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NASA finally has a permanent administrator — 15 months into Trump’s presidency

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NASA has a full-time administrator at last. Today, the Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), for the job, voting 50 to 49 along party lines. The vote finally brings to an end the longest period the space agency has gone without a permanent leader.

It was a close call for Bridenstine on the Senate floor today. With Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) absent, the vote came down to Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who has been away from the Senate after recently having a baby, and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who held out for a while. If Flake had voted no, it would have created a tie vote, 49 yeses to 49 nos. If that happened, Duckworth could have sunk the confirmation. However, Flake ultimately voted for Bridenstine,…

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