GREENBELT, MD– Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) visited Goddard Space Flight Center today to meet with Goddard employees during an employee town hall. Following the town hall, Congressman Hoyer received an update on the production of the James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope is scheduled to launch in October 2018.
“I am incredibly proud of the work done at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, which not only enhances our understanding of the universe but also helps protect us by improving our understanding of climate, weather, asteroids, and solar activity,” said Congressman Hoyer. “From the James Webb Telescope to the ‘W-First Mission’ and Satellite Serving Lab, the employees at NASA Goddard have a proven track record of bringing innovation, new technologies, and economic growth to the private sector that helps America maintain its global leadership in science and technology. All of this exemplary work has largely been done in spite of Congress, which provided NASA with six straight years of flat-line or declining budgets as well as the disastrous policy of sequestration. But last December, Congress was finally able to provide a long-overdue 7% increase in funding of $1.2 billion – a victory for our space program that I have long worked to achieve. I am working hard to do all I can to increase those funding levels as an advocate for NASA, and I will continue to do so.”
“As long as some in Congress continue to denigrate federal employees and put their pay and benefits in jeopardy, I’m going to do everything I can to stand up for those who serve in our civilian federal workforce because we cannot afford to lose their talent and experience,” continued Congressman Hoyer. “The 3,000 civilian federal employees here at NASA Goddard deserve to know that the government they serve is committed to them and values their service. That’s why I’ll continue to push for military-civilian parity in cost of living adjustment increases as well as raising pay and strengthening benefits to compete with the private sector. We can’t maintain the greatest civilian workforce in the world if we’re imposing pay freezes, making painful cuts to pensions, and allowing elected officials to denigrate their service and dismiss their contributions. I thank the employees for having me today, and I look forward to supporting their mission in Congress.”