CD01 Staff for Bridenstine

Congressman Jim Bridenstine was elected in 2012 to represent Oklahoma’s First District, which covers Washington, Tulsa, Wagoner Counties plus portions of Rogers & Creek Counties. Bridenstine serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. To see more of his articles visit Bridenstine.house.gov

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Votes to Fund National Defense

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.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Contributes to NDAA

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.

[Editor’s note: Sure would like to see the cost projection on all this staging for war in space program. Boggles the mind and no end in sight…/sc]

House bill seeks to streamline oversight of commercial space activities

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.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Announces Radar Upgrade for Tulsa-Based F-16s

The Air Force plans to award a contract today to upgrade the radar on select F-16 aircraft, including eight planes at the Air National Guard Wing in Tulsa, OK.  The new AESA (Active Electronically Steered Array) Radar will enable smaller target detection and tracking, greater targeting range, faster search capabilities, and an ability to engage multiple targets.

Congressman Bridenstine said, “This considerably enhances the capability of Tulsa’s F-16s, allowing for targeting at extended ranges to improve lethality against our enemies and survivability for ourselves.  I have proposed increased spending for these systems in the current National Defense Authorization Act.”

The Air Force contract is with Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for 72 AESA radars, spares and support services.  Squadrons based in nine locations, including Tulsa, will each receive eight new units.  Delivery of the first radar is expected to be in December 2018, with all 72 systems at full operational capacity by the fourth quarter of 2020. 

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.