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The House appropriations subcommittee with responsibility for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration terminated funding for Space Station Freedom on May 15. The surprise action by the VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies subcommittee, chaired by Bob Traxler (D-Mich.), threatens a favorite space project of the Bush administration, and calls into question the generally strong support for the space station believed to exist in Congress.

Traxler cited budget constraints to justify the act. The funding cut-off, he said, “reflects the fact that our federal government's budgeting has hit a dead end. We simply can no longer afford huge new projects, with huge pricetags, while trying to maintain services that the American public expect to be provided.”