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NASA, NOAA chastised over testimony

Paul Broun

Rep. Paul Broun said NASA and NOAA were 'inconsiderate' for not providing testimony in advance.

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA felt the wrath of Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun during a Sept. 19 hearing on efforts to launch new satellites critical to the nation's weather forecasting.

Broun chastised both agencies, calling the failure to provide prepared testimony to lawmakers in advance "inconsiderate," especially given the magnitude of the issues at hand.

Neither agency provided written testimony 48 hours in advance to members of the Science, Space and Technology subcommittees on Environment and Oversight, as is the usual practice. Broun chairs the oversight subcommittee.

"I would have appreciated reading the testimonies 48 hours ago, when they were due," Broun said, before taking both scientific agencies further to task.

Broun, a candidate for Georgia's open Senate seat in 2014, also expressed dissatisfaction with NASA for not complying with congressional requests about which official would testify.

Broun did not say whom the subcommittees had wanted to appear, but it was not Marcus Watkins, director of the Joint Agency Satellite Division, who represented NASA. Watkins was unable to provide answers to many questions after he delivered his prepared remarks.

Broun then excoriated NOAA for what he considered its lax approach in responding to questions from committee members. The congressman said NOAA has yet to submit answers to questions from more than a year ago, and instructed Mary Kicza, assistant administrator for Satellite and Information Service at NOAA, to provide answers soon to previous questions and to be more prompt about responding to future requests for information.

Broun said NOAA's actions -- much like its failure to provide advance testimony -- were "inappropriate and inconsiderate."

Posted by Frank Konkel on Sep 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM


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