Trump Taps Senate’s Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms for NASA Post

Morhard to be nominated to be deputy administrator of the space agency

Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms James W. Morhard is interviewed by Roll Call in the Capitol, January 9, 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The deputy sergeant-at-arms of the Senate has been picked by President Donald Trump to be the deputy administrator of NASA.

James W. Morhard, who has been deputy SAA since Republicans took over the Senate majority in 2015, has largely focused on the various administrative functions of the Senate.

He should be no real stranger to the space agency, particularly given one of his earlier roles on Capitol Hill.

Morhard was a senior aide to Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. The White House announcement of his pending nomination noted that, while serving as staff director of the Appropriations Committee, Morhard oversaw the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee. That subcommittee’s broad jurisdiction includes the NASA budget. 

Morhard survived the 2010 plane crash that claimed Stevens’ life.

In April 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Michael C. Stenger, who served as chief of staff to Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, would take over as the SAA. Morhard remained as the deputy at that point.

The current administrator of NASA is former Oklahoma GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine.

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