Rep. Jim Bridenstine R-OK nominated to be head of NASA

Rep. Jim Bridenstine R-OK nominated to be head of NASA 

Posted: 9:02 pm Friday, September 1st, 2017

By Jamie Dupree

After months of delay, President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be the next Administrator of NASA, choosing a conservative Republican with a military background to lead the drive to re-start manned exploration of space.

In the past NASA administrators have been space experts – Bridenstine’s choice would be a distinctly different path under the Trump Administration.

“I applaud President Trump for nominating Rep. Jim Bridenstine to be the next NASA administrator,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who called the Oklahoma Republican a “strong, principled and effective leader,” and a “close ally.”

“For our space program to be successful, NASA needs consistency in its mission,” Bridenstine said earlier this year, as he has been a supporter of a long term goal for a NASA mission to Mars.

Bridenstine had been rumored to be the candidate to head the U.S. space agency since early in the Trump Administration, but months went by with no announcement about the NASA job.

Even Bridenstine himself seemed puzzled by the delay, as he openly let reporters know at the U.S. Capitol that he wasn’t hearing much from the Trump Administration on when a decision would be made.

Bridenstine’s time in Congress has focused more on GOP conservative goals than space; his very first vote in the House was against then Speaker John Boehner. The Oklahoma Republican also voted against Boehner in 2015, as Bridenstine has pressed GOP leaders to be more aggressive in their policy choices.

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