From the President’s Office – 7/12/2012
I am sorry to report that the world’s only operating undersea research laboratory, the Aquarius, began its last mission this week. The mission, titled Celebrating 50 years of Living Beneath the Sea, began on Wednesday and will run until July 22. This last mission marks the end of an era − 50 years of underwater research. Unfortunately, the NOAA budget eliminates support for the National Underwater Research Program. We are disappointed with this decision, but we are making efforts to help spread the word about − and build the momentum for − possible private funding for this unique underwater research capability. More information about the Aquarius’ last mission can be found below.
This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) indicated that the Senate would not take up any of the 12 annual spending bills before the election, meaning that a continuing resolution will be necessary to keep the government running past October 1 until Congress can work out a massive omnibus spending bill. This indicates that Congress has moved from legislating to campaigning, which, off course, is expected in a presidential election year. So, other than a possible deal on the Farm bill, most of Congress’ upcoming votes will be intended to draw policy distinctions between the parties rather than any real effort to pass new laws. This means that after the November election, Congress will have an extremely busy lame duck session dealing with all of the appropriations bills, the debt ceiling, deficit reduction and sequestration, the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and possibly the Law of the Sea treaty. So, enjoy your summer because there are going to be plenty of fireworks in the fall here in Washington!