Nasa Gets New Administrator

Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Thursday got a new boss when the Senate voted 50-49 along party lines to confirm U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma as National Aeronautics and Space Administration administrator.

All Senate Republicans voted to confirm Bridenstine and all the Democrats and both independents voted against him. U.S. Sen. Doug Jones of Birmingham voted no and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, voted to confirm.

Bridenstine succeeds NASA Acting Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., the former head of Huntsville’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

Bridenstine, a former Navy pilot, previously led the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He will oversee the 17,000-person agency whose wide duties include all NASA centers such as the MSFC, space exploration, commercial space activities, studying aeronautics and researching the Earth’s own atmosphere, among other tasks, The Hill said.

“We can begin that undertaking today by confirming a leader with a remarkable record of service to our country, a vision for the American space program that is big, not small, and a genuine faith in his country that is as boundless as the heavens,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said.


U.S. Manufacturers Seek Relief from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Associated Press (Wiseman, Rugaber 4/18) “President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are disrupting business for American companies that buy those metals, and many are pressing for relief. Hundreds of companies are asking the Commerce Department to exempt them from the 25 percent steel tariff and the 10 percent aluminum tariff.

“On Wednesday, a group of small- and medium-size manufacturers gathered in Washington to announce a new group – the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users – to fight the steel tariff.

“The Trump administration last month imposed the tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing that reliance on imported metals posed a threat to national security. But it promptly granted temporary exemptions, which expire at the end of the month, to several key U.S. allies, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.”

Here’s How Tax Reform is Working for American Workers, Businesses, and Families

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Hackbarth 4/17) “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today hosted ‘Tax Cuts at Work’, a tax-day event celebrating the end of the old, outdated tax code and the benefits the new, pro-growth tax code brings to American workers, businesses, and families.

“‘From the day the law was enacted, the ‘Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’ has shown that pro-growth tax reform is the right fuel for the American economy’, said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. ‘Across the country businesses of all sizes are announcing new investments in their communities, and families are enjoying larger paychecks’.

“U.S. Chamber Vice President for Tax Policy and Economic Development Caroline Harris also led a panel discussion with business leaders who shared stories about how they are investing tax reform savings back into their workers, businesses, and communities.

“On display was the U.S. Chamber’s interactive tax reform benefits map, showing the states and communities where businesses have announced they are investing back into their companies, rewarding their employees, and hiring more American workers because of pro-growth tax reform. The U.S. Chamber continues to update the map as businesses announce how they are responding to tax reform.”

Tax Cuts are Super-Charging Manufacturing

National Association of Manufacturers (Short 4/17) “National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on Tax Day celebrating the ways in which the historic new tax law continues to supercharge manufacturing and announcing the “Keeping Our Promise” campaign-a new series of original stories from manufacturers about the impact tax reform has had on their businesses and workers.

“‘As revealed by our latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, manufacturers’ optimism continues to soar following tax reform, with small manufacturers more optimistic about the future than ever. Manufacturing workers will reap the benefits of the new tax code, with manufacturers’ predictions for employment growth and investment at the highest level in the survey’s 20-year history. On top of that, wages are projected to grow at the fastest rate in 17 years’, said Timmons.

“It’s stunning that there are still doubters, deniers and detractors who want to undo this progress and take the rug out from under America’s manufacturing workers. That’s why we will continue to tell our story-and stand with those who stood with manufacturing workers. Congress and the President delivered on their promises, and now manufacturers, through our ‘Keeping Our Promise’ campaign, will show how we are delivering on ours. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, manufacturers have been given the tools to create jobs, offer raises, expand facilities and compete and win in the global economy.”