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Senior Republican to leave Congress

Prominent congressman Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican who chairs the House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that oversees the budgets of science agencies such NASA and the National Science Foundation, has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014.

“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 on 17 December. The congressman suggested his decision was motivated by his religious views. “As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves,” he said.

In office, Wolf has repeatedly expressed concerns about China’s human rights record and history of espionage, criticizing NASA and the Obama administration for what he has described as its over-eagerness to work with that country on its space program.

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