The Bridenstine congressional office is now in a strange twilight zone of self-imposed abstention from congressional voting. With key votes coming up on overhauling federal healthcare policy, income tax reforms, Budget & Debt authorization, and eminent war with North Korea; Bridenstine is following White House instructions to avoid a potential challenge of constitutional separation of powers.
The White House leadership has made Jim Bridenstine the official nominee for the NASA Administrative post. As such, he is a de-facto executive branch agency leader. He could eventually be asked to vote on funding matters which would give him inappropriate influence over his own new agency position. There is also a strong case to be made that Bridenstine has every right to exercise his congressional authority, but unless a vote comes down to a 1-vote margin, he is willing to oblige the White House request.
Bridenstine expects the Senate confirmation vote to take several weeks to materialize. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) is one voice seeking to derail the Bridenstine nomination.
So far there are five Republicans seeking the party nomination;
- Andy Coleman
- Nathan Dahm
- Tim Harris
- Kevin Hern
- Danny Stockstill
- Rex Berry.