$10 BILLION BAILOUT FUND FOR JEFF BEZOS

NOW THAT Jeff Bezos’s space flight com­pa­ny Blue Ori­gin has lost a multi­bil­lion con­tract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Con­gress is prep­ping the ground for Bezos to win a con­tract any­way, order­ing NASA to make not one but two awards.

The order would come through the End­less Fron­tier Act, a bill to beef up resources for sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy research that’s being debat­ed on the Sen­ate floor this week. An amend­ment was added to that leg­is­la­tion by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D‑Wash., to hand over $10 bil­lion to NASA — mon­ey that most like­ly would go to Blue Ori­gin, a com­pa­ny that’s head­quar­tered in Cantwell’s home state.

Cantwell’s amend­ment is no sure bet though: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I‑Vt., intro­duced a last-minute amend­ment Mon­day to elim­i­nate the $10 bil­lion. “It does not make a lot of sense to me that we would pro­vide bil­lions of dol­lars to a com­pa­ny owned by the wealth­i­est guy in Amer­i­ca,” Sanders told The Inter­cept Tuesday.

The Bezos space com­pa­ny had been com­pet­ing against SpaceX for a con­tract to put astro­nauts on the moon, the first such trips since 1972, but lost the bid­ding process with a price tag twice that of SpaceX. NASA announced the award to the Elon Musk-owned com­pa­ny last month.

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