Jim Bridenstine

Jim Bridenstine

OKLAHOMA's 1st DISTRICT

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Declares Executive Amnesty Is Unconstitutional, Unfair, Costly, and Dangerous

2014/11/21

Tonight, President Obama announced a series of executive orders regarding immigration.  His executive amnesty is illegal, unfair, costly, and dangerous because it will spur a wave of further illegal immigration.   It’s illegal and unconstitutional for the President to usurp legislative power clearly delegated to Congress.  The President has no statutory authority or inherent power to apply prosecutorial discretion to millions of people.     It’s unfair to millions of legal immigrants that have played by the rules, and it’s unfair to the American workforce as labor rates will decline. It’s costly because most amnestied illegals will have immediate access to taxpayer funded benefits such as Medicaid, Obamacare, Social Security, and Unemployment Insurance. It’s dangerous because amnesty encourages further illegal immigration facilitated by our unsecure border. Last month, I visited with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and National Guard personnel manning the Rio Grande Valley sector of the southern border – the area most trafficked by cartels smuggling people, drugs, and weapons into the United States.  The border is not secure.  CBP is undermanned, underfunded, and hampered by ridiculous environmental protection laws that limit patrol and surveillance access across much of the border.   I also learned that the cartels – and the foreign governments that abet smuggling operations – are deeply sensitive to changes in U.S. immigration policy.  During the Unaccompanied Children surge crisis, House Republicans passed a bill to suspend foreign aid to Central American countries until they acted to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.  Though President Obama ignored our bill, the mere threat of congressional action prompted consular officials from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to instruct detained illegals to stay home once deported.   How should Congress respond to Obama’s illegal executive amnesty?  Congress should exercise the power of the purse to withhold funding necessary to implement the President’s amnesty.  I hope the President does not choose to shut down the government to enact an executive action that American does not want, that Congress did not vote for, and that is unconstitutional.                 CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Comments on the Vote for Speaker of the House

2014/11/14

I explained my reasoning on the vote for the Republican Conference nominee for Speaker of the House in an op-ed to be published in the Tulsa World on Friday.  I feel it is important to communicate with my constituents on this issue, and the Tulsa World is the largest newspaper in my District.  The following is the text of the op-ed:   The Speaker Vote Rep. Jim Bridenstine   Yesterday, the Republican nominee for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was selected in a meeting of all the Republican Members elected to serve in the 114th Congress.  The debate and vote was in a Members-only meeting to allow open discussion and build consensus for the Republican nominee who will face off against the Democrat nominee in a vote on the floor of the House in early January.  John Boehner was selected as the Republican nominee. While he is well liked by many within the Republican conference, I continue to believe that Speaker Boehner has not been sufficiently strong in challenging the President -- the most ideologically liberal and obstinate in our nation’s history.  Additionally, there are issues on which the Speaker and I continue to disagree. An effort to replace Speaker Boehner would require several steps, each offering very little chance of success.  The first step would be to rally enough Republican dissenting votes to block a 50% + 1 vote on the floor.  The Republicans have a historically high 60-seat majority in the newly elected 114th Congress, possibly higher as midterm election vote counts continue.  With this large of a majority, the probability of securing enough dissenting votes is remote, especially after a private nomination meeting. If 30 or more Republicans voted for someone else and Speaker Boehner did not get a 50% + 1 vote, a second private meeting of the Republican Conference would occur.  At that meeting the dissenting Members would have to withstand pressure from the balance of the Republican Conference.  The minority of Republicans would have to offer an alternative candidate who the majority of Republicans would accept.  The probability that there would be 30 or more dissenters is virtually zero, and likewise the chance that the majority of Republicans would capitulate to the minority is near zero. If the minority of the Conference somehow prevailed, there would be another vote on the floor, again requiring a 50% + 1 majority.  This time, members of the original majority would vote against the new Republican nominee to block the minority.  The process would be in shambles, the public would be outraged, and Democrats would be strengthened.  If this impossible scenario happened, it would be the worst outcome for those of us who have been fighting for the conservative movement.  My goal has always been to do what is right for our country, regardless of the political consequences.  In my first term, with a smaller Republican majority, I voted against Speaker Boehner on the floor believing that we could deny him a 50% + 1 majority.  However, Rep. Boehner was elected as several potential dissenters succumbed to pressure.  While that effort may have been the right move under a smaller Republican majority, it is not the right move under a larger majority.  As the Speaker attempts to balance diverse political viewpoints within the Republican Conference, conservatives must encourage him to lead the Conference in repealing Obamacare, securing the southern border, balancing the budget, and blocking a bad deal with Iran that would endanger Israel and our partners in the Middle East.  I intend to send Speaker Boehner a letter letting him know that I will vote for him on the floor, but that I expect a bold stance on these issues.  Without Harry Reid as a roadblock in the Senate, there is no excuse for the House to underperform.  The midterm elections proved the vitality of the conservative movement.  We are strong and growing stronger.  As more conservatives join our ranks in a larger Republican Conference, we must continue doing all we can to advance conservative principles which enable economic growth and keep us morally grounded and militarily strong. As always, I will fiercely guard my independence, continuing to strive for what is right for our country.   CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov    --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Objects to Unilateral GHG Commitment

2014/11/13

On November 11th, President Obama unilaterally committed the U.S. to even steeper greenhouse gas reductions that will have a negligible effect on global temperatures. The President has shown that he will stop at nothing to implement a radical green agenda.   Speaking with the Chinese president, President Obama, without the consent of Congress, unilaterally committed America to bring its greenhouse gas emissions down to levels 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. This is a major step beyond his previously stated goal of a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. The Chinese merely agreed to stop the increase in their emissions by 2030.   Obama’s new, more aggressive target constitutes a war on fossil fuels and, tragically, an additional burden on those least able to afford higher energy bills. Once again, President Obama strengthens our competitors while weakening the United States.   Congress must do everything in its power to stop this insanity. Oklahomans can rest assured that they have allies in Congress. Senator Inhofe will likely chair the committee with oversight over the EPA. In the House, I will continue to fight this imperial presidency and its politically-driven EPA policies that diminish the prosperity of Oklahomans and all Americans.   See the blog on my website Bridenstine.House.Gov for more details.     CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov   --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Objects to Unilateral Green House Gas Commitment

2014/11/13

On November 11th, President Obama unilaterally committed the U.S. to even steeper greenhouse gas reductions. Ironically, these new greenhouse gas emission reductions will have a negligible effect on global temperatures.  The President has shown that he will stop at nothing to implement the radical green agenda his far left supporters demand.  Speaking with the Chinese President, President Obama, without the consent of Congress, committed the United States to a lopsided agreement that will have major ramifications on our economy. While China agreed for their emissions to peak in 2030 – not a reduction, but merely to stop increasing – the President unilaterally committed America to bring its greenhouse gas emissions down to levels 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. This is a major step beyond his previously stated goal of a 17 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. Once again, President Obama strengthens our competitors while weakening the United States. Obama’s new, more aggressive target constitutes a war on fossil fuels and, tragically, an additional burden on those least able to afford higher energy bills. Oklahoma enjoys electricity rates that are 20 to 25 percent less than the national average because more than half of the electricity generated by Oklahoma power plants comes from coal. Some coal-based plants are already being forced to shutter or convert to more expensive fuels, which will cause electricity prices to spike. I regularly hear from mayors and other local officials in my district that the coming increase in the price of electricity makes it more difficult to recruit businesses.  The President’s ever more extreme green agenda hinders job growth at a time when participation in the workforce is at an all-time low. Those extreme policies will increase consumer costs while paychecks are already stretched thin by EPA rules dramatically increasing costs and discouraging economic growth.  Congress must do everything in its power to stop this insanity. With Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, we can use government funding legislation to prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to the EPA to develop or enforce future rules. We can also invoke the Congressional Review Act to overturn previously implemented rules.  Oklahomans can rest assured that they have allies in Congress. Senator Inhofe will likely chair the committee with oversight over the EPA. In the House, I will continue to fight this imperial presidency and its politically-driven EPA as long as they pursue policies that diminish the well-being and prosperity of Oklahomans and all Americans.     “EPA’s carbon plan isn’t environmental policy, but pain and politics,” The Hill, August 11, 2014. Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Opposes Crude Rail Transport Rule

2014/11/07

The Administration’s “war on energy” continues in the Department of Transportation.  The Department (DOT) issued a proposed rule that would dramatically hinder crude oil transport by rail.  The rule would severely limit throughput, impose huge costs on the industry, and severely restrict transport capacity.  True to form in the Obama Administration, the rule attacks the industry without attacking the root cause of problems.  A study of freight derailments in the last decade found that broken rails or track welds were by far the leading cause of derailments.  The proposed rule largely neglects addressing the condition of the rails.  Furthermore, the Administration has refused to approve construction of the pipelines that would alleviate crude rail transport.  Pipeline transportation has long proven to be the cheapest, most efficient crude transport mode. I sent a letter to DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx opposing the proposed rule on rail transportation of crude oil, “Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High Hazard Flammable Trains.”  I urge the DOT to heed the input of stakeholders, both citizens and industry, in support of strong energy development and economic growth while providing reasonable and effective safety standards.  Please see my letter at Bridenstine.house.gov/letters. CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov --  30  -- Read More

IRS Scam Alert

2014/10/31

The Internal Revenue Service NEVER directs taxpayers to put money on a pre-paid card! The calls can seem scary and legitimate at the beginning.  They know your name, they know the last 4 digits of your SSN, and they reference a specific amount of money you owe.  They insist on immediate payment, even threatening arrest if you hang up!  They sometimes keep victims on their cell phone the whole time they are going to the store and buying the pre-paid card! The latest twist is that they tell victims to show up with payment at a specific IRS office.  It is not the one closest to the victim’s home.  It is often an inconvenient 50 miles away. (Using the IRS office makes this seem more legitimate.)  After the victim acquires the pre-paid card, the scammer  “generously” offers to let them off the hook for the lengthy drive.  They “permit” the victim to settle the debt by giving the scammer the numbers off the back of the card, without having to make the trip to the IRS office. We continue to hear heartbreaking stories of victims of this impersonation scam.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is actively following leads and making arrests.  Victims are asked to report the information on-line at:  http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml Read More

The Internal Revenue Service NEVER directs taxpayers to put money on a pre-paid card!

2014/10/31

The calls can seem scary and legitimate at the beginning.  They know your name, they know the last 4 digits of your SSN, and they reference a specific amount of money you owe.  They insist on immediate payment, even threatening arrest if you hang up!  They sometimes keep victims on their cell phone the whole time they are going to the store and buying the pre-paid card! The latest twist is that they tell victims to show up with payment at a specific IRS office.  It is not the one closest to the victim’s home.  It is often an inconvenient 50 miles away. (Using the IRS office makes this seem more legitimate.)  After the victim acquires the pre-paid card, the scammer  “generously” offers to let them off the hook for the lengthy drive.  They “permit” the victim to settle the debt by giving the scammer the numbers off the back of the card, without having to make the trip to the IRS office. We continue to hear heartbreaking stories of victims of this impersonation scam.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is actively following leads and making arrests.  Victims are asked to report the information on-line at:  http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Visits Southern Border

2014/10/30

Many of you remember when President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) denied me access to the Fort Sill HHS facility during the high point of the Unaccompanied Children (UAC) crisis. Based upon the response to my Securing America townhall, it's clear many folks in the First District understand that border security is national security and the Obama Administration is utterly failing to protect American sovereignty and safety. Last Friday, I went on a fact-finding visit to the southern border with my friend Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).  We visited with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel manning the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector.[[{"fid":"547","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 RGV is immense.  The sector covers 316 border miles, about 35,000 square miles total, and spans 34 Texas counties.  RGV is the most trafficked sector in the country for human smuggling and drug cartel activity.  RGV accounts for about 50% of total annual apprehensions of illegal immigrants along the southern border.  Rep. Blackburn and I visited the McAllen Border Patrol Station and RGV Centralized Processing Center before meeting with CBP agents and National Guard personnel on the frontlines.   Here are my takeaways: We need to reallocate funding to border security.  Rio Grande Valley CBP apprehended over 250,000 illegal immigrants in FY14 with only 3,000 agents and an operational budget of less than $20 million.  Those numbers are woefully insufficient.  According to Senator Tom Coburn’s latest Wastebook, the federal government spends over 4 times more ($90 million) on “promoting U.S. culture around the globe with nose flutists.”  That is $70 million more than the RGV sector’s operational budget. The President authorized sending more U.S. troops to West Africa to fight Ebola (3,200) than the 3,000 CBP folks we have fighting human smuggling and drug trafficking along the Rio Grande.  It’s a credit to the professionalism of CBP that it can do so much with so little.  A modest reallocation from lesser priorities would go a long way toward securing our country. Leaked DHS figures indicate that 231 individuals were caught illegally crossing into the United States from Liberia, 145 from Sierra Leone, and another 112 from Guinea. The Obama Administration is prioritizing environmental protection over border security.  The RGV sector covers 316 miles of border.  Protected Wildlife Refuges comprise over 60% of that area.  Border Patrol operations are totally hamstrung in Refuge areas by EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulations, which limit access and provide a safe haven for cartels to smuggle people and drugs. EPA, FWS, and other environmental protection regulations either prohibit or severely limit camera surveillance, lighting, and road access.  CBP agents can generally only access these areas on foot or by horse.  It is time to place national security above ridiculous and cumbersome environmental regulations.    Access and surveillance are key enablers of immigration enforcement.  Building double layer fencing along the border is important and required by law.  Yet, CBP personnel repeatedly told me that better surveillance and access can really increase effectiveness. Congress and the Obama Administration can increase CBP surveillance capability – eyes in the sky – through providing more infrared, electro/optical, and full motion video sensors on fixed, mobile, and airborne platforms.  Indeed, RGV leadership told me that providing only 2 or 3 more aerostat surveillance balloons would make a huge difference by greatly expanding coverage.  Since this is a national security issue, I intend to introduce provisions in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act  to authorize a military transfer of surveillance technology to the CBP.   Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution makes clear that Congress has the authority to create “an uniform rule of naturalization”, not the President.  With disregard for the Constitution, in June of 2012, President Obama offered “deferred action” to every illegal immigrant who entered the country before his or her 16th birthday.  Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal of illegal immigrants. Simply put, deferred action is a euphemism for not enforcing the law.  By June of 2014, the President had offered work permits and delayed action to 862,000 people.  The President’s unconstitutional “deferred action” policies incentivized mass waves of illegal immigration. Now, the President wants to drastically increase his unconstitutional policy and expand deferred action to cover 34 million illegal immigrants over 5 years.  According to CBP prediction models, the President’s upcoming amnesty by executive order will exacerbate border security problems.  Even talking about further deferred action executive orders will spur massive illegal immigration.  Without any further amnesty, CBP projects it will apprehend 200,000 illegal immigrants in FY15 in the RGV sector alone.  Yet, RGV leadership told me that deferred action expansion – amnesty for up to 34 million illegal immigrants – would increase predicted apprehensions by 100,000 this fiscal year.  Remember, apprehensions only cover the people who are caught and detained.  The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office reports that CBP only apprehends 1 out of 5 illegals that cross the border.  According to CBP officials, every communication from elected officials, including President Obama, regarding amnesty or border security is monitored by transnational criminal organizations that smuggle humans.  These communications are used to encourage or discourage more illegal immigration.   Threatening to cut foreign aid provides leverage that will cause Mexico and Central American governments to act responsibly regarding illegal immigration.  The U.S. provides nearly $170 million in annual foreign aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.  Foreign aid to Mexico is $265 million.  During the high point of the UAC crisis, the U.S. House passed H.R. 5230, which included Congressman Blackburn’s language to suspend foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador until those countries made significant progress to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. RGV leadership told me that H.R. 5230 had a dramatic effect on the behavior of consular officials from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.  The mere threat of congressional action caused these consular officials to tell illegal immigrants to stay home once deported rather than try to cross the border again and again.  According to NPR, the Mexican government is paying fees for attorneys who assist deferred action applicants in the United States.  The Mexican government prefers welfare provided by the U.S. taxpayer.  Foreign aide should be cut in response to this action. Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Visits Southern Border

2014/10/30

The Obama Administration is utterly failing to protect American sovereignty and safety. Based on the response at my Securing America Town Hall, it's clear many folks in my District understand that border security is national security.  Last Friday, I went on a fact-finding visit to the southern border with my friend Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).  We visited with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel manning the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) sector. The RGV is immense.  The sector covers 316 border miles, about 35,000 square miles total, and spans 34 Texas counties.  RGV is the most trafficked sector in the country for human smuggling and drug cartel activity.  RGV accounts for about 50% of total annual apprehensions of illegal immigrants along the southern border.  Rep. Blackburn and I visited the McAllen Border Patrol Station and RGV Centralized Processing Center before meeting with CBP agents and National Guard personnel on the front lines. Here are my takeaways: 1.      We need to reallocate funding to border security.  Rio Grande Valley CBP apprehended over 250,000 illegal immigrants in FY14 with only 3,000 agents and an operational budget of less than $20 million.  Those numbers are woefully insufficient, and funds can be reprogrammed from lower priority accounts.  2.      The Obama Administration is prioritizing environmental protection over border security.  Protected Wildlife Refuges comprise over 60% of the RGV area.  Border Patrol operations are totally hamstrung in refuge areas by regulations which limit access and provide a safe haven for cartels to smuggle people and drugs.  3.      Access and surveillance are key enablers of immigration enforcement.  RGV leadership told me that providing only 2 or 3 more aerostat surveillance balloons would make a huge, immediate difference by greatly expanding coverage.  Since this is a national security issue, I intend to introduce provisions in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act to authorize a military transfer of surveillance technology to the CBP.  4.      Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution makes clear that Congress has the authority to create “an uniform rule of naturalization”, not the President.  The President’s unconstitutional “deferred action” policies incentivized mass waves of illegal immigration.  Simply put, deferred action is a euphemism for not enforcing the law.  Now, the President wants to drastically expand deferred action to cover 34 million illegal immigrants over 5 years.  According to CBP, even talking about further deferred action executive orders will spur massive illegal immigration.  According to CBP officials, every communication from elected officials, including President Obama, regarding amnesty or border security is monitored by transnational criminal organizations that smuggle humans.  These communications are used to encourage or discourage more illegal immigration.  5.      Threatening to cut foreign aid provides leverage that will cause Mexico and Central American governments to act responsibly regarding illegal immigration.  During the high point of the UAC crisis, the U.S. House passed H.R. 5230, which included Congressman Blackburn’s language to suspend foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador until those countries made significant progress to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. RGV leadership told me that H.R. 5230 had a dramatic effect on the behavior of consular officials from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.  The mere threat of congressional action caused these consular officials to tell illegal immigrants to stay home once deported rather than try to cross the border again and again.  CONTACT: Sheryl Kaufman, Communications Director Phone: 202-225-2211 Email Address: Sheryl.Kaufman@mail.house.gov For more information, please read my blog article. --  30  -- Read More

Congressman Jim Bridenstine’s “Securing America” Town Hall Draws Record Crowd

2014/10/22

A crowd estimated at over 1,600 constituents gathered Tuesday night for Congressman Jim Bridenstine’s “Securing America” town hall at the Mabee Center in Tulsa.  The Congressman discussed issues ranging from fiscal security, to the uncontrolled southern border, to the danger from terrorism at home and abroad. The Congressman asserted that, “What’s right with America can fix what’s wrong with America.”  This comment drew one of several standing ovations.  The group was largely in concurrence with Bridenstine’s assessments of the threats and solutions for addressing them, interrupting him numerous times with applause.  They appeared to enthusiastically approve of his response to a questioner asking why we should trust politicians: “You shouldn’t.  You should not just trust me.  You should hold me accountable.” The Tulsa Praise Orchestra opened the event and closed with Ernestine Dillard singing “God Bless America.”  After an hour and a half of comments and questions, Congressman Bridenstine met for another hour with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Bridenstine’s name will not appear on the November 4th ballot.  The freshman Congressman has already been reelected to serve Oklahoma’s 1st District by virtue of being unopposed in the primary and general elections.  Nonetheless, he urged citizens to get out and vote as the nation faces many challenges at home and an increasingly threatening world situation.  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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