"Seven and a half months after being nominated to lead NASA, Jim Bridenstine finally gets to start his new job. His confirmation following a vote in the Senate ends the longest span of time that NASA has operated without a permanent leader, and comes with a vivid reminder that few posts in Washington are now spared from partisan conflict.
On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Mr. Bridenstine, an Oklahoma congressman, as the new NASA administrator in a stark partisan vote: 50 Republicans voting for him and 47 Democrats plus two independents against. The vote lasted more than 45 minutes as Republicans waited for Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona to cast his lot. The vote was also punctuated by the appearance of Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, who cast her “no” vote on the Senate floor with her newborn daughter in hand.
Many who voted against him expressed concerns about his record of partisanship as well as some statements questioning climate change, an area of research in which the space agency plays a central role."