Jim Bridenstine

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Congressman Jim Bridenstine on Court Ruling Invalidating Obamacare Subsidies

2014/07/22

“Today a federal appeals court eviscerated Obamacare by ruling that billions of dollars of federal subsidies are illegal.  The purpose of the Obamacare subsidies was to encourage states to set up healthcare insurance exchanges.  When 34 states including Oklahoma refused to create exchanges, the Administration created federal exchanges to provide subsidies, contrary to the clear language in the law," said Congressman Jim Bridenstine.  “This is another example of the President attempting to change the law by decree, which the D.C. Circuit Court correctly opposed today." As Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said, "Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states.” The law does not provide for subsidies to individuals who bought health insurance through federal exchanges. The decision was handed down by a three judge panel in a 2-1 ruling.  The Obama administration is expected to ask the full D.C. Circuit Court to reverse the panel’s decision.  The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled today, taking the opposite position by declaring that the language in the law was not “determinative”.  Bridenstine responded, “The language and the intent of the law is clear.  The intent was to encourage state exchanges and not to offer subsidies through a federal exchange.”   --  30  -- Read More

Oklahoma Delegation urges Obama Administration to reconsider use of Ft. Sill to house Unaccompanied Alien Children

2014/07/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Oklahoma Congressional Delegation today urged the Obama Administration to reconsider its use of Fort Sill Army Base in Lawton, Okla., as a long-term holding facility for Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC).   On Friday, Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel approved a request from HHS to extend and expand the Department of Defense’s (DOD) commitment to house UAC on military bases. The agreement calls for the DOD to house up-to an additional 5,000 UAC in addition to the ongoing support for 3,600 children approved in May. The agreement also commits DOD facilities to be used through January 31, 2015.  “First and foremost, the Oklahoma delegation is proud of Fort Sill and the community for rising to the occasion to assist the children that are in the crosshairs of this unfortunate crisis. There is significant concern the contract with Fort Sill is turning into a commitment beyond what was originally proposed by the Administration and will soon begin to impede on the base’s vital responsibility to house and train new recruits,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee. “During my visit in June to meet the children and tour UAC housing, I warned local leaders that I fully expected the Obama Administration to push its limits with the use of Fort Sill. The Obama Administration’s lack of organization and the President’s failure to send a strong signal that he will secure the border will only increase demand of our military installations. While our military bases have been used before to temporarily aid migrants and refugees, we now have an Administration that is asking our military to do more with less resources than ever before.  President Obama needs to stop putting the onus on our military to manage his crisis, and he needs to prioritize solutions that will quickly reunite these children with their families in their home country.” "Since we learned of the Administration's plan to use military installations for housing unaccompanied illegal minors, I have continually voiced my strong opposition to it,” said Rep. Tom Cole (4-OK). "While the flood of these juveniles has caused an apparent crisis, it is one of the president's own making due to a policy failure stemming from his unwillingness to enforce existing immigration law. Rather than acknowledge the problem at hand, the president has chosen to process individuals and allow them to stay in the United States, causing even more juveniles to make the journey. Not only is this surge causing a strain on the facilities and personnel of our military, but processing and detaining these juveniles on military installations does not and will not lead to a solution to the crisis. It instead incentivizes even more to come. I remain strongly opposed to use of our military bases for housing illegals, and most certainly do not support any time extension for HHS use of these facilities. Regardless of their origin, the treatment of all illegal immigrant children should be the same, meaning deportation should be immediate and mandatory." "The border crisis is a result of Administration policies and failure to enforce the law,” said Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), member of the House Armed Services Committee.  "The surge of illegal entries at the southern border of the United States has resulted in children suffering and threatens our national security and national sovereignty.  The compassionate thing to do is to deter people from making, or sending their children, on this dangerous journey. "The request to extend use of DOD facilities for housing UAC is a very real threat to U.S. military readiness.  Ft. Sill is the primary artillery training center for troops before deployment.  The barracks are needed in October to prepare them for housing our warfighters in this critical training mission.  Secretary Hagel should not extend or expand the use of Ft. Sill as a UAC camp." “The Administration’s decision to hold the unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill in the first place was irresponsible,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2). “Fort Sill is not designed for this purpose, and turning the facility into a longer-term solution for housing these minors is extremely concerning. We need to be looking for real solutions not temporary fixes.” “Military bases such as Fort Sill have stepped up to temporarily house thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America. However, the Obama Administration cannot continue to rely on such facilities as a long-term solution to illegal immigration,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-3). “If the president is serious about putting an end to this humanitarian crisis, he can start by securing our border and enforcing our country’s immigration laws.” “This is a problem of the President’s own creation,” said Rep. James Lankford (OK-5). "The task of safely and humanely housing thousands of unaccompanied alien children is a classic example of the President trying to manage a problem, rather than solve a problem. President Obama already has sufficient legal authority from Congress to quickly reunite these children with their families in their home country.  "The law is clear; a child is not considered ‘unaccompanied’ unless they do not have a parent in the United States. The vast majority of these children already have at least one parent illegally in the United States. This is not an issue of human trafficking. This is an issue of ignoring the law and attempting to jump ahead of other immigrants who have waited patiently to legally enter the United States. The quality facilities provided to these children at Ft. Sill are ideal for the Administration to stall the enforcement of existing law and further the President's pro-amnesty agenda. As a father, I remain grateful to the hard-working contract personnel who are responsible for these children while in HHS custody in Oklahoma. But I continue to implore President Obama to enforce the law immediately and stop encouraging children to travel thousands of dangerous miles, only to face a delayed return home.” ### Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Condemns Release of More Guantanamo Detainees

2014/07/17

Congressman Jim Bridenstine: Today, the public was made aware of yet another plan, hatched by the President, undermining America’s national security and placing Americans at risk.  The New York Times reported that the Obama Administration will transfer six Guantanamo Bay detainees to Uruguay, even after the Director of National Intelligence's assessment concluded that nearly 30% of former Guantanamo detainees were confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorism after release.  [[{"fid":"527","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"float: right;","class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] The President’s latest transfer shows that he’s radically out of touch with the sentiments of most Americans.  There’s no reason to transfer these terrorists so soon after our country was badly burned in the Taliban 5 swap.  It’s a dangerous gamble that threatens the lives of Americans and, in particular, our men and women in uniform serving overseas.  Under the law, the Secretary of Defense’s notification to Congress must demonstrate the risk to our national security from released or transferred Guantanamo detainees is “substantially mitigated.”  Given the astounding rates of recidivism reported by the Administration, the President cannot meet this requirement. The President has substantially weakened the U.S. abroad, made us vulnerable at home, and is now releasing terrorists to a leftist regime in South America.  These actions are provocative to our enemies and will cause us to suffer.  The President needs to fire his entire national security team, apologize to our troops and citizens, and change his actions.  Short of that, our country will continue to suffer. CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Comments on Touring HHS Facility Housing UAC at Ft. Sill

2014/07/12

Today Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) toured the HHS facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) joined him on the tour.  The Congressman sought to gain an understanding of the conditions and status of the UAC and the processes and procedures federal agencies use in securing their safety and releasing them to sponsors in the U.S.  He also sought to gain insight into actions Congress might take to stop the humanitarian crisis and the threat to U.S. national security and national sovereignty posed by the current crisis. Congressman Bridenstine said, “This is a very difficult situation, and I am impressed with the professionalism and compassion of the people who work at the HHS facility as well as the Lawton/Ft. Sill community.  “My concerns were validated regarding the dangers of the journey to the U.S.  The children are exposed to human trafficking, abuse and even death.  My concerns about the ‘sponsors’ to whom the children are being released were also validated.  Since it is very difficult to obtain an accurate background check when the potential sponsors are themselves illegal aliens, HHS personnel rely heavily on asking them questions and the sponsors’ self-reporting.  There are cases where the sponsors are not related to the child, and HHS has acknowledged human traffickers have attempted to obtain release of some children.” Bridenstine said the people at the HHS facility at Ft. Sill do not have all the answers to his questions.  He is providing Kenneth Wolfe, Deputy Director of Public Affairs at HHS, with the list of questions and requesting a response.  The list of questions and the request to HHS is attached. Bridenstine added, “This crisis is directly related to this Administration’s failed policies and refusal to enforce the law.  The President’s $3.7 billion spending proposal will not stop the crisis.  Solving this is a matter of national security and national sovereignty.  We must secure the border and dissuade people from making, or sending their children on, this dangerous journey.  Hiring smugglers and trans-national criminal organizations to bring children into the United States creates a far more dangerous scenario than what the UACs face at home.” --  30  -- [[{"fid":"523","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

Veterans Job Fair to Help Match Military Job Seekers with Employers

2014/07/10

Media Advisory from the Oklahoma Army National Guard ………………….. Veterans Job Fair to help match military job seekers with employers  OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma National Guard Office of Public Affairs cordially invites all media to attend the Oklahoma Military Connection hiring event this Thursday, July 10, at the Broken Arrow Armed Forces Reserve Center located at 26401 East 101st Street, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.       The hiring event begins at 10:30 a.m. and media are asked to arrive no later than 10 a.m. Military members and civilian employers will be available for interview. The Oklahoma National Guard’s Employment Coordination Program is part of the state initiative, along with the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education Career Tech for Vets program, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, to host the hiring event for U.S. military veterans, transitioning Servicemembers and currently serving members of the Guard and Reserves.   There are currently 80 employers registered to attend.  Employers must have job openings to participate.  Some companies registered include Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department, Melton Truck Lines, Muskogee County EMS and Coca-Cola.     For More Information Please Contact: Col. Max E. Moss Oklahoma Military Department Office of Public Affairs 3501 Military Circle Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111-4305 (405) 228-5212 Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Sets Requirements for Visit

2014/07/10

Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK) will visit the HHS facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) at Ft. Sill, on Saturday, July 12.  Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN) will accompany him. After being denied access on July 1st to the federal facility operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to house UAC at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Bridenstine notified HHS that he intends to visit the facility.  The HHS response included a list of restrictions including no questions during the tour, no contact with staff or children, and no recording devices or photography.  Both Congressmen have indicated that they plan to treat these restrictions just as the President treats laws passed by Congress, as “suggestions”. Congressman Bridenstine provided HHS with a list of documentation and personnel that he expects to be available for this visit.  A copy of the Congressman’s letter is below. [[{"fid":"521","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-full"}}]] Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Rejects Supplemental Budget Request

2014/07/09

The President sent his supplemental appropriations request to Congress today.  It is for $4.3 billion, significantly more than the expected $1.9 billion.  Of the $4.3 billion, $600 million is to fight wildfires, an unrelated issue.  The President’s request does nothing to address the root causes of the problem: lax border security and the administration’s indirect encouragement of illegal immigration through executive orders.    Congressman Bridenstine said, “The Secure Fence Act of 2006 requires 100% operational control of the southern border.  According to the GAO, the U.S. only has operational control over 44% of the southern border.  We need to gain full operational control of the southern border by immediately deploying the National Guard to back up the Border Patrol and finishing construction of 700 miles of double-layer fence, which has proven to work where installed. “Without breaking posse comitatus, the National Guard can provide command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and recognizance and be a force multiplier for our Customs and Border Protection officers while the long term infrastructure is being completed. “The President’s request has no money for the items we know will secure the border.  This proposal needs significant changes.” You can see Congressman Bridenstine’s brief speech today on House floor on the issue at: http://youtu.be/RrEMMuQ5zhs. --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine on Proposed Media Showcase “Tour” of UAC Facility

2014/07/07

Certain members of the media received this morning an invitation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to a showcase “tour” of the HHS facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  (The email invitation is pasted below.) Congressman Jim Bridenstine is encouraging members of the media to reject the limitations proposed by HHS.  “The idea of no recording devices, no questions, and no interactions is not acceptable.  This violates the 1st Amendment.  This is not transparent.  HHS is trying to muzzle the media and hide the human tragedy that has resulted directly from the Administration’s failure to enforce the law.”  Interestingly, the invitation to the media is for July 10, a date when the House of Representatives is in session thus precluding participation by Members of Congress.  The Congressman has not yet received a response from HHS regarding his letter responding to their inquiry of interest in a visit on July 12. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… From: Garcia, Jesus (ACF) [mailto:Jesus.Garcia@acf.hhs.gov] Sent: Monday, July 07, 2014 10:23 AM To: Subject: Media Tour of Fort Sill, Oklahoma Temporary Shelter Media Tour of Fort Sill, Oklahoma Temporary Shelter The HHS Administration for Children and Families would like to invite you to a media tour of the Unaccompanied Children temporary shelter at Fort Sill. The tour will take place 2 p.m., Thursday, July 10 (Central Time). The purpose of this 40-minute tour is to show members of the press the interior of the shelter and explain the care we provide while these children remain in our custody. The tour guide will detail what goes on from room to room and the services youth are provided on a daily basis. In order to protect the safety and privacy of the children, the following rules for participation will be required: - No recording devices will be allowed - No questions will be allowed during the tour - No interacting with staff and children at the shelter - We ask that your questions be provided via email or phone after the tour to Kenneth Wolfe - HHS ACF public affairs will provide answers to your follow up questions as quickly as possible - We will provide photos of the facility after the tour - There will be no on-site interviews by HHS staff before or after the tour, all inquiries go to Kenneth Wolfe If you would like to participate, please RSVP by 4 p.m. (Central Time) Tuesday, July 8, with HHS ACF Special Assistant Jesus Garcia (jesus.garcia@acf.hhs.gov). All media inquiries to should go to: Kenneth J. Wolfe Deputy Director Office of Public Affairs Phone: (202) 401-9215 Email: Kenneth.Wolfe@acf.hhs.gov Thursday is the only tour of the UAC facility at the base which ACF plans to offer at this time. Once you RSVP, we will provide you directions on where to arrive on Thursday by 8 a.m., Wednesday, July 9 (Central Time). Jesus Garcia Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs Administration for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20447 (202) 260-2309 Phone jesus.garcia@acf.hhs.gov www.acf.hhs.gov     ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………   --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Visit UAC Housing at Ft. Sill

2014/07/07

Congressman Jim Bridenstine was denied access to the facility housing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) at Ft. Sill Oklahoma on July 1.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) manager of the facility told him the next opportunity to visit would be July 21. HHS headquarters staff has indicated they now want to discuss a July 12 tour.  The Congressman’s letter responding to HHS is attached. Congressman Bridenstine advised HHS that he will not only make the showcase visit on July 12, but he will also make unannounced visits.  “Ordinary Americans have a right to know what is happening in these facilities, how the children are being treated, and what is being done to stop this human tragedy.  “The President has created this tragedy by failing to enforce border security.  He is going to ask Congress for $2 billion tax payer dollars, not for border security but rather to expedite the process of illegal immigration.   “Human suffering is escalating because of the failure to enforce the law.  The solution is to enforce the laws and stop illegal immigration.” In his letter to HHS, the Congressman requires transparency and access for himself as well as other Members of Congress, appropriate staff and media. He also requests a written response to the concerns expressed. Please see the Congressman’s letter to HHS.  The public has a right to know how HHS is responding to their elected representatives.   --  30  --   [[{"fid":"513","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full"},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"file media-element file-full"}}]]   Read More

Congressman Bridenstine Denied Access to UAC Housing at Ft. Sill

2014/07/02

Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK) was denied access yesterday to the HHS facility at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma currently housing up to 1,200 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who illegally crossed the southern border into the United States. Congressman Bridenstine said, “There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held.  Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks." The Health and Human Services (HHS) official who appears to be in charge of the facility told Congressman Bridenstine he could schedule an appointment for July 21.  HHS Deputy Director of the Office of Public Affairs, Ken Wolfe, would not take the Congressman's phone call.  The Congressman was told to send Mr. Wolfe an email as that was the preferred method of communication.  Congressman Bridenstine's email to Mr. Wolfe included this press release. “After my visit today with the base commander, I approached the barracks where the children are housed.  A new fence has been erected by HHS, completely surrounding the barracks and covered with material to totally obscure the view.  Every gate is chained closed.    “I approached a security guard and asked to speak with the manager of the facility.  The guard called his supervisor who said no visitors were allowed.  I asked if they were aware that I am a Member of Congress.  Eventually the manager came out and said that I would have to go through HHS legislative affairs and that the first chance to visit would be July 21st. “What are they trying to hide?  Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress?  As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking.  I would like to know to whom these children are being released." Ft. Sill is one of three facilities in the U.S. currently housing the unaccompanied alien children.  The Administration policy is that after they are apprehended on the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the children are transferred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for transport, and then placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) until released to a so-called “sponsor” in the U.S. [[{"fid":"511","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) trying to gain access to HHS housing facility for Unaccompanied Alien Children at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  July 1, 2014. CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov --  30  -- Read More

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Contact Information

216 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2211
Fax 202-225-9187
bridenstine.house.gov

Congressman Jim Bridenstine is a Navy pilot and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and lives with his wife Michelle and their three children in Tulsa, OK.

Bridenstine graduated from Rice University with degrees in economics, business and psychology. After college, he joined the Navy and became a pilot, flying combat missions off the USS Abraham Lincoln in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq. Later, he transitioned to the F-18 Hornet fighter at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN, where he flew “Red Air” and was also an instructor.

After leaving active duty, Bridenstine earned an MBA from Cornell University and returned to Tulsa to be the Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Prior to his election, Rep. Bridenstine was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flew the E-2C Hawkeye, a surveillance and operations command aircraft, in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs.


Serving With

Markwayne Mullin

OKLAHOMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Tom Cole

OKLAHOMA's 4th DISTRICT

James Lankford

OKLAHOMA's 5th DISTRICT

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