White House science office ‘punished’ for China outreach

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) stops the White House from handing over science/technology to the People’s Liberation Army.

Environment and Energy Daily reports,

The Office of Science and Technology Policy accounts for $4.5 million of the $1 trillion “minibus” Congress passed yesterday — a percentage that hardly registers even in an atmosphere of fiscal restraint.

But that amount is more than 30 percent less than last year’s budget for the small White House office, and scientists are worried that the deep cut will cripple the coordination of research government-wide…

But OSTP’s cuts are not due to spending limits. Instead, they are primarily the work of one Republican lawmaker who thought OSTP Director John Holdren needed to learn a lesson.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who chairs the House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, took Holdren to task earlier this year for holding a meeting with the Chinese science and technology minister and other officials. That cooperation, Wolf asserted, amounted to a violation of a provision he had inserted into the 2011 spending bill that prevented NASA and OSTP from spending money “to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a bilateral policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company”…

Wolf spokesman Dan Scandling said yesterday that the budget cut is meant to “send the message that you obey the law.”

“Do we want to coordinate research with the [People’s Liberation Army]? Do we want to coordinate research with a country that is spying on us every single day?” he said. “The office needs to make sure that it’s obeying the law and that it’s not giving away the store.”

It’s bad enough that the unfriendly Chinese steal our technology, we don’t have to just hand it over as well under the guise of “coordination”.