On Monday, the Biden administration announced the headquarters (HQ) for the U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) will remain in Colorado, reversing a Trump-era decision to move the HQ to Huntsville.

Former President Donald Trump picked the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the new permanent home for SPACECOM. The Arsenal has since repeatedly ranked at the top of the list of potential locations for SPACECOM over its current location in Colorado.

In May, NBC News reported that two unnamed U.S. officials and one official with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) said Biden has been delaying the decision on SPACECOM due to Alabama's "restrictive" abortion laws, which went into effect June 24, 2022, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Huntsville has repeatedly been ranked the number one choice for Space Command by U.S. Air Force surveys.

On Monday, state and federal officials blasted the decision to keep SPACECOM in Colorado, reaffirming that Huntsville remains the best choice.  

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) has run afoul of the administration for blocking DOD nominees until it reverses its policy funding traveling abortion costs for servicemembers who live in states with abortion restrictions. Tuberville said the move was "shameful," especially since the Senate just recessed having passed next year's defense budget.

"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. This decision to bypass the three most qualified sites looks like blatant patronage politics, and it sets a dangerous precedent that military bases are now to be used as rewards for political supporters rather than for our security."

U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) also criticized the decision in a statement, calling it a "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."

"President Biden has irresponsibly decided to yank a military decision out of the Air Force's hands in the name of partisan politics," said Britt. "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 have remained in the Air Force's purview. Instead, President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher."

U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) called the move unacceptable, joining the bevy of voices blaming the decision on dirty politics.

"This decision made by the Biden Administration is unacceptable," Palmer said. "When making decisions, the administration has continuously put politics over what is best for the nation. The Department of Defense determined that Huntsville, Alabama, was the best location for Space Command long ago. Instead, they are picking Colorado, the fifth best option by their very own report. Not only is this decision another broken promise and the result of political gamesmanship, but it jeopardizes our nation's national security and sets a dangerous precedent for future decisions made solely based on political preference."

U.S. Rep Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) Strong called the decision "shameful," saying the fight was not over.  

"It is clear to anyone who has looked at the facts: Huntsville, Alabama is the best place for U.S. Space Command Headquarters." Strong Said. "Repeated investigations and objective reviews have proven that to be the case. It is shameful that the Biden Administration is ignoring what is best for our nation's security and is instead using their woke agenda to make this decision."  

He continued, "To this point, the administration has refused to answer questions brought forth by the House Armed Services Committee's investigation of their actions in this process. If they think this will go away... they are wrong. I will ensure they have to explain their actions and answer our questions on the record."

U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Saks), who, along with Strong, launched an investigation into the SPACECOM gridlock, blamed "far-left politics" on behalf of the Biden Administration for the decision.

"The Biden administration's shameful delay to finalize the permanent basing decision for U.S. Space Command warranted the opening of a Congressional investigation," Rogers said. "I will continue this investigation to see if they intentionally misled the Armed Services Committee on their deliberate taxpayer-funded manipulation of the selection process. I will continue to hold the Biden administration accountable for their egregious political meddling in our national security.

U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) joined the congressional fray to pile on the administration's decision.

"In the Department of Defense's own merit-based process, Huntsville, Alabama was chosen as the #1 location for SPACECOM and Colorado was #5," Moore said. "It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the Biden Administration has chosen to prioritize partisan politics over national security by rejecting the objectively best location based on the DoD's own criteria simply because it isn't a blue state." 

In a rare moment of cross-aisle unity, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) joined her congressional colleagues in lambasting Biden's decision, saying the move was choosing "politics over merit." 

"The Administration's decision to keep Space Command in Colorado bows to the whims of politics over merit. Huntsville won this selection process fair and square based on the merits. In three separate reports, Huntsville reigned victorious, whereas Colorado did not come in second or even third. This reversal is as shameful as it is disappointing. I expected more from the Biden Administration. A decision of this magnitude should not be about red states versus blue states but rather what is in the best interest of our national security.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) joined the chorus of criticism, calling the decision "petty politics."

"It is clear the Biden administration cares more about advancing their far-left agenda than the security of our nation," Carl said. "We will not give up the fight, and we will continue doing all we can to hold the Administration accountable for this ridiculous decision."

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) also stated the decision.

"I am outraged to hear that the Secretary of the Air Force allowed politics to circumvent his, and the Department of Defense's, own basing selection process that determined Huntsville, Alabama as the preferred location of SPACECOM. Huntsville was #1, Colorado Springs was #5," Aderholt said.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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