The Atlantic

One Year Later, NASA Still Doesn't Have a New Administrator

An interim director is steering the ship, but the delay between administrations is unprecedented.
Source: NASA

On Saturday afternoon, NASA will mark an anniversary with little cause for celebration: One year since the Trump administration took office, the space agency still doesn’t have an administrator.

This is the longest NASA has gone without a permanent chief—who is nominated by the president and must be confirmed by Congress—in the transition between two administrations. Since the inauguration last January, NASA has been run by an acting administrator. While the agency historically has been toward the bottom of the priority list for presidential appointees of a new administration, this kind of delay is unprecedented. Before this, the longest stretch between administrators came in 2009, when George W. Bush’s chief stepped down in January and Barack Obama’s appointee was sworn in in July, less than six months later.

The White House put forth a nominee in September, and a congressional committee has approved him twice. No one knows when the matter will come to the Senate floor for a vote by the entire chamber,.

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