CD01 Staff for Bridenstine

Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First District, which covers Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner Counties plus portions of Rogers & Creek Counties. Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. To see more of his articles visit Bridenstine.house.gov

Last evening, President Trump signed into law H.R. 353, the Lucas-Bridenstine Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine:  “This legislation prioritizes improving weather forecasts and opens opportunities for new and innovative sources of weather information.  I congratulate President Trump for moving us closer to a day when we have zero deaths from tornadoes and severe weather events.” 

Congress passes comprehensive weather forecasting and research bill

A sweeping piece of legislation that aims to improve forecasts for everything from Category 5 hurricanes to El Nino has passed both houses of Congress.

Years in the making, it will become the first major weather legislation enacted since the early 1990s if signed by President Trump.

The 97-page bill, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, H.R. 353, gained bipartisan support in Congress. It passed the Senate on Thursday and the House on Tuesday afternoon.

After stumbling blocks and delays, sweeping bipartisan legislation to improve weather forecasting has passed the Senate.

The 65-page bill, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, H.R. 353, contains four sections that support research and programs to improve weather forecasting and its communication on short and long time scales.

Containing scores of provisions, the bill would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to, for example:

  • Establish a program to improve tornado warnings.
  • Protect the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program, whose funding was previously slashed.
  • Develop a formal plan for weather research.
  • Develop an annual report on the state of its weather models.
  • Develop forecasts on the subseasonal (two weeks to three months), seasonal (three months to one year) and interannual (up to two years) time scales.
  • Consider options to buy commercially provided weather satellite data rather than launch expensive government satellites.
  • Improve its watch-and-warning system based on recommendations from social and behavioral scientists.

The bill authorizes funding for these initiatives, totaling more than $170 million, but does not necessarily signal new or increased funding for NOAA. Rather it offers guidance on what programs should receive specific funding amounts given the existing budget negotiated by the president and Congress.

The bill is a revised version of a similar bill that passed the Senate in early December. But the earlier bill, years in the making, died in the House before the new year.

At issue was an amendment by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that mandated a contentious study on water resources that had potential implications for a decades-long dispute between Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

The bill will be sent to the House for consideration.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a co-sponsor of the legislation on the House side, said he is confident that with the additions and improvements to the bill, it should have no trouble getting to the president’s desk.


Read More at WashingtonPost.com

The vote on the American Healthcare Act is a very tough decision.  As the Representative of the First District of Oklahoma, my philosophy has been to fight for the most conservative option possible, and I often vote “No” to get to a “better Yes”.  Today, I decided the American Healthcare Act is the best “Yes” that the House is able to accomplish legislatively at this time.  Conservatives worked very hard to improve this bill, and while we hoped for a better bill, this is a dramatic improvement over Obamacare.

Obamacare is collapsing on itself with massive increases in premiums and deductibles so high that some families are effectively uninsured.  Many states have lost health insurance providers where companies cannot afford to offer Obamacare-compliant policies.  A third of all counties, including every county in Oklahoma, have only one provider on the exchanges this year and another third have only two.  Seven years ago, Obamacare took over nearly 20 percent of the U.S. economy, and unwinding that tangled system is extremely complex.

This bill effectively repeals the individual and employer mandates, cuts $1 trillion in taxes, and reduces the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over ten years.  The bill fundamentally transforms Medicaid from an open-ended and unsustainable entitlement to a State-centered system which caps the Federal contribution and maximizes flexibility for the States.  The Medicaid reforms alone will save trillions over the long-term, help move millions of people onto private insurance, and preserve the safety net for the most vulnerable.

Most important to me, this bill prohibits funds from going to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and redirects federal funding to Community Health Centers.  This provision alone merits support even though the bill falls short of what conservatives wanted to accomplish.

I am disappointed that this legislation did not include provisions to repeal the Obamacare health insurance regulations which are the root cause of skyrocketing premiums and employers dropping coverage.  Fortunately, Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services, will exercise his authority under the law to remove costly Obamacare regulations.  I also have great reservations about the bill’s refundable tax credit scheme, which is essentially a different version of the Obamacare subsidy program.

In my judgment though, this is the opening legislative salvo of the Trump Presidency, and we cannot let it fail when we do not have a shot at a better option.  Therefore, I will vote “Yes”. 

Today Congressman Jim Bridenstine was a guest at the signing ceremony in the White House as President Trump signed into law S. 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017.

“For our space program to be successful, NASA needs consistency in its mission,” said Congressman Bridenstine. “The NASA Transition Authorization Act keeps a mission to Mars as NASA’s horizon goal, supporting the critical deep space exploration systems as well as partnerships with industry that will make this horizon goal successful. This bill also recognizes the importance of the Moon in these plans as well as the role NASA plays in lowering barriers to access for other actors in space.”

Congressman Jim Bridenstine invites the entire 1st District to a Town Hall meeting focusing on Securing America, Tuesday evening April 11th, 6:30-8:00 PM, at the Mabee Center in Tulsa.

How we address ISIS, Russian aggression, and the crisis…

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, voted to protect Second Amendment rights for veterans and restore accountability at the Veterans Administration.

H.R. 1181 would end the Obama Administration’s Veterans Gun Ban by restoring constitutional due process protections for veterans.  VA has reported hundreds of thousands of veterans to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) simply because they have a fiduciary to handle their benefits earned through service.  In 2016 alone, VA registered 32,000 veterans on NICS which prevents them from buying or owning firearms.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “The Obama Administration’s Veterans Gun Ban undermines Second Amendment rights for our veterans and is back-door gun control.  Judges should make mental incapacity determinations subject to due process, not VA bureaucrats.”

H.R. 1259 gives the VA Secretary authority to fire, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct using expedited procedures.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “While most VA employees work hard to serve our veterans, the VA Secretary should be able to quickly remove and discipline the bad apples.  We need accountability at the VA.  The House has passed similar legislation each year I’ve been in Congress.  There’s no excuse for not getting this legislation to President Trump’s desk.”    

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Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, voted to protect Second Amendment rights for veterans and restore accountability at the Veterans Administration.

H.R. 1181 would end the Obama Administration’s Veterans Gun Ban by restoring constitutional due process protections for veterans.  VA has reported hundreds of thousands of veterans to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) simply because they have a fiduciary to handle their benefits earned through service.  In 2016 alone, VA registered 32,000 veterans on NICS which prevents them from buying or owning firearms.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “The Obama Administration’s Veterans Gun Ban undermines Second Amendment rights for our veterans and is back-door gun control.  Judges should make mental incapacity determinations subject to due process, not VA bureaucrats.”

H.R. 1259 gives the VA Secretary authority to fire, demote, or suspend VA employees for poor performance or misconduct using expedited procedures.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “While most VA employees work hard to serve our veterans, the VA Secretary should be able to quickly remove and discipline the bad apples.  We need accountability at the VA.  The House has passed similar legislation each year I’ve been in Congress.  There’s no excuse for not getting this legislation to President Trump’s desk.”     

Mr. Bridenstine – It is my honor. Thank you. Chairman Diaz-Balart, Ranking Member Price, Mr. Culberson and Mr. Valadao, it’s an honor to be here.
I wanted to bring up something regarding infrastructure that a lot of people don’t think about. When you …