Bill Nelson on Principles & Values

Democratic Sr Senator (FL)


One of the rare civilians who has traveled to space

President Joe Biden is poised to nominate former Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida to lead NASA, an official familiar with the decision said, elevating a longtime friend from the Senate and space aficionado as administrator of the agency. Nelson, who flew a space shuttle mission more than three decades ago, has been a long proponent of NASA. He is not an astronaut but is one of the rare civilians who has traveled to space.
Source: CNN.com on 2021 Biden Transition , Mar 18, 2021

Encouraged human spaceflight including mission to Mars

The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 that he co-sponsored ordered NASA to expand the commercial crew program, which launched its first astronauts to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule. Nelson also encouraged NASA to set the sights for human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit and the space station, including a mission to Mars.
Source: Politico.com on 2021 Biden Transition , Mar 18, 2021

Leader of NASA should not be political

In 2017, he led the opposition to the Trump administration's nomination of Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, arguing at Bridenstine's confirmation hearing that the "leader of NASA should not be political." Bridenstine was confirmed in April 2018 on a party-line vote, and Nelson later praised Bridenstine for keeping the agency apolitical.
Source: SpaceNews.com on 2021 Biden Transition , Mar 18, 2021

You serve the public; you don't serve yourself

I've always felt that the value of this kind of work is not politics and government per se, it is public service. That assumes that you understand that you serve the public, you don't serve yourself--albeit there's always a conflict in a political elected position that you have to worry about being elected. If you stray off the north star, though--which is service to the people you have been elected to represent--then it goes haywire.
Source: Tampa Bay Ledger on 2021 Biden Cabinet , Sep 4, 2020

Voted with Democratic Party 93.4% of 320 votes.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 93.4% of 320 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, "Congress Votes Database" on 2008 election , Sep 8, 2007

Focus on issues & doing our jobs, and we can get a lot done

In the Senate there’s a principle I try to use every day: You get up and do your job. You don’t worry about the big corporations and the special interests. You don’t worry about working with Democrats or Republicans. You just try to do what’s right for he people, and then you can get a lot done. Pres. Kennedy said, “People expect more from us than indignation and attacks.” If we set our minds to the issues ahead instead of attacks, we can solve a lot of the problems facing this state and this nation.
Source: FL 2006 Senate Debate moderated by PBS’ Linda O’Brien , Oct 23, 2006

Voted YES on confirming of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. In her opening statement, Judge Sotomayor pledged a "fidelity to the law:"
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination; Bill PN506 ; vote number 2009-S262 on Aug 6, 2009

Voted NO on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice.

Vote on the Nomination -- a YES vote would to confirm Samuel A. Alito, Jr., of New Jersey, to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reference: Alito Nomination; Bill PN 1059 ; vote number 2006-002 on Jan 31, 2006

Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Vote on the Nomination (Confirmation John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States )
Reference: Supreme Court Nomination of John Roberts; Bill PN 801 ; vote number 2005-245 on Sep 27, 2005

Supports Hyde Park Declaration of "Third Way" centrism.

Nelson adopted the manifesto, "A New Politics for a New America":

As New Democrats, we believe in a Third Way that rejects the old left-right debate and affirms America’s basic bargain: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and community of all.