Congress, NASA

Committee chair, ranking member promise expedited confirmation

In a press release issued by the Senate Commerce Committee today, ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) said the committee would work quickly to confirm the nominations of Charles Bolden and Lori Garver as NASA administrator and deputy administrator, respectively. “I believe the Commerce Committee will move expeditiously to consider this nomination, and that of the nominee for Deputy NASA Administrator, Lori Garver upon receiving their paperwork,” Sen. Hutchison said, adding that she spoke with Bolden today after the nomination was announced. “He and I agree that space exploration is essential for America’s future security and we look forward to working together to continue America’s preeminence in space.”

There’s no similar statement on the web site from the committee’s chairman, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), but he did provide a statement to Bloomberg News, saying Bolden “will bring just the kind of leadership and management NASA needs”. He also said that he promised to move Bolden through the confirmation process “in short order”.

What is “short order”? In 2005 Mike Griffin was nominated on March 11 and had a confirmation hearing on April 12; he was confirmed by the full Senate the next day. The Senate is on recess this coming week for the Memorial Day holiday, and will also be on recess the week of June 29 for the Independence Day holiday. So if the process moves at the same speed as Griffin (which is pretty fast, given that earlier this year the average time from nomination to confirmation was over two months) it may be possible to get Bolden confirmed before the end of next month. However, any number of things can come up that could throw off that schedule.

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