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Trump to nominate GOP Rep. Bridenstine as NASA chief

03 September 2017

The bipartisan pushback against Trump's nominee for NASA administrator underscores the importance of the agency to Florida, home of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

He has also pushed for more coordination between military and civilian space programs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

After weeks of rumors, the White House has officially picked a new NASA leader... and he's already proving to be controversial.

President Trump plans to nominate Rep. James Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be the next administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the White House announced Friday.

Rubio and Nelson did not say definitively whether they'd vote against Bridenstine, whose nomination was announced Friday night, but that they did have concerns that his political background could delay his nomination. Marco Rubio of Florida, who told Politico he would prefer an administrator who has the "respect of the people who work there from a leadership and even a scientific perspective".

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"It's the one federal mission which has largely been free of politics and it's at a critical juncture in its history", Sen.

The Oklahoma Republican criticized Rubio during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, including in advertising for one of Rubio's rivals, Texas Sen.

He now serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Bridenstine, a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2012 to represent Oklahoma's First Congressional District. Rubio said he worries about Bridenstine's "political baggage".

Bridenstine will replace the space agency's acting leader, Robert Lightfoot, who took control of NASA when Trump became president in January.

Trump to nominate GOP Rep. Bridenstine as NASA chief