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

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Nominated to Lead NASA

Congressman Jim Bridenstine:  “It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as NASA Administrator. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. Should I be confirmed by the United States Senate, I will work with all diligence to achieve the President’s vision for America’s 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.

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted for the H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which funds national defense, important US Army Corps of Engineers projects, and physical border security provisions, while cutting wasteful programs that ballooned during the previous administration. The legislation passed 235 to 192.

“The first responsibility of the Federal Government is national security. Today, the House of Representatives fulfilled that duty,” said Congressman Bridenstine.

The Make America Secure Appropriations Act provides $659 billion for the Department of Defense, nearly $60 billion above the current year. This increase is necessary to restore our Armed Forces after the harm caused by the defense sequester. In addition, H.R. 3219 provides $14 billion for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons security programs, an increase in funding that will modernize the United States’ ability to deter and respond to any nuclear threat.

Bridenstine continued: “The bill also follows through on the President’s promise — and Congress’ duty — to secure our borders.” H.R. 3219 provides $1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the southern border, matching President Trump’s budget request.

Congressman Bridenstine had several priorities incorporated in the bill, including the following. These priorities are accomplished by redirecting funds, not adding to the national debt.

  • Commercial Weather Data Pilot Program: Continues funding for a program to allow the Department of Defense to procure and evaluate data from commercial weather satellite companies. This has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in how the DoD acquires weather data, reducing costs and improving information.
  • Army Corps of Engineers Studies: Requires the Corps to do studies, the first step in infrastructure renovation projects, on at least five projects where the benefits are related to flood and storm damage reduction. This means the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levee System, which is a national security issue due to its age and the energy infrastructure sited behind the levees, could qualify for one of these studies. The levees also protect many homes.

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Last week, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) completed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018.  As a member of the Committee, Congressman Jim Bridenstine contributed several provisions that were included in the bill.  The next step is consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives the second week in July.

Congressman Bridenstine highlighted three important provisions:

1)       Equal Treatment of Orders to Serve on Active Duty under Section 12304a and 12304b of Title 10, USC

The Congressman is a cosponsor of the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, which eliminates disparities in health care, retirement, deployment allowance, and education benefits for mobilized Reserve Component personnel.  The bill was partially incorporated in the NDAA, authorizing such personnel to receive pre-mobilization and transitional health care. 

2)      Establishment of Space Flag Training Event

The Secretary of Defense is directed to encourage department-wide participation in the Air Force’s advanced space training exercise, Space Flag.  Additionally, the Secretary is to provide training range infrastructure that facilitates growth in advanced training requirements and the development and testing of doctrine, concepts of operation, and tactics.  Such exercises will enhance our ability to successfully engage in a future conflict that extends to space.

3)      Responsive Launch

US STRATCOM has repeatedly identified the need to rapidly reconstitute and replenish critical space capabilities in the event of attack.  This provision encourages the Secretary of Defense to increase the priority and resources for this mission area in order to field responsive and resilient launch capabilities.

[Editor’s note: Sure would like to see the cost projection on all this staging for war in space program. Boggles the mind and no end in sight…/sc]

WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee is expected to approve a bill that seeks to improve regulation of commercial space activities, but not without criticism from some within the industry.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, H.R. 2809, was formally introduced June 7 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee. The bill has eight other co-sponsors, including space subcommittee chairman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a member active on space issues who remains a leading candidate to be named NASA administrator. The bill has bipartisan support and is expected to clear the committee during a June 8 markup and go to the full House.

The bill seeks to streamline the process of licensing for commercial remote sensing satellites, currently handled by an office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It also sets up a similar “certification” system for commercial payloads not otherwise licensed by the government, addressing an industry concern about a regulatory gap for “non-traditional” applications like satellite servicing, commercial space stations and lunar landers.

“The bill establishes a favorable legal and policy environment for free enterprise with maximum certainty and minimum burden for stakeholders,” said Smith in a statement June 7 announcing the bill’s introduction. “This enterprising bill provides an efficient, transparent, and streamlined structure for authorizing and supervising future space activities to create the path for future exploration of the final frontier.

Read More on SpaceNews.com

WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee is expected to approve a bill that seeks to improve regulation of commercial space activities, but not without criticism from some within the industry.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act, H.R. 2809, was formally introduced June 7 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee. The bill has eight other co-sponsors, including space subcommittee chairman Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a member active on space issues who remains a leading candidate to be named NASA administrator. The bill has bipartisan support and is expected to clear the committee during a June 8 markup and go to the full House.

The bill seeks to streamline the process of licensing for commercial remote sensing satellites, currently handled by an office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It also sets up a similar “certification” system for commercial payloads not otherwise licensed by the government, addressing an industry concern about a regulatory gap for “non-traditional” applications like satellite servicing, commercial space stations and lunar landers.

“The bill establishes a favorable legal and policy environment for free enterprise with maximum certainty and minimum burden for stakeholders,” said Smith in a statement June 7 announcing the bill’s introduction. “This enterprising bill provides an efficient, transparent, and streamlined structure for authorizing and supervising future space activities to create the path for future exploration of the final frontier.

Read More on SpaceNews.com

The Air Force plans to award a contract today to upgrade the radar on select F-16 aircraft, including eight planes at the Air National Guard Wing in Tulsa, OK.  The new AESA (Active Electronically Steered Array) Radar will enable smaller target detection and tracking, greater targeting range, faster search capabilities, and an ability to engage multiple targets.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “This considerably enhances the capability of Tulsa’s F-16s, allowing for targeting at extended ranges to improve lethality against our enemies and survivability for ourselves.  I have proposed increased spending for these systems in the current National Defense Authorization Act.”

The Air Force contract is with Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for 72 AESA radars, spares and support services.  Squadrons based in nine locations, including Tulsa, will each receive eight new units.  Delivery of the first radar is expected to be in December 2018, with all 72 systems at full operational capacity by the fourth quarter of 2020. 

Today I voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  The bill passed  in the U.S. House by a margin of 217 to 213.  Six weeks ago I decided the original bill was better than allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight.  Since then I have been pleased to work with conservative colleagues to improve the AHCA to enable Americans to have more choices at lower costs.

Obamacare has devastated the individual health insurance market.  In Oklahoma, premium increases averaged over 70 percent this year, and we have only one provider on the exchange.

The amended bill immediately eliminates Obamacare taxes, protects individuals with pre-existing conditions, lowers costs, and reforms Medicaid to give states more flexibility.  Although this is not a full repeal of Obamacare, it does allow the states to undo the most costly aspects of Obamacare that are hurting American families.

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 all that conservatives wanted to accomplish.

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Today I voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  The bill passed in the U.S. House by a margin of 217 to 213.  Six weeks ago I decided the original bill was better than allowing Obamacare to collapse under its own weight.  Since then I have been pleased to work with conservative colleagues to improve the AHCA to enable Americans to have more choices at lower costs.

Obamacare has devastated the individual health insurance market.  In Oklahoma, premium increases averaged over 70 percent this year, and we have only one provider on the exchange.

The amended bill immediately eliminates Obamacare taxes, protects individuals with pre-existing conditions, lowers costs, and reforms Medicaid to give states more flexibility.  Although this is not a full repeal of Obamacare, it does allow the states to undo the most costly aspects of Obamacare that are hurting American families.

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 all that conservatives wanted to accomplish.

I commend President Trump for declaring that it is the policy of his administration to protect and promote religious liberty.  The President acknowledged that this is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution.

Today’s Executive Order diminishes the threat of losing tax exempt status that has discouraged religious leaders from speaking out about political issues from the pulpit.  It also removes the regulation that required religious organizations to pay for abortifacients in violation of their beliefs.

The text of the Executive Order is available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders