Has “Team Texas” Taken a Time Out?

An article in this morning's Houston Chronicle calls out the lack of leadership in Texas's Senate delegation:

Lawmakers are saying there have been too few delegation-wide get-togethers to map strategy on Texas-centric issues, too little top-down leadership by Cornyn, too few tangible payoffs from Cornyn's position as second ranking Republican in Senate leadership and too many ideological disputes over whether to seek federal largesse at all. “I'm hearing from members that they're not finding the support and coordination to address Texas issues,” says a former veteran member of the Texas congressional delegation. “There's just a feeling that Team Texas has gone by the aside and we don't have the continuity that Texas has been known for.”

Although the article does not mention NASA and space specifically, I can't help but wonder about the associated impact to space policy and implementation. It's clear that the Executive Office of the President has been focused on other policy issues for the last three-plus years, leaving it to the space-based congressional delegations such as Texas to fill the void in leadership. The most recent example of this was the bipartisan push-back on the administration's space policy a few years ago, leading to the crafting of the Space Launch System through the actions of (now retired) Senator Hutchinson (R-TX) and Senator Nelson (D-FL). With some of the recent refinements in space policy failing to gain traction (read: Asteroid Redirect or Retrieval Mission, the R depending on your choice of the day), and continuing budgetary pressures putting the squeeze on NASA's funding, one has to wonder whether the failings of the Texas delegation to effectively lead across the board will make the situation worse for human spaceflight.

 

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Has “Team Texas” Taken a Time Out?