Schatz, Lee, Corker

Executive Session (Bridenstine Nomination)

Senator Schatz: (11:13 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of James Bridenstine to be NASA Administrator.
    • "Daniel Golden was a mechanical engineer who had previously been a vice president at a space and technology company. He was nominated by President George H.W. Bush and served under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Richard truly served as vice admiral in the Navy before he became the first former astronaut to head the space agency under President George H.W. Bush. So the reason we are having a robust debate about Mr. James Bridenstine to lead NASA is that this is the first time in history that we have someone without similar qualifications to run such an important agency. Jim Bridenstine, the nominee that we are considering, served as a Navy pilot, and I thank him for his service. But that does not qualify him to run NASA. 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."


Senator Lee: (11:20 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of James Bridenstine to be NASA Administrator.
    • "And he's still a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Following his military experience, Jim Bridenstine worked as the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. He even owned a team in the ambitious but short-lived rocket racing league. Since his first term in Congress six years ago, Congressman Bridenstine has served on the house science, space, and technology committee. From that position, he's been a thoughtful leader on American space policy as it relates to national security, commerce, and weather forecasting. The name of his latest bill on these subjects speaks to Jim Bridenstine's ambitious vision for the future. The American Space Renaissance Act. If ever there were a need for a renaissance in space, it's now."


Senator Corker: (11:28 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "People who have typically who have served in the military have more respect for diplomacy than those who have not because they understand that their diplomatic efforts, if successful, is the thing that keeps our men and women out of harm's way. They know that. Pompeo's committed to that. He saw, by the way - he saw -- he was there at the iron curtain and understood what diplomacy did to free people and keep conflict from occurring. I know he's highly committed to that. We had cultural issues at the state department, there's no question. I think everyone understands that. We had a former secretary of state, someone who I had a good relationship with, you know, no doubt there were some things left undone at the State Department."