What is the office of Technology Assessment(OTA)? It was the Congressional oversight agency founded in 1972 and signed into law by Nixon responsible for evaluating federal government science and technology programs and providing Congress with an independent science assessment on pending legislation. Much like the Government Accountability Office, OTA was a valuable tool for Congress and played a crucial role in helping Congress to develop the legislation banning CFCs. When Reagan came out with his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the infamous 'Star Wars' program, the OTA conducted and published a study by physicist Ashton Carter which showed that SDI's goal of missile defense was unachievable and untenable. Carter maintained that the program would be a massive waste of government spending and would more likely heat up the arms race. Please read beneath the fold for more information.
In 1995, Newt Gingrich and Congressional Republicans killed this agency which was extremely unpopular in the corporate industrial and military sectors. The claim at the time was that the agency was "too partisan" and was not practicing "sound science", the catch phrases of the Republican Right. Since then, Republicans have enacted legislation to weaken federal agencies science review and policymaking. The EPA, CDC, and Endangered Species Act are perfect examples. For more information try reading The Republican War on Science or you can go to this Wiki link Given the Bush administration politicization of government science, now is the crucial time for Congress to restore this agency and give Congress an independent view of science and technology rather than depending on industry scientists for science advice. We have all seen where that leads. The OTA will be a valuable tool for Congress to cut waste and fraud from the federal government and restore science integrity to federal agencies. The GAO does not have the capabilities to do independent science review. So I am calling on Kossacks to contact Henry Waxman the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to enact legislation restoring OTA. Also contact your local Representative and Senators to tell them you want OTA restored. Here are the links for House of Rep and Senate site:
Correction: The poll question is about the Office of Technology Assessment. Sorry, my fingers aren't very nimble at times and I accidently erase part of what I write.