Jim Bridenstine

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Jim Bridenstine
Jim Bridenstine, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by John Sullivan
Personal details
Born James Frederick Bridenstine
(1975-06-15) June 15, 1975 (age 42)
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Michelle Bridenstine
Children 3
Education Rice University (BA)
Cornell University (MBA)
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
 United States Air Force
Years of service 1998–2007 (Active)
2010–2015 (Reserve)
2015–present
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Commander (Active)
US-O4 insignia.svg Major (Reserve)
Unit Air National Guard

James Frederick Bridenstine (born June 15, 1975) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Oklahoma's 1st congressional district, based in Tulsa,[1][2] since 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is said to be appointed by President Donald Trump to be the next Airhead in Chief of NASA.[3]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Bridenstine was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is a Jenks High School graduate,[4] a graduate of Rice University with three majors, and has an MBA from Cornell University.[5] He is a former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium and is a Naval Aviator in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flies the E-2C Hawkeye in Central and South America in support of the War on Drugs.[6][non-primary source needed] Bridenstine is an Eagle Scout and received several military awards, including the Air Medal.[7] As of 2016 Bridenstine is a State of Oklahoma record holder in 200 meter swimming (freestyle, relay).[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2012 election[edit]

In the Republican primary election on June 26, 2012, Bridenstine defeated five-term incumbent U.S. Congressman John Sullivan 54% to 46%. Although he identified with the tea party and was perceived as running to Sullivan's right, Bridenstine's actual policy statements differed little from those of Sullivan.[9][10][11] [12][needs update] In the November 2012 general election, he defeated Democratic nominee John Olson 63%–32%, and won all five counties in the district.[13] Bridenstine had effectively clinched a seat in Congress by ousting Sullivan in the Republican primary. The 1st is a heavily Republican district with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+16, and has been in Republican hands since 1987.

2016 election[edit]

Bridenstine retained his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2016 election.[14] It has been suggested in November 2016 that he may be a candidate for either NASA administrator, or Secretary of the Air Force, under the Donald Trump administration.[15][16]

Committee assignments[edit]

As of November 2016, Bridenstine has the following committee assignments:[citation needed]

Legislation[edit]

Space[edit]

Bridenstine has focused heavily on space policy during his tenure in Congress, stating “[o]ur very way of life depends on space, the way we communicate, the way we navigate, the way we produce food and energy, the way we conduct banking.”[21] In April 2016 at the 32nd Annual Space Symposium, Bridenstine introduced H.R. 4945, the American Space Renaissance Act, comprehensive reform legislation with provisions affecting national security, civil, and commercial space policy.[22]

In addition, Bridenstine has proposed legislation related to the regulatory process overseeing certain non-traditional space activities,[23] and helped secure funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.[24][25] Recognizing his efforts, in 2015 SpaceNews named Bridenstine as one of five game changers in the world in space.[26]

Severe Weather[edit]

Bridenstine has also introduced legislation focused on weather forecasting and research, notably H.R. 2413, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2014,[27] and, along with Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK), H.R. 1561, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2015.[28] In the 114th Congress, he has served as the Chairman of the Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.[29] In that role, he has pushed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “…to integrate commercial data into its weather forecasting models.”[30] In September 2016, NOAA awarded two contracts to private weather satellite firms to provide data for its use.[31]

In 2013, Bridenstine sponsored an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill, which would have required Department of Defense reports on the strategic importance of natural gas interests in the Caspian Sea area, and the value of building a gas pipeline out of the region.[32]

This came after a visit to Baku upon invitation of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic for 10 members of Congress and 32 Staff members that became the subject of an ethics investigation.[33] Of ten members of Congress, he was the only one who disclosed the value of the trip (more than $14,100).[34] According to a story published in 2016, Bridenstine turned over gifts received during the trip to the House Clerk.[35]

Campaign financing[edit]

In the 2014 election cycle, Bridenstine's top 3 campaign contributors were Northrop Grumman, Latshaw Drilling, American Optometric Association, Citizens United and the Every Republican is Crucial Political Action Committee.[36] He received $29,000 from donors associated with the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians and the Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan (AFAZ), per an analysis of the Center for Responsive Politics.[37]

In 2016 it was revealed he was one of 9 members of Congress who took a trip secretly funded by the government of Azerbaijan and had to turn over gifts the country gave him to the House Clerk after an ethics investigation.[38]

Cruz campaign[edit]

Bridenstine was one of three co-chairs of the Veterans Coalition supporting Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential campaign. He was joined in "Vets for Ted" by former U.S. Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire and Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell. Bill Connor was national director of the coalition.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Republican Jim Bridenstine to challenge incumbent John Sullivan". Tulsa World. September 15, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Bridenstine announces bid for Congress". www.krmg.com. September 15, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/347024-trump-to-name-new-nasa-administrator
  4. ^ "GTR Newspapers | Find Local Tulsa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Union, and Owasso News, Sports, and Entertainment:Jim Bridenstine a Challenger for Dist. 1". Gtrnews.com. April 24, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jim Bridenstine". Restoring America Project. April 24, 2012. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ "About Jim Bridenstine the Republican Patriot For U.S. Congress". Jimbridenstine.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Veteran in the Spotlight - Jay Henderson". Rep. Jim Bridenstine. July 3, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Oklahoma Swimming Records" (PDF). teamunify.com. April 9, 2016. p. 6. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Tea Party favorite Bridenstine defeats incumbent Sullivan in Oklahoma House race". Fox News. June 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Five-Term Oklahoma Congressman Sullivan Suffers Primary Defeat". KOTV. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  11. ^ Dan Phillips (June 27, 2012). "Bridenstine Defeats Incumbent Sullivan In Primary". KTUL. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  12. ^ SEAN MURPHY, Associated Press (June 27, 2012). "Navy pilot upsets 5-term Oklahoma congressman". SFGate. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=705054
  14. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "3 incumbent GOP state legislators lose primaries". The Washington Times. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Jeff Foust on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ "NASA Administrator Bridenstine? His name's in the mix for Trump's space team - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Seapower and Projection Forces (114th Congress)". Armed Services Republicans. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  18. ^ "Strategic Forces (114th Congress)". Armed Services Republicans. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  19. ^ "Subcommittee on Environment (114th Congress)". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  20. ^ "Subcommittee on Space (114th Congress)". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  21. ^ "Why Congress’s newest space advocate says the U.S. faces a ‘Sputnik moment’". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  22. ^ "Bridenstine introduces American Space Renaissance Act - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  23. ^ "Proposed legislation would close commercial space regulatory gap - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  24. ^ "5 Space Leaders Making a Difference - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  25. ^ "Proposed legislation would close commercial space regulatory gap - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  26. ^ "5 Space Leaders Making a Difference - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  27. ^ https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/2413?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22h.r.+2413%22%5D%7D&r=2.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1561?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr+1561%22%5D%7D&r=1.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "Subcommittee on Environment (114th Congress)". Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  30. ^ "5 Space Leaders Making a Difference - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  31. ^ "Two companies win first NOAA commercial weather contracts - SpaceNews.com". SpaceNews.com. 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  32. ^ "Congressman Jim Bridenstine Supports Economic Freedom and Political Independence in Former Soviet Republics". Rep. Jim Bridenstine. 2013-06-13. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  33. ^ "10 members of Congress took trip secretly funded by foreign government". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  34. ^ "Member post travel disclosure form" (PDF). 
  35. ^ Dickson, Rebecca (2016-06-16). "Lawmakers turned over gifts after secretly funded trip to Azerbaijan". TheHill. Retrieved 2016-12-02. 
  36. ^ "James Bridenstine top 20 Contributors, 2013-2014". The Center for Responsive Politics. May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  37. ^ "James Bridenstine top 100 Contributors, 2013-2014". The Center for Responsive Politics. May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  38. ^ Dickson, Rebecca (June 16, 2016). "Lawmakers turned over gifts after secretly funded trip to Azerbaijan". TheHill. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Sen. Cruz Names U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, and Texas Sen. Brian Birdwell Co-chairs of Vets for Ted; Bill Connor to Serve as National Director". tedcruz.org. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Sullivan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ami Bera
D-California
United States Representatives by seniority
258th
Succeeded by
Susan Brooks
R-Indiana