NASA is moving full steam ahead into creating a lunar base that would essentially act as a launchpad for future expeditions to Mars.
The U.S. House of Representatives has recently proposed a new bipartisan bill that would limit NASA's experiments that can be conducted on the Moon's surface. This new bill states, "Any lunar in-situ resource utilization activities and shall not be included in the Moon to Mars Program and shall be budgeted separately from the Moon to Mars Program." What this means is that any Moon-specific research experiments that aren't directly linked to achieving humans on Mars could be considered not worth it.
This bill, called H.R. 5666, has stirred scientists raising their concerns towards its context and general goal. A group of scientists, engineers, resource management experts from 12 different states all signed an open letter sent to NASA that explains how this bill would be impeding the goal of making Mars habitable. Here's a small paragraph from the letter, "The integration of lunar (and Martian) resource utilization is vital for the sustainable and cost-effective human space exploration program beyond Earth orbit, as it is critical that we learn to "live off the land" beyond the Earth."
Continued: "Unfortunately, once again HR5666 restricts the use of the Moon to enable Mars, as well as restricting human activity on Mars."
It seems that the Democrat-led House's true ambitions behind this bill is to falter President Donald Trump's goal of achieving Mars but firstly to land astronauts back on the Moon in 2024. It's highly unlikely that this bill will pass Senate, but efforts are being made towards thwarting the human exploration process, which isn't good at all.