Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Message From Acting NASA Administrator: Confirmation of Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator

Rep. Jim Bridenstine R-Tulsa Rep. Jim Bridenstine R-Tulsa
Russell Knight | 20 April, 2018, 03:09

The White House formally nominated Bridenstine for the position September 1 after a months-long search during which he was widely seen as a front-runner.

Rubio, whose state is home to the Kennedy Space Center and thousands of NASA jobs, objected to Bridenstine's lack of qualification for the role, saying that the position required a "space professional" rather than a politician. Flake had assured the White House last week that he was a yes vote for Bridenstine's confirmation, so when he voted no on cloture - ending debate ahead of the vote - it took the White House by surprise, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The 50-48 vote was along partisan lines with Republicans rallying behind Bridenstine and Democrats opposing him.

Rubio ultimately sided with all other Republicans to confirm Bridenstine as the NASA chief despite his hesitations, arguing that Trump deserves to have his team in place across the administration. Nothing personal about Mr. Bridenstine. Flake, a vocal critic of the President's, had been the only Republican to vote against Bridenstine. "There is no way NASA can go that long without a permanent Administrator". Duckworth is the first Senator to give birth while in office, but under Senate rules, children were not allowed on the Senate floor. Both voted yes today, though Flake waited and was the last Republican Senator to cast his vote. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. I look forward to seeing what Jim and the NASA Family accomplish in the coming years. Jim now takes the reins of this agency and its talented and dedicated workforce. "I expect him to lead NASA in a non-political way and to treat Florida fairly". Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, said Bridenstine is the right man to lead USA plans in space and make sure the first astronaut to reach Mars will be an American.

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I've been talking to Jim, and I know he's eager to begin leading this team.

Smith said he is looking forward to working with Bridenstine "to maintain America's leadership in space".

Bridenstine was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2012 while flying missions in Central and South America in support of America's war on drugs. But he recently announced he was retiring from the agency at the end of this month. He was a controversial choice as a NASA administrator largely because of his past skepticism about climate change and votes against some NASA climate research while in Congress.

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