(WHNT) — Alabama lawmakers have issued statements reacting to a report that claims the Biden Administration is looking to ‘halt plans’ to move U.S. Space Command to Huntsville over Alabama’s restrictive abortion law.
The lawmakers spoke out in response to an NBC News article that reported the White House is looking to keep U.S. Space Command Headquarters from moving to Huntsville. The article cited U.S. defense and congressional officials, though the sources were not directly named.
Governor Kay Ivey shared a statement saying that Huntsville, Alabama remains “the only choice” for Space Command.
“Alabama is the only choice for Space Command Headquarters — no ifs, ands or buts about it. The contest wasn’t even close. The Pentagon knows it. And the White House knows it. I’ll keep saying it, and Alabama will keep proving it until HQ is officially in Huntsville. #alpolitics“Governor Kay Ivey
Congressman Dale Strong (R-Ala) said that he felt that any decision on Space Command should be based solely on the original criteria set by the United States Air Force.
“When the Air Force looked at what was in the best interest of national security, they chose Redstone Arsenal to house U.S. Space Command headquarters. Any deviation from that is a slight against those serving in uniform. I’ve seen all the reviews and reports on the basing process – but don’t remember access to late-term abortions being one of the 21 criteria used to evaluate the sites.Congressman Dale Strong (R-Ala)
Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala) said that she feels any decision to block Space Command coming to Alabama by President Joe Biden would be politically motivated.
“President Biden’s plans would irresponsibly yank a military decision out of the Air Force’s hands in the name of partisan politics. Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s Evaluation Phase and Selection Phase, leaving no doubt that the Air Force’s decision to choose Redstone as the preferred basing location was correct purely on the merits. That decision should remain in the Air Force’s purview. Instead, President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher. The President’s blatant prioritization of partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization, and force readiness is a disservice and a dishonor to his oath of office as our nation’s Commander-in-Chief. Locating the permanent Space Command Headquarters on Redstone Arsenal undoubtedly remains in the best national security interest of the United States. President Biden should allow the Air Force to proceed with doing its job. Alabama’s world-class aerospace and defense workforce, capabilities, and synergies stand ready to fulfill the mission and strengthen our national security long into the future.”Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala)
Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) said that he felt the report, if true, raised national security concerns.
“This report, if true, is very concerning for national security. This is the second article in two months discussing the possibility of Space Command remaining in Colorado. After the previous article, I questioned Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall directly during a hearing, and he assured us that the Space Command basing decision was his, and his alone. He told me that President Biden had put the decision squarely in his hands. I would like to know what has changed in the past two months.”Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)
In a series of tweets, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R- Ala.) said President Biden is putting politics above national security and said that several reviews have found that Alabama would be an ideal home for space command.
“Multiple independent, nonpartisan government reviews have found Space Command headquarters would be best served in Huntsville.”Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) via Twitter
Alabama officials previously spoke out after an editorial in the Washington Post claimed President Joe Biden would be moving to undo a Trump administration plan to move Space Command to the Rocket City.
Alabama Representative David Cole (R- Madison) released a statement on Friday calling for Redstone Arsenal to be named the permanent home for Space Command and asking residents to contact the White House to demand the same thing.
“Like most things in Washington, this decisions has become split along party lines and that is wrong. As a Retired Colonel in the United States Army, I Understnad what Space Command means in protecting us form aggression, defending our national interest and defeating threats from rogue countries. I am asking all citizens of Alabama to join me and fight by contracting the White House and demand Huntsville be named hte headquarters fro Space Command. It’s the right thing to do.”Alabama Representative David Cole
Space Command’s temporary headquarters are currently in Colorado Springs, although Redstone Arsenal was in the running for the permanent headquarters.
President Trump established the Space Command in December 2019. The following year, the command revised its search for a permanent home. Redstone Arsenal was on that previous shortlist of potential sites, as a final decision was slated for 2023.
Huntsville was named a finalist in early 2021. Then, in 2022, the Department of Defense named the city as the “preferred permanent location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.”
While Huntsville was named the preference, many in Colorado fought to turn the temporary headquarters into the permanent headquarters.
The editorial piece in the Washington Post said the White House appeared “ready to reverse a Trump administration plan to relocate the U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Ala. because it fears the transfer would disrupt operations at a time when space is increasingly important to the military.”
Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force’s evaluation phase and the selection phase, while Colorado Springs finished fourth and fifth respectively.
An official decision on where the permanent headquarters will be located has still not been made, and for the time being U.S. Space Command remains in Colorado Springs.
For more information on the United States Space Command, click here.