Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa. (Sue Ogrocki / AP)
The Senate confirmed Republican Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) On Thursday as a NASA administrator, despite the Democrats' deep concerns that he lacks the scientific and administrative expertise to run the space agency ,  The choice to install the three-step legislature was 50-49 . President Trump had originally typed for the post of Bridenstine last year, but his nomination stopped under Democratic critics, as did a certain reluctance by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Who said on Thursday that NASA of A professional with background should be guided in space.
But Rubio eventually sided with all the other Republicans to confirm Bridenstine, despite his concerns as NASA boss, on the grounds that Trump deserves to have his team throughout the administration.
"I was not thrilled with the nomination, nothing personal about Mr. Bridenstine, NASA is an organization that needs to be led by a space professional," said Rubio on Thursday afternoon before the confirmation vote. But "my point of view is, and it is the Senate's tradition for the entire distance of the Republic, that we show great respect for the President in the choice of qualifications."
Bridenstine's approval comes at a critical time for the agency preparing for the return to the moon and human spaceflight Restoring the soil of the United States, a skill that was lost during the Space Shuttle program was retired in 2011.
The space agency has been without a permanent leader for 15 months since Charles Bolden resigned when Trump took office. During this time, Robert Lightfoot, a NASA veteran, led the agency. Recently, however, he announced that he will leave the agency at the end of this month.
Bridenstine is a former naval aviator who led the Tulsa Air and Space Museum before attending the congress in 2013. He is an avid supporter of space exploration, sponsoring the American Space Renaissance Act, a far-reaching law that deals with national security, the management of space debris, and the regulation of the commercial space industry.
Earlier this week, Vice President Pence Bridenstine praised "A Great Champion of Men and Women at NASA and a Great Advocate of the President's Vision for NASA and for the American Space Command."
But the Democrats took advantage of Bridenstine's lack of scientific expertise as well as his comments on climate change to argue their claim that Bridentine was inappropriate to run the agency. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Who led Democrats opposition to the congressman, also argued that the NASA administrator should be a professional rather than a politician.
"James Bridenstine is a climate denier with no scientific background who has made a career ignoring science," said Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on Thursday. "I do not have a scientific background, either, but I do without scientists, I rely on the scientific consensus, and the scientific consensus is not what Mr Bridentine says."
A procedural vote on Wednesday for the confirmation of Bridenstine advancing failed almost when Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz) sided with the Democrats to change his voice after some time had passed. Republican leaders said Flake wanted to discuss travel restrictions on Cuba with Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister's candidate, before he could pledge himself to promote the appointment of Bridenstine.
If Flake had remained "no" to this vote, it would have caused significant complications as Pence, who is the official tiebreaker as President of the Senate, attended Florida's Trump summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
When Flake held back, Pence called the Senator from Arizona, who said he wanted to talk to the Secretary of State about lifting travel restrictions to Cuba, a person familiar with the discussions. Flake had assured the White House last week that he was a yes vote in favor of Bridenstine, and when he voted No to the debate over the end of the debate before the vote, the White House surprised the person asking for anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Flake said Thursday that he has since spoken with Pompeo, who faces his own confirmation vote on Monday in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but did not want to continue his talks.