Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Rubio, who in September told Politico that he anxious about Bridenstine's nomination "could be devastating for the space program", said in a statement Wednesday that he chose to support the nominee in order to avoid "a gaping leadership void" at NASA.
The party-line vote for a NASA administrator is unprecedented, as past administrators have been confirmed by the Senate with little or no dissent. "NASA is an organization that needs to be led by a space professional", Rubio said before the confirmation vote Thursday afternoon.
President Donald Trump originally nominated Bridenstine in September.
"It is an honor to be confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as NASA Administrator". I am humbled by this opportunity, and I once again thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. President Trump had initially tapped Bridenstine for the post previous year, but his nomination stalled amid Democratic criticisms, as well as some reticence from Sen.
A recent investigation by the Daily Beast also found that Bridenstine mismanaged the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, using the nonprofit to financially benefit himself. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, said Bridenstine is the right man to lead USA plans in space and make sure the first astronaut to reach Mars will be an American.
"I think what's not right for NASA, is an administrator who is politically divisive and who is not prepared to be that last in line to make that fateful decision on "go" or "no-go" for launch", the Times reports Nelson said during a speech on Wednesday. "Just because you know how to fly a plane does not mean that you have the skills and experience to lead the federal government's space agency". Rubio said he feared that, if Bridenstine were not confirmed, a new nominee might not be confirmed until early next year. He said "the people of Oklahoma are ready to accept" an apology from then-President Barack Obama for what Bridenstine called a "gross misallocation" of funds for climate change research instead of weather forecasting.
"There were periods of time long before the internal combustion engine when the Earth was much warmer than it is today", he said.
"Houston, we have a problem", Markey said. "Again, I am not opposed to studying it".
Many experts disagree with that assertion and during his confirmation hearing, Bridenstine said he believes human activity contributes to the buildup of greenhouse gases but would not say how significant that contribution might be.
Bridenstine will become the first elected official to hold the NASA administrator job. NASA hopes to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. "We must all do this together".
The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration agreed. An avid supporter of space exploration, he sponsored the American Space Renaissance Act, a wide-ranging bill that touched on national security, how best to deal with debris in space and how to regulate the commercial space industry.