Jim Bridenstine

Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft is scheduled to blast off Wednesday morning with its three-member crew to begin what is billed as Expeditions 56-57 at the International Space Station.

But new NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, this week is talking openly about a very different future the International Space Station and space travel in general. The big idea is less government and more private investment.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a budget deal at the State Capitol could lead to an early end to the 2018 legislative session, the state House passes an amended criminal justice reform bill which makes it easier for juveniles to get life without parole and Governor Fallin vetoes a measure which would have allowed people to take selfies with their ballots.

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Updated: Monday, April 24

 

An Oklahoman is now in charge of the nation’s space program.

 

Former U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine was sworn in as NASA administrator Monday, Bridenstine was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on a party-line 50–49 vote last week.

 

He had represented Oklahoma’s first congressional district since 2012 before being nominated to lead the space agency by President Donald Trump.

 

The decision by Bill Nye to attend the State of the Union Address alongside the Trump administration's nominee to head NASA has put the celebrity science educator at odds with many scientists.

Nye, who starred in the children's program Bill Nye the Science Guy and now has his own Netflix original series, Bill Nye Saves the World is also CEO of the Planetary Society.

President Trump's State of the Union speech Tuesday night is intended to outline the priorities of the nation, while guests of the president and of lawmakers reflect the political messages each party wants to highlight.

Trump has invited a list of law enforcement and military heroes, a reinforcement of his intended theme of "building a safe, strong and proud America."

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.

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