Republican Rep. Bill Posey and Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist are trying again to get Congress to make significant new investments in the commercial space industry rising in Florida.
Posey of Rockledge announced Thursday that he is reintroducing House Resolution 1369, the American Space Commerce Act, with Crist, of St. Petersburg, as the principal co-sponsor. In the last Congress, the pair’s measure drew widespread bipartisan support from Florida and other space industry states, including Senate sponsorship from Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.
The bill would extend existing tax incentives for another 10 years for American space firms to keep investing in America and launching from American soil. Last year’s effort never got off the ground, as neither the House nor Senate bills were heard by any committees.
Kennedy Space Center and the adjacent Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the dominant launching center for American-launched rockets, is in Posey’s district. Both Posey and Crist are on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and its Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.
However, competition is rising nationally, with active launch sites in Virginia, Texas, and California, but more significantly with dozens of active sites now worldwide.
“Our domestic space launch industry is in our national security interest and America is up against unfair trade practices from nations like China and Russia that heavily subsidize space launches,” Posey stated in a news release. “Our bill provides a powerful incentive for our space firms to keep investing to support America’s growing commercial space sector, further advancing our leadership in space and securing the ultimate military high ground for years to come.”
“The U.S. aerospace industry plays a critical role in advancing our nation’s space exploration goals, national security posture, and global competitiveness,” Crist said in the news release.
The bill would continue a tax boon for United Launch Alliance and SpaceX, the leaders in Florida-based launches, Blue Origin, which hopes to begin launching in Florida next year, and a host of other companies planning large and small rockets or airplane-drop launches.
“This bill will ensure that the U.S. remains the world leader in space by supporting the development of domestic launch capabilities. It is the strength, innovation and agility of the commercial space marketplace which best enables American leadership in space,” Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello said.