Jeff Flake

Trump's divisive pick to run NASA wins narrow confirmation

Trump's divisive pick to run NASA wins narrow confirmation

The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., as NASA administrator, despite deep concerns from Democrats that he lacks the scientific and management expertise to lead the space agency.

The vote to install the three-term lawmaker was 50-49. President Donald Trump had initially tapped Bridenstine for the post last year, but his nomination stalled amid Democratic criticisms, as well as some reticence from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who said Thursday that NASA should be led by a professional with a background in space.

But Rubio ultimately sided with all other Republicans to confirm Bridenstine as the NASA chief in spite of his hesitations, arguing...

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