[Updated] NASA's 2015 Budget Increase is Confirmed
Senate passes the CRomnibus spending bill with $18.01 billion NASA budget
Update 2014-12-16: President Obama has signed the bill into law.
After an extra day of procedural delays, the U.S. Senate finally passed the 2015 omnibus spending bill approved by the House of Representatives earlier in the week. The bill now goes to President Obama, who has stated his intention to sign the legislation.
The omnibus will fund nearly all sectors of U.S. government for the remainder of the fiscal year 2015, and includes a $549 million increase to NASA above the President's request. This supports a Planetary Science Division budget of $1.44 billion, $157 million above the request and nearly $100 million above last year's amount. We'll have more details on which parts of the planetary program get the additional funds next week.
This was a big bill, and most of the press coverage has focused on bad stuff included within it, but remember that there was a lot of good stuff in this bill, too. NASA will be a stronger agency in 2015 because of this legislation, and we should appreciate that part of it.