Jim Bridenstine

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about changes at the state Department of Health with the resignation of the agency's commissioner and deputy along with the firing of its chief lawyer amid allegations of mismanagement, lawmakers pass patches to fix the budget after a grand bargain fails to pass out of committee and the State Supreme Court places a hold on a DUI law from taking effect while looking into its constitutionality.

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President Trump's pick for the next head of NASA, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., will have his Senate nomination hearing on Wednesday. He's been controversial because of his views on climate change.

TRANSCRIPT:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Tomorrow, senators will get a chance to question President Trump's pick for the head of NASA. The nominee is Congressman Jim Bridenstine. He's a Republican from Oklahoma. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports that some are questioning whether he's got the right stuff.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics returns from the summer hiatus as KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the call by Governor Fallin for a Special Session on September 25th after the unconstitutional ruling against the $1.50 fee per pack of cigarettes left a $215M hole in the budget, Oklahoma's junior Senator shows support for DACA after an announcement from President Trump to end the program and Congressman Jim Bridenstine gets bipartisan criticism over his appointment to head NASA.

President Trump's pick for the next leader of NASA is a fighter pilot who wants Americans to return to the moon but doesn't believe that humans are causing climate change.

With a vote scheduled for Thursday in the U.S. House, it's down to the wire for the American Health Care Act, the Republican-authored bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva HIll and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the rocky start for a committee investigating sexual harassment claims against two lawmakers as one of the members walks out refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement and the governor is getting ready to release her executive budget facing a nearly $870 million shortfall as agencies come to the capitol asking members of the House Appropriations Committee for more money.

An announcement about NASA's leadership could come as early as next week. Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a former Navy pilot, has actively sought the position and appears to be the leading candidate.

facebook.com/SteveRussellOK

All five of Oklahoma's U.S. House members easily beat back Republican primary challengers on Tuesday and advanced to November's general election, while U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine in Tulsa automatically retains his 1st District seat with his victory.

Bridenstine, along with U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, Frank Lucas, Markwayne Mullin and Steve Russell, all easily won re-election.

Flickr / KOMUnews

Oklahoma voters head to the polls on Tuesday for a primary election in which every Republican and independent in the state will have some contest to decide, along with most registered Democrats.

Each of the state's five incumbent Republican U.S. House members face a GOP challenger, but there are only Democratic primary contests in congressional races for the sprawling 2nd District in eastern Oklahoma, 4th District in central and south-central Oklahoma, and the 5th District in the Oklahoma City area.

Navy pilot Jim Bridenstine pulled off a congressional upset four years ago when he ousted a five-term GOP incumbent from his Tulsa-area seat. The same year, Markwayne Mullin, a Republican plumber, won over thousands of Little Dixie voters in his southeastern Oklahoma district when Democrat Dan Boren left office.

And two years ago, Republican Steve Russell, a war hero whose unit helped capture Saddam Hussein, became central Oklahoma's third different congressman since 2007, replacing James Lankford, who sought and won the Senate seat when Tom Coburn retired.

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