House Appropriators Chastise, Cut OSTP Because of China Dealings

House Appropriators Chastise, Cut OSTP Because of China Dealings

Among the agencies whose budgets would be cut by the House Appropriations Committee in the FY2012 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill is the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The cut of more than 50 percent of its budget request is the result of congressional unhappiness with OSTP’s continued efforts to engage with China despite language in the final FY2011 Continuing Resolution that it refrain from doing so.

The committee’s report on the FY2012 CJS bill says the following:

“The Committee recommends $3,000,000 for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which is $3,647,000 below fiscal year 2011 and $3,650,000 below the request.

“Coordination with China.-OSTP has chosen to disregard a strong and unambiguous legislative prohibition on bilateral engagement with China or Chinese-owned companies that was included in the Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Resolution Act, 2011 (Public Law 112-10). OSTP and the White House raised no concerns about this language while it was under consideration. Only after the Committee asked OSTP about its compliance with the provision did OSTP claim that the language infringed on Constitutional prerogatives and acknowledge an intention to proceed with prohibited activities. Even then key information about a scheduled bilateral event was omitted. OSTP’s behavior demonstrates a lack of respect for the policy and oversight roles of the Congress.”

The report goes on to say that the remaining OSTP funding is to be prioritized to coordinate and improve government programs for STEM education.

The Associated Press ran a story about it yesterday.

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