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Scientists are regarding it as yet another attack on science by a political party that has, in the words of GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, become “the antiscience party.”

A 2012 spending bill expected to be approved this week slashes the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) budget by a whopping 32 percent. The cuts “will have real consequences on OSTP’s operations,” said spokesperson Rick Weiss.

The OSTP is the White House’s overall coordinating agency for federal science initiatives ranging from clean energy research to economic competitiveness to space exploration to climate change to education.

Cutting the top office responsible for insuring scientific integrity in government is the latest action by a Republican party whose leadership seems to be prosecuting an assault on science at almost every level, including House Speaker John Boehner’s attempts to have creationism taught in science classes and his false assertion that climate scientists are arguing carbon dioxide is a carcinogen.

Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), who chairs the House appropriations panel that oversees NASA and the OSTP, is a fierce opponent of the Chinese government and doesn’t want any cooperation between the US and China. “Frankly, it boils down to a moral issue,” said Wolf. “Would you have a bilateral program with Stalin?” Wolf inserted two sentences into the April 2011 spending bill that prohibit any joint scientific activity between the two nations that involves NASA or is coordinated by the OSTP.”

Via: Shawn Lawrence Otto