Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 1, 2023 / 14:00 pm (CNA).
President Joe Biden this week canceled the planned move of U.S. Space Command headquarters to Alabama, a move that Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville described as “blatant patronage politics” that comes after Tuberville’s monthslong blockade of military promotions over federal abortion policy.
Tuberville has been blocking military promotions in the Senate since March of this year over the Pentagon’s decision to fund travel expenses for abortion after the Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade last year.
The Trump administration announced in its final days that Space Command would be moving to Huntsville, Alabama, due to its “large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs.”
On Monday, the Pentagon said in an announcement that Biden had “selected Colorado Springs as the permanent location of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters,” scuttling SPACECOM’s planned move to Huntsville.
In its statement on Monday, the Pentagon said Biden had decided to put the headquarters of the agency in Colorado Springs because it “ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period.”
“It will also enable the command to most effectively plan, execute, and integrate military space power into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression and defend national interests,” the Pentagon continued.
Tuberville’s office provided CNA with a statement in which the senator accused the Biden administration of “politiciz[ing]” the military and “putting Space Command headquarters in a location that didn’t even make the top three [candidate cities].”
“The top three choices for Space Command headquarters were all in red states — Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas,” Tuberville said. “Colorado didn’t even come close.”
The senator deemed it “shameful that the administration waited until Congress had gone into recess and already passed next year’s defense budget before announcing this decision.”
Calling the decision a “disastrous mistake,” Tuberville vowed: “This is absolutely not over.”
The Pentagon’s decision also drew a rebuke from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who said in a statement that the White House’s choice “is very simply the wrong decision for national security.”
And Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said in a statement that the White House had reversed the “meticulous decision-making process” that led to Huntsville’s selection.
“To have that process invalidated and to have our selection taken away is demoralizing,” he said.