industry partners.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy:“I am pleased that the Senate has advanced H.R. 2262 to give our commercial space pioneers the certainty they need to expand our technology capabilities and explore the next frontier. The growth in commercial space represents the exceptionalism of the men and women who have led this country to heights not thought possible. I plan to schedule this bill for final approval as early as possible and look forward to the President signing this important bill into law.”
Chairman Lamar Smith: “This bill provides the boost America’s private space partners need as they lead the world into the future. Today’s action is the result of months of work with our Senate colleagues to move this crucial legislation forward. H.R. 2262 facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space sector. It reflects years of committee hearings and input from industry partners, education groups, and grassroots citizen advocates. This bill will keep America at the forefront of aerospace technology, create jobs, reduce red tape, promote safety, and inspire the next generation of explorers. I thank Senators Thune, Cruz, and Nelson for working with Majority Leader McCarthy and I to see this crucial legislation through to the end. I look forward to another House vote with strong bipartisan support for this bill.”
The House first passed H.R. 2262 in May with a broad bipartisan majority as well as support from space community stakeholders. The bill facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing commercial space industry by encouraging private sector investment, creating more stable and predictable regulatory conditions, and improving safety. Specifically, H.R. 2262:
- Extends the Federal Aviation Administration’s regulatory learning period through September 30, 2023
- Preserves the risk sharing regime that allows American companies to remain internationally competitive through September 30, 2025
- Provides a four-year extension of the International Space Station until at least 2024 that gives certainty for ISS National Laboratory users
The House-Senate agreement also includes three additional bills passed out of the House Science Committee:
- H.R. 2261, the “Commercial Remote Sensing Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)
- H.R. 2263, the “Office of Space Commerce Act” introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)
- H.R. 1508, the “Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act of 2015” introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.).
In addition to McCarthy and Smith, the SPACE Act was introduced in the House with the support of the following cosponsors: Representatives Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Steve Knight (R-Calif.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.).