For Immediate Release    Contact:  Jim Campi
July 15, 1998 (202) 467-5300


(Washington, D.C.) – At a Capitol Hill news conference today, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) President Thomas A. Schatz joined members of Congress in support of an amendment to terminate the excessive budgetary overruns caused by the development of the International Space Station (ISS).  The amendment, offered by Rep. Tim Roemer (D-Ind.) and attached to the FY 1999 VA/HUD Appropriation bill, would terminate funding for the ISS, which has been on the drawing board for 14 years.

“Visitors to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum here in Washington can view a timeline of America’s space exploration history,” Schatz said.  “They will read that President Reagan announced plans for a completed space station by 1994.  Here we are four years behind schedule, and this project is still literally unable to get off the ground.  NASA is now targeting 2003 for completion, while an independent audit estimates a 2007 completion date.  NASA and Congress should pull the plug on this virtual black hole for our tax dollars.

“CCAGW commends Rep. Roemer and every member of Congress who are fighting this waste of money,” Schatz stated.  “Despite 17 failed attempts to kill the ISS during the last four Congresses, Rep. Roemer and others continue to fight for the taxpayers.”

A September 1997 General Accounting Office (GAO) report found that space station cost overruns had quadrupled during the previous year.  GAO also put total operating costs of the space station at $95.6 billion.  CCAGW’s research and education arm, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), highlighted the space station in its 1998 Prime Cuts Summary.  CAGW estimated that cancellation of the space station would result in a five-year savings of $9.3 billion.

 “Surplus or not, no agency – including NASA – should have a license to spend hard-earned tax dollars on wasteful projects such as this,” said Schatz.  “If construction on the space station continues, it will mean that pigs really can fly.”

CCAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to enacting legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

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