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

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 …

March 7th, the House of Representatives passed S. 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017, passed by the Senate in February. The bill will now go to the President for his signature.

For our space program to be successful, NASA needs consistency in its mission. 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.

S. 442 includes several provisions from my American Space Renaissance Act, H.R. 4945 introduced in the 114th Congress:

  • Launch Indemnification: Allows the NASA Administrator to determine a maximum probable loss for a launch, and set the insurance requirements to that determination. This provides flexibility to launch providers and could potentially lead to cheaper launches.
  • Orbital debris removal: Calls for a review of concepts and technologies for removing existing orbital debris, enhancing the safety of the space environment.
  • ISS transition plan: Requires NASA to develop a plan to transition from NASA sponsorship of the ISS to other regimes, critical to ensure the United States does not suffer a gap in low Earth orbit presence.
  • Venture Class launch: Indicates Congress’ support for the Venture Class Launch Services program, a key program to enhance the domestic commercial launch industry and ensure we have necessary capabilities in the United States.

Congressman Bridenstine will be hosting a Service Academy Day on April 22, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the 1st floor auditorium of the CityPlex Towers. The purpose of this event is to provide students who are interested in attending a service academ…

This past weekend brought the world another banned missile launch from North Korea followed by another emergency UN Security Council meeting. Another round of diplomatic tough talk and sanctions is surely on the way.

On February 12, North Korea launched a Pukguksong-2 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). A decade of sanctions has not deterred the Hermit Kingdom from pursuing its goal of developing long-range, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) with nuclear warheads which could target the U.S. homeland. Yet, the Trump Administration has an opportunity to escape from the tit-for-tat cycle of following each North Korean missile test with yet more ineffectual sanctions.

President Trump should order the Secretary of Defense to position American assets and shoot down Kim Jong Un’s next missile launch. Intercepting a North Korean missile would signal to Pyongyang that America has the capability and the willingness to defend our allies and the homeland. In the parlance of military strategy, the missile defense option enhances deterrence-by-denial. North Korea is more likely to be deterred from developing missiles if robust, layered missile defenses deny them any strategic benefit from striking first. The only two alternatives are preemptive offensive action and, of course, more strongly worded UN Security Council resolutions and toothless sanctions.