Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reaction to Bridenstine's confirmation as NASA Administrator


Almost eight months after being nominated by President Trump, Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine was confirmed as NASA Adminstrator by a 50-49 vote in the U.S. Senate this afternoon. Bridenstine will now resign his seat in Congress to take the position; the 1st Congressional District will sit vacant until filled by the victor in the November election.

Here's some reaction to the news:

U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine:
Congressman Jim Bridenstine Confirmed as NASA Administrator

"It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator. 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 working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President’s vision for American leadership in space.”

Jim Bridenstine served as a U.S. Navy pilot on active duty for nine years, followed by four years in the Navy Reserve where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  In 2015 he transitioned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard.  He was elected to Congress in 2012 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  In 2016 he introduced the American Space Renaissance Act.  Bridenstine lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Michelle and their three children. For a full bio, please click here.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe:
Inhofe Praises Bridenstine Confirmation as NASA Administrator

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe today praised the Senate confirmation of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, of Oklahoma, to be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Inhofe spoke on the Senate floor earlier today about his qualifications for the position. (Click here to view remarks.)

"I agree wholeheartedly with the comments that have been made about Jim Bridenstine. I was on the committee that went through confirmation. I have never heard so many things. One thing they all had in common was none of them knew Jim Bridenstine."

"My associate talked about a smear campaign. I have never seen a smear campaign like that had, never so much hatred for no reason at all. The two of us know Jim Bridenstine well. In fact, he holds the First Congressional District for the state of Oklahoma. That was my seat, I held that seat for eight years. And of course I have gotten to know him very well since that time and the things that have been said about him, again, they just don't know him and didn't want to know him."

"So we have an administrator who I think is going to do a good job. The best thing I can do now … is just to make two quotes. One is from the 2015 Space News. They named him one of five space leaders making a difference."

"Then, the mention was made of Buzz Aldrin. There is no one who is better known in that community than Buzz Aldrin. I want to go ahead and use his statement--he said: 'We heartedly support the president’s nomination of Mr. Bridenstine as the next NASA administrator wish him Godspeed during the Senate confirmation process. We encourage you to join us in uniting the space community and our nation behind this nominee so NASA can return to its job of boldly exploring the final frontier.'"

"I couldn’t say it better than that, so I leave you with that recommendation from Buzz Aldrin and I look forward to [Bridenstine’s] confirmation. I yield the floor."

During the confirmation process, Sen. Inhofe introduced Congressman Bridenstine in the Commerce Committee. View his introduction and remarks.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford:
Senator Lankford Backs Congressman Bridenstine for Key Role in the Administration
Lankford: “Jim Bridenstine has been very, very passionate about trying to get NASA back on focus with a big vision and a big mission.”
(CLICK HERE to view the video)

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today delivered a floor speech to show support for the confirmation of Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to serve as Administrator of NASA. During the speech, Lankford spoke on Bridenstine’s extensive background, which provides him experiences necessary to serve as NASA administrator. The Senate is scheduled to vote on Bridenstine’s final confirmation today.

On Congressman Jim Bridenstine’s nomination to be the Administrator of NASA: 

"Now he has months, and months and months gone through the process, gone through committee hearings, gone through all kinds of support. The committees he served in the House of Representatives in a bipartisan letter with wide majorities to the Senate saying we've worked with Jim Bridenstine. He's exceptionally knowledgeable about issues on space. He's a great choice and they sent that letter over from the House to the Senate. Multiple individuals have written letters in support of Jim Bridenstine, including Sean O'Keefe, who is the former NASA administrator, Buzz Aldrin also sent extensive support for Jim Bridenstine including a remarkable op-ed and the support for him.

He’s extremely smart and extremely engaged and he has been very attentive to the issues of space. Serving in the House of Representatives, he has made his focus space and research and trying to be able to realign NASA into mission focus…. Jim Bridenstine has been very, very passionate about trying to get NASA back on focus with a big vision and a big mission. 

Eight months this has taken to get to a vote on NASA administrator. Let’s get him on his task and let’s get him going. We need him in this spot and I think he will do a fine job. And, it’s not just my opinion, its folks from all over the country that have risen up and looked at him clearly said he is the right person."

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot:
Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot with newly confirmed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Statements on Jim Bridenstine’s Senate Confirmation as NASA Administrator

The following are statements from Rep. Jim Bridenstine and acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot on Thursday’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Bridenstine as the 13th Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

"It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator,” said Bridenstine. “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 working with the outstanding team at NASA to achieve the President’s vision for American leadership in space.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Jim Bridenstine to NASA,” said Lightfoot. "He joins our great agency at a time when we are poised to accomplish historic milestones across the full spectrum of our work. Jim now takes the reins of this agency and its talented and dedicated workforce. I'm looking forward to him building on our great momentum and sharing our many strengths to help us make the next giants leaps on behalf of humanity. I also want to express my heartfelt appreciation to the NASA team for all they accomplished during my time leading the agency."

For Bridenstine’s biographical information, visit https://bridenstine.house.gov/biography
For information about NASA’s missions, programs and activities, visit https://www.nasa.gov

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