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Rubio, Cornyn, Scott Reintroduce Bill to Modernize NASA Contracting Requirements

May 27, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Rick Scott (R-FL) reintroduced the Contracts and Obligations Modernization for Efficient Terms of Service (COMETS) Act. This legislation would allow NASA to use its procurement contracts to acquire supplies and services to meet not only NASA requirements, but also the requirements of its commercial partners. Modernizing this process would enable more efficient NASA center operations across the country, which is necessary as the commercial space sector expands and NASA’s many commercial partners succeed and scale their operations. The senators first introduced the legislation in October 2019. 
“NASA Space Centers, such as Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, are growing rapidly, but still face impediments to meeting commercial needs,” Rubio said. “This change would allow NASA to appropriately size its contracts to fill both government and commercial requirements, and help better facilitate informed business decisions. As the commercial space sector continues to expand in Florida and across our nation, it is critical we allow for increased efficiency and continued industry growth.”
“Texas has established a legacy throughout America’s space history thanks to the work of NASA and the Johnson Space Center,” Cornyn said. “NASA and JSC must be allowed the flexibility to enter into commonsense contracts to ensure the U.S. is well-positioned for the future of space exploration.”
“Throughout my time as Governor of Florida and now as Senator, we’ve worked to make sure the businesses and families on our Space Coast have every resource they need to thrive,” Scott said. “The COMETS Act will build on our efforts and further support the growth of Florida’s space industry – an important and iconic part of our state’s history and economy.”
Currently, federal law does not allow NASA to include commercial partners’ needs in its requirements determinations for its planned contracting actions, even though commercial partners are required to contract for their own services where practicable and, in certain cases, can take advantage of excess capacity in existing government-provided commodities and services.