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#1 2017-12-02 11:20:42

Registered: 2017-09-20
Posts: 350

Senate May Not Vote To Approve Bridenstine As NASA Administrator!

Marco Rubio's reservations put Trump's NASA nominee in jeopardy
November 18, 2017

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio continues to harbor deep reservations about Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s nomination to be NASA’s next administrator, dimming the Oklahoma Republican’s chances of running the space agency.

“I remain very concerned about the politicization of NASA, not even because he would do it on purpose but just given some of the resistance he’s already engendered,” Rubio said in an interview Friday. “I don’t think NASA at this critical stage of its history can afford that ... As of this moment, I can’t assure anyone that I would support his nomination if it came to a vote.”
Rubio’s comments are his strongest yet and suggest that his initial misgivings when President Donald Trump announced Bridenstine’s
nomination in early September have only grown.

A broad swath of Democrats from Washington Sen. Patty Murray to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson have already announced their opposition to Bridenstine over a range of his past statements, including ones skeptical of climate science and opposing same-sex marriage.

Earlier this month, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee narrowly forwarded his nomination to the full Senate. The vote was 14-13 with every Democrat opposed to Bridenstine.

If that party-line opposition holds, Bridenstine will need almost all of the 52 Republicans in the 100-seat chamber to support him. But if other Republicans are as skeptical of his nomination as Rubio is, Trump’s choice to run NASA might not even get a vote.

Rubio and Bridenstine have a history.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Bridenstine appeared in ads on behalf of Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz that suggested Rubio, then a candidate for the White House, was soft on terror and slammed Rubio’s support of immigration reform.
After Cruz dropped out, Bridentstine became an enthusiastic supporter of Trump and was said to have spent months lobbying the White House for the NASA administrator job.

Bridenstine would be the first elected member of Congress to run the agency that has a reputation for being nonpartisan. During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, the three-term congressman and former naval aviator pledged to keep working across the aisle on issues important to the space program.

In the interview Friday, Rubio never mentioned the campaign ads. But he did say Bridenstine’s political background could be harmful.

“NASA is very important to the state of Florida. And it is really important to me that whoever runs NASA is a professional and commands the respect of NASA’s workforce but is also someone we think we can work with in a productive and constructive way,” he said. “As of this moment, I’m not convinced that Congressman Bridenstine fits that profile.” … 877400001/


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