The Trump administration declared in February it wanted to redirect the money it spends on the ISS toward other space exploration projects, like returning to the Moon and eventually sending people to Mars.
But the plan was construed as too myopic by experts and, more importantly, by lawmakers.
“We cannot have it all. Federal funding is not unlimited,” said Lamar Smith, the Republican chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, during a hearing Thursday.
Any savings that come from de-funding the orbiting outpost would amount to “not much,” Smith added.
“That’s not going to get us back to the Moon, that’s not going to get us elsewhere,” he said.
NASA spends between three and four billion dollars per year on the ISS, including the cost of shipping cargo and paying Russia for transporting astronauts aboard the Soyuz.
The United States has not been able to fly astronauts to space aboard its own spacecraft since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.