Congress, NASA

Key NASA appropriator to retire

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) surprised many Tuesday when the 17-term congressman announced that he would not run for reelection in 2014. Wolf gave few details on his decision to retire now other than he planned to work on human rights and other issues after leaving Congress at the end of next year. “I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom – both domestic and international – as well as matters of the culture and the American family,” he said in his statement.

Wolf has played a key role in space policy in recent years as the chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, whose oversight includes NASA and NOAA. Besides his role in crafting spending bills, he has been a staunch opponent of NASA cooperation with China, in large part because of China’s human rights record. He has included provisions in recent appropriations bills forbidding NASA from bilateral cooperation with China, language that has caused no shortage of headaches at NASA Headquarters as Wolf kept watch to make sure NASA adhered to those restrictions.

9 comments to Key NASA appropriator to retire

  • Blatant plug for my blog article about Mr. Wolf’s departure.

    In short … good riddance.

    Any man who in his retirement messages cites Jesus and Chuck Colson needs to go.

    This is the man who once claimed Chinese eat human fetuses as health food.

    This is the man who hauled poor Charlie Bolden in front of Congress whenever Charlie happened to walk into a room where the word “China” was mentioned.

    This is the man who ruined the life of an innocent Chinese national, claiming in a Congressional hearing that Bo Jiang was a Chinese spy. Jiang was arrested, and when the dust cleared it turned out all he’d done was have porn on a government computer. He lost his job and was deported. Very Christian of you, Mr. Wolf.

    This is the man who soaked up OldSpace dollars like a sponge, then tried to interfere in the bidding process for KSC’s pad 39A to prevent SpaceX from getting it.

    I’ve no idea what is the political profile of his district, but I’ve seen online some rumbles that it might be possible to flip the district to Democratic in November 2014. Personally, I’ll just be happy to see him gone from meddling with NASA’s budget and operations.

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    There is no doubt that Rep Wolf was a disruptive and frequently damaging figure. However, he was also a NASA supporter, in his own way. I wonder if this will leave NASA with fewer friends to fight their corner?

    • Dark Blue Nine

      “Friends” who force you to spend money you don’t have on expensive, duplicative vehicles you don’t need or want in order to keep their friends employed are not “friends”. They’re leeches.

      “Friends” who cut you off from other professionals in the same field due to their nationality, poisoning data from multi-hundred million dollar projects because even the simplest coordination is no longer possible, are not “friends”. They’re bullies.

      “Friends” who persecute members of your workforce based on false charges and never apologize or fix their mistakes are not “friends”. They’re witch hunters.

      “Friends” who force the shutdown of your most valuable technical databases are not “friends”. They’re book burners.

      NASA is better off with no friend in that chairmanship than with Wolf’s brand of “friendship”. Indifference beats a bullying, bigoted, witch-hunting, book-burning leech, any day.

      And if Wolf really wants to work on human rights and American values, he should start with Bo Jiang and NTRS.

    • Mader Levap

      Who needs enemies with “friends” like these?

  • josh

    good riddance to this old fool.

  • Robert G. Oler

    something like “dont let the door hit you on the way out”? Right wing fool people should be ashamed that they listened to him Robert G. Oler

  • Mader Levap

    Good riddance indeed.

    But look at general picture – it will not change much. NASA still is under ridiculous weight of SLS and will be as long as it is possible. For paras politicians, it is just jobs program, after all.

  • DocM

    Looks like his replacement will be the anti-asteroid mission & China, pro-Moon & Europa Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)

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