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Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) was elected to the U.S. House of representatives in 2013 and represents Oklahoma’s First Congressional District. A military veteran, Rep. Bridenstine served nine years as an aviator for the United States Navy and experienced combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, he continues to serve in the National Guard.
Rep. Bridenstine isn’t one to stand down from a fight, especially if it is something he firmly believes is right. Upon entering Congress, Bridenstine’s first official vote was against John Boehner’s (R-OH) selection as Speaker of the House in 2013. He has been a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which aims to support, “open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty,” since its inception.
Overall, Rep. Bridenstine boasts a 95 percent lifetime rating on the FreedomWorks Congressional Scorecard. His belief in free market values, entrepreneurship, and fiscal constraint are consistently evident with legislation he supports and introduces in Congress. He has voted to repeal Obamacare, to reduce federal spending, eliminate unnecessary federal programs at the Department of Energy, and to try and prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating nearly any waterway in the United States.
He has been a vocal opponent of increasing federal regulations on education, signing on as a co-sponsor of H. Res. 476, legislation which would denounce President Obama’s effort to impose Common Core on the states through applications for federal grants. In the energy sector, Rep. Bridenstine stands in support of American citizens and businesses rather than the federal government and its regulatory regime, as he sponsored H.R. 1487, the American Energy Renaissance Act, to prevent EPA regulations from shuttering the coal industry while also increasing American energy exports by lifting the crude oil export ban.
Rep. Bridenstine has also labored to increase public accountability of his fellow legislators. On January 6, 2016, he introduced H.R. 4328, the Read the Bill Act, which would “prohibit the consideration in the House or Senate of any legislation over 300 pages which has not been published online at least 72 working hours prior to consideration, would require an additional 24-hours for every 100 pages of bill text beyond 300 pages, and take away the force of law of any legislation using ‘fast track’ procedures.” He is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 4486, the Do Your Job Act, which would prevent the payment of salaries of members of the House or Senate if the respective chamber does not hold a vote on final passage of each of the 12 regular appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year.
With an undergraduate degree from Rice University with three majors, an MBA from Cornell University, service to his country in the military, and experience as the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Bridenstine is a particularly seasoned leader. He currently sits on both the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He has a specific interest in space affairs and praises entrepreneurs for advancing breakthroughs in space technology.
He believes NASA has become a “jack of all trades” and hopes to help it focus on human exploration and pioneering space, as was its main objective in 1958. Through his legislation, H.R. 4945, the American Space Renaissance Act, he proposes that the Pentagon should focus on buying services from commercial providers instead of owning all the systems itself and transition from a very few large and expensive government satellites to a system of smaller, less-expensive ones. He has a website detailing the aspects of his bill.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine is a patriot and a statesman. He has spent his time in the House of Representatives fighting for the Constitution and fiscal responsibility. He has taken on leadership that has gone astray, and is a voice for his constituents.. For these reasons, we’re proud to name Rep. Jim Bridenstine FreedomWorks’ Congressman of the Month for May, 2016!