Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–teamed up this week on a proposal to expand space commerce which is being championed by members of the Sunshine State’s delegation in the U.S. House.

Last month, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., introduced the “American Space Commerce Act” which will encourage American space firms to continue to invest in the U.S., including launching from American soil, with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., as a cosponsor.

“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,” said Posey last month. “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. I thank my colleague, Congressman Crist, for joining me in introducing this legislation which is critical to both the state of Florida and our nation.”

“The U.S. aerospace industry plays a critical role in advancing our nation’s space exploration goals, national security posture, and global competitiveness,” said Crist. “I’m proud to work with Congressman Posey to introduce this bill to strengthen American leadership in space. The American Space Commerce Act will help shield the U.S. aerospace industry from unfair trade practices, promote our national security, and protect workers in communities across Florida and America.”

The two congressmen pointed to the U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report to Congress last which found that “China is taking steps to establish a commanding position in the commercial launch and satellite sectors relying in part on aggressive state-backed financing that foreign market-driven companies cannot match” and “China has already succeeded in undercutting some U.S. and other foreign launch and satellite providers in the international market, threatening to hollow out these countries’ space industrial bases.”

Posey’s bill continues space launch tax incentives currently in place for another ten years with the congressman’s office insisting that doing so will free up more capital which can be invested in new technology and in actual launches.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee last month.

Rubio introduced the Senate companion this week with Scott, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as cosponsors.

“American leadership in the space industry has, and will continue to be, a pillar of our nation’s economy that every American should take pride in,” Rubio said. “The American Space Commerce Act will strengthen the space industry’s public-private partnerships with American companies and ensure that our nation continues to be a global industry leader. Our nation’s history is made brighter by our incredible achievements in space. I am proud that Florida’s Space Coast continues to be America’s gateway to the stars, including this past weekend when NASA and SpaceX successfully launched the first American astronauts from American soil on an American rocket to the International Space Station in almost a decade.”

“Our nation is competing against known adversaries like Communist China and Russia in the space launch industry, and we must put American interests and national security first,” Scott said. “I’m proud to sponsor the American Space Commerce Act to enhance our nation’s self-reliance in the space industry, prioritize American businesses, and ensure our nation remains a leader in space exploration.”

“Following SpaceX and NASA’s successful and historic launch just last week, it’s important we foster a tax environment where the U.S. space industry can charter the next generation of space exploration,” Cruz said. “By allowing full expensing for space launch property, the American Space Commerce Act will strengthen America’s renewed leadership in space and bolster our commercial partners that are critical to that effort as we continue to explore the final frontier.”

“This past weekend, Americans were thrilled to see the launch of two American astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011,” Wicker said. “This legislation would support investments in our domestic space industry at a critical time and ensure American companies are competing on a level playing field with their international rivals. I hope that with continued investment our nation’s space capabilities will remain the envy of the world.”

“Last week, SpaceX partnered with NASA to send Americans to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade,” Feinstein said. “It was the first manned U.S. launch from a commercial space provider.  This and other public-private partnerships are essential to our future space endeavors, and they need to be supported. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill to extend the tax deduction allowance for domestic space launches so we can continue to foster the growth of our domestic commercial space industry in California and other states.”

The bill has garnered the support of the Aerospace Industry Association, Blue Origin, Boeing, Space Florida, SpaceX and ULA.

On Wednesday, the bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

Kevin Derby
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