The Space Station Decision
In the final months of 1983, Gil Rye was joined by Cabinet secretary Craig Fuller in pushing for bringing the issue of the space station before the president in a positive context. They decided to use the Cabinet Council on Commerce and Trade, rather than SIG (Space), as the forum for briefing the president on the space station. That briefing took place on December 1, 1983. Reagan at that briefing heard a full range of views in support of and opposed to going ahead with the station. In parallel, the Office of Management and Budget, whose leaders and staff were skeptical of the wisdom of approving the station, recognized that the president favored going ahead with the program and prepared a NASA budget option that reflected space station approval. At a December 5, 1983, budget review meeting, Reagan approved that option. Last minute protests by the secretary of defense and the director of central intelligence did not persuade the president to change that decision.