SEVERE WX: Wind Chill Advisory - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

After failure to launch, Republican senator switches vote to save Trump's NASA nominee

The Senate deadlocked 49-49 for about an hour Wednesday on a vote to break a filibuster of Rep. James Bridenstine, R-...

Posted: Apr. 18, 2018 10:50 PM
Updated: Apr. 18, 2018 10:50 PM

The Senate deadlocked 49-49 for about an hour Wednesday on a vote to break a filibuster of Rep. James Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator until Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, returned to the floor and switched his vote to yes.

The motion then passed on a partisan 50-48 vote. Flake, a vocal critic of the President's, had been the only Republican to vote against Bridenstine.

Typically, when a vote like this is tied, Vice President Mike Pence would come to the chamber and break it. But he was in Mar-a-Lago with the president making that an impractical alternative.

Both Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, who is ill, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who just had a baby, were absent.

The party-line vote against Bridenstine reflects the steep opposition from Democrats about President Donald Trump's nominee to head the space agency, who they believe is not a "space professional" in the words of Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat. One Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, had previously expressed concerns about Bridenstine but voted for him in the end.

Democrats also complained about his views on climate change.

"NASA is one of the few remaining areas that has largely avoided the bitter partisanship that has invaded far too many areas of government and our society today," Nelson said in a floor speech.

When he was nominated, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called Bridenstine a "strong, principled and effective leader" who will "work hard to advance our national space policy goals, expand human space exploration and secure America's leadership in space."

A final confirmation vote for Bridenstine is expected Thursday.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
22° wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: -11°
Feels Like: 7°
Albert Lea
Overcast
19° wxIcon
Hi: 14° Lo: -13°
Feels Like: 5°
Austin
Overcast
21° wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: -14°
Feels Like: 9°
Charles City
Overcast
19° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: -13°
Feels Like: 5°
Rochester
Overcast
18° wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: -14°
Feels Like: 2°
We're tracking blowing snow and dangerously cold temperatures with a strong northwest wind!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

NIACC WRESTLING VS. IOWA CENTRAL

Image

NIACC MEN DEFEAT LPTC

Image

NIACC WOMEN DEFEAT LPTC

Image

RCTC SWEEPS RIDGEWATER

Image

Newman Catholic girls defeat Rockford, 73-56

Image

SAW: KENDRA PETERSOHN

Image

Gas line hit in Mason City

Image

Firearms on school property

Image

Affordable housing project

Image

Hotel project moves forward

Community Events