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

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. 

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

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.

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