Frank Wolf, House’s Top NASA Appropriator, Retiring in 2015

WASHINGTON — Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the highest NASA appropriator within the U.S. Home of Representatives and a fierce China critic who banned joint house endeavors between that nation and the US, will go away Congress when his present time period expires in January 2015.

Wolf, chairman of the Home Appropriations commerce, justice, science subcommittee, made the announcement in a Dec. 17 press launch through which the consultant of Virginia’s tenth District and dean of the state’s Home delegation introduced he wouldn’t search re-election subsequent 12 months. The veteran lawmaker can have spent 34 years on the Hill by the point he retires, together with 10 nonconsecutive years as chairman of the appropriations panel that controls NASA’s funds.

“As a follower of Jesus, I’m referred to as to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for many who can not communicate for themselves,” Wolf stated in a written assertion. “I plan to focus my future work on human rights and spiritual freedom — each home and worldwide — in addition to issues of the tradition and the American household.”

Assuming Republicans preserve management of the Home after U.S. elections subsequent November, Wolf’s successor can be appointed in closed-door conferences by the leaders of the Home Republican Convention earlier than the 114th Congress gavels in on Jan. 3, 2015. Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) has probably the most seniority on the subcommittee after Wolf.

In Congress, Wolf was typically supportive of NASA, besides when it got here to cooperating with the Chinese language authorities and Chinese language firms. Wolf-penned provisions in appropriations payments relationship again to 2011 have forbidden NASA from spending appropriated funds on bilateral preparations with China or Chinese language corporations, and from internet hosting Chinese language officers or business heads at NASA services.

Within the wake of China’s profitable touchdown Dec. 14 of a probe on the  lunar floor, Wolf as soon as once more sounded alarms concerning the progress of the Chinese language house program. In a Dec. 19 letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, Wolf urged Obama to name off a proposed NASA mission to seize an asteroid and focus as a substitute on lunar exploration with present U.S. house collaborators.

In a separate letter to U.S. Nationwide Intelligence Director James Clapper dated Dec. 18, Wolf requested which of the applied sciences demonstrated within the Chang’e 3 lunar touchdown mission may have implications for China’s counter-space and missile packages. The letter to Clapper was additionally signed by Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the Home Armed Companies subcommittee on strategic forces.

Wolf additionally has been a pointy critic of Obama’s choice to cancel the Constellation Moon exploration program, and voted for a Senate-authored NASA authorization invoice that ordered NASA to construct the Area Launch System and Orion capsule utilizing contracts and {hardware} left over from the Constellation and house shuttle packages.

An avowed skeptic of NASA’s plan to outsource crew and cargo transportation to and from the worldwide house station, Wolf as soon as thought of ordering the company to restrict its collection of astronaut taxi companies to only one firm. NASA has lengthy expressed a want to have at the least two such companies at its disposal.

Though that order by no means got here, Wolf’s persevering with wariness confirmed in a NASA spending invoice that cleared the Home Appropriations Committee this previous summer time. The invoice contained $500 million for the Business Crew Program, significantly lower than the $821 million annual funds the White Home desires.

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