Garcia adds amendments to support commercial space industry

Politics and government

News release 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, passed two amendments to H.R. 6131, the Commercial Space Act of 2023, during a Science, Space and Technology Committee markup. 

Garcia’s first amendment establishes optional streamlined launch licensing approval processes. 

“Time and time again, commercial space operators have come to my office with effectively the same complaint that the licensing process is too slow, and that the (Federal Aviation Administration) is too understaffed to handle the approval process,” Garcia said in a news release. “My bipartisan amendment would make important reforms to the licensing process to allow for expedited approval without sacrificing safety standards.” 

Garcia’s second amendment expresses the sense of Congress that the FAA and Department of Defense should adopt a single approval process for commercial operations on federal test ranges. 

“Currently, [the FAA and DOD] require commercial operators to go through duplicative licensing and approval processes that only serve to create confusion and to slow the cadence of operations. This is a significant barrier to the expansion of our commercial space sector,” Garcia said in the release. “We should be looking far and wide for opportunities to remove duplicative requirements, to remove barriers for the still young industry – and that’s exactly what my amendment does.” 

“Thank you to my colleague, Congressman Mike Garcia, whose leadership I appreciate on this committee very much,” Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Michigan, said in the release. “He’s stayed the course and is spot-on when he describes some of the deep challenges that we have with the FAA, particularly with the understaffing. This appears to be almost agency-wide, but as we’re looking at this legislation here today and particularly this amendment, in the spirit of bipartisanship, it is important that we come together … to lead.” 

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