Blog

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Nominated to Lead NASA

image description

Congressman Jim Bridenstine:  "It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as NASA Administrator. I am humbled by this opportunity, and I thank President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their confidence. Should I be confirmed by the United States Senate, I will work with all diligence to achieve the President’s vision for America’s leadership in space.” 

Jim Bridenstine served as a U.S. Navy pilot on active duty for nine years, followed by four years in the Navy Reserve where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.  In 2015 he transitioned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard.  He was elected to Congress in 2012 and serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  In 2016 he introduced the American Space Renaissance Act.  Bridenstine lives in Tulsa, OK with his wife Michelle and their three children. For a full bio, please click here.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes to Fund National Defense

image description

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine voted for the H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which funds national defense, important US Army Corps of Engineers projects, and physical border security provisions, while cutting wasteful programs that ballooned during the previous administration. The legislation passed 235 to 192.

“The first responsibility of the Federal Government is national security. Today, the House of Representatives fulfilled that duty,” said Congressman Bridenstine.

The Make America Secure Appropriations Act provides $659 billion for the Department of Defense, nearly $60 billion above the current year. This increase is necessary to restore our Armed Forces after the harm caused by the defense sequester. In addition, H.R. 3219 provides $14 billion for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons security programs, an increase in funding that will modernize the United States’ ability to deter and respond to any nuclear threat.

Bridenstine continued: “The bill also follows through on the President’s promise -- and Congress’ duty -- to secure our borders.” H.R. 3219 provides $1.6 billion for physical barrier construction along the southern border, matching President Trump’s budget request.

Congressman Bridenstine had several priorities incorporated in the bill, including the following. These priorities are accomplished by redirecting funds, not adding to the national debt.

  • Commercial Weather Data Pilot Program: Continues funding for a program to allow the Department of Defense to procure and evaluate data from commercial weather satellite companies. This has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in how the DoD acquires weather data, reducing costs and improving information.
  • Army Corps of Engineers Studies: Requires the Corps to do studies, the first step in infrastructure renovation projects, on at least five projects where the benefits are related to flood and storm damage reduction. This means the Tulsa-West Tulsa Levee System, which is a national security issue due to its age and the energy infrastructure sited behind the levees, could qualify for one of these studies. The levees also protect many homes.

 

2017 Congressional App Challenge

image description

What is the Congressional App Challenge?

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The Challenge is intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and encourage students to engage in these fields. By encouraging and recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.

Who is eligible?

Any student aged high school or younger who resides within the First District of Oklahoma is eligible to submit an entry in the Congressional App Challenge. If you reside outside of the First District of Oklahoma, please visit this link http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/ to see if your Representative is participating. If they are not please contact them and encourage them to do so. 

Rules

Students can create any type of app about whatever topic they are passionate about. Apps can be created for a mobile platform, web, desktop, or any other kind of platform. Since this is a coding competition, the app must have some level of functionality, and should not be just an idea for an app. Student submissions must be original, solely owned by the entrant, and have been created within the last year. Students can participate in a team of up to four people, however, teams can only submit one creation. Also, students are only allowed to submit one app.


Key Dates

The app challenge will begin taking submissions on July 26th through noon EST on November 1st 2017.

How Do I Start?

The first step to competing in the Congressional App Challenge is to register. Registration can be completed beginning July 26th at this link: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/

What Do I Need to Submit?

Your complete submission should include:

A Demonstration Video

         Your video should be no more than 3 minutes, and should do the following:

  • Explain the purpose of your app.
  • Explain who your intended audience is.
  • Mention what tools and languages you used to create your app.
  • Show how your app would be used.

Once you’ve created your video, upload it to youtube, vimeo, or any other video-hosting site. Make sure the video is set to public. If it’s not set to public, the judges won’t be able to see it.

Questions

You will also need to answer the following questions before you submit your app:

1.   Short Description: What is your app trying to accomplish and why? (350 characters max.)

2.   What’s a difficulty you faced in programming your app and how did you overcome it? (1500 characters max.)

3.   What improvements would make if you were going to create a version 2.0 of your app?  (750 characters max.)

How Do I Submit My App?

Apps must be submitted on or before noon EST on November 1st. Before submitting your app please review the submission checklist at this link: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/. Once you have reviewed the checklist you can submit your app via the App Challenge website.

I’ve Submitted My App, Now What?

At the close of the submission period, November 1st, our office will pass all submitted apps to our panel of judges. Entrants will be required to perform a live demonstration of their app on Monday, November 13th at 6 PM. Judging will take place at this time and the winner of the 1st District Congressional App Challenge will be announced. Winners of the National App Challenge will be announced in December 2017.

Questions?

If you have further questions please contact Cam Thomas in Congressman Bridenstine’s District Office either by phone at 918-935-3222 or by email at cam.thomas@mail.house.gov. Also, you can visit the Congressional App Challenge website at http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Contributes to NDAA

image description

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) completed markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018.  As a member of the Committee, Congressman Jim Bridenstine contributed several provisions that were included in the bill.  The next step is consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives the second week in July.

Congressman Bridenstine highlighted three important provisions:

1)       Equal Treatment of Orders to Serve on Active Duty under Section 12304a and 12304b of Title 10, USC

The Congressman is a cosponsor of the Reserve Component Benefits Parity Act, which eliminates disparities in health care, retirement, deployment allowance, and education benefits for mobilized Reserve Component personnel.  The bill was partially incorporated in the NDAA, authorizing such personnel to receive pre-mobilization and transitional health care. 

2)      Establishment of Space Flag Training Event

The Secretary of Defense is directed to encourage department-wide participation in the Air Force’s advanced space training exercise, Space Flag.  Additionally, the Secretary is to provide training range infrastructure that facilitates growth in advanced training requirements and the development and testing of doctrine, concepts of operation, and tactics.  Such exercises will enhance our ability to successfully engage in a future conflict that extends to space.

3)      Responsive Launch

US STRATCOM has repeatedly identified the need to rapidly reconstitute and replenish critical space capabilities in the event of attack.  This provision encourages the Secretary of Defense to increase the priority and resources for this mission area in order to field responsive and resilient launch capabilities.

House bill seeks to streamline oversight of commercial space activities

image description

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

A Tribute to Eagle Scouts

image description

Congressman Bridenstine speaks from the floor of the House of Representatives on the positive impact scouting has on young American lives.

Congressman Bridenstine Statement on Scott Garrett

image description

Scott Garrett is an excellent choice to head the Export Import Bank. He has studied the Bank's operations and understands its intended purpose.  Scott is a reformer.  In this position he will make the reforms necessary to build confidence among Members of Congress and preserve the ExIm Bank for its intended purpose.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes for The American Health Care Act

image description

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.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine on Religious Liberty Executive Order

image description

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

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Celebrates Signing of the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act

image description

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.” 


This legislation directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to focus resources and effort to:

  • Rebalance NOAA funding to place a higher priority on weather-related research and activities;
  • Emphasize developing accurate forecasts and timely warnings of high-impact weather events;
  • Create programs to extend warning lead times and improve forecasts for tornadoes and hurricanes;
  • Develop a plan to utilize advanced technology to regain U.S. superiority in weather modeling and forecasts;
  • Increase focus and continue development of seasonal forecasts and how to maximize information from these forecasts; and
  • Enhance coordination among various federal government weather stakeholders.

The legislation also authorizes and extends a NOAA pilot program already underway thanks to a partnership between the House Science Space and Technology and the House Appropriations Committee. Under this pilot program, NOAA has already issued two contracts to procure commercial satellite weather data. This pilot program could bring about a paradigm shift in how NOAA makes decisions about future procurement of critical weather data.

The Washington Post called this “the first major piece of weather legislation adopted since the early 1990s.”   

Bridenstine added, “This legislation is the product of a bipartisan effort that spans nearly my entire career in Congress.  I appreciate Chairman Lamar Smith, Congressman Frank Lucas, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee for their unflagging efforts to support this Act, now the law of the land.  This is a big step toward improving our weather data, models and forecasts -- and saving lives.”