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Alabama leaders on Space Command: This is not over

By MARY SELL and ALEXANDER WILLIS, Alabama Daily News

Alabama leaders are reacting with frustration, and some defiance, to news that President Joe Biden planned to keep the U.S. Space Command’s headquarters in Colorado rather than moving it to Huntsville.

“I will be continuing my investigation into Biden’s deliberate, political, taxpayer-funded meddling in this decision,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, said on Twitter Monday. Rogers is chair of the House Armed Services Committee. “This is not over, and Colorado Springs will not be the permanent location for US Space Command.”

Rep. Dale Strong, R-Huntsville, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said repeated investigations and objective reviews have proven Space Command belongs in Alabama.

“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,” Strong said in a written statement.

“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.”

Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama’s lone Democrat in Washington, on Monday evening said she and her GOP colleagues are “united in opposition to this decision.”

“Huntsville won this selection process fair and square based on the merits,” Sewell said. “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. Sen. Katie Britt, R-Alabama, said Biden is “trying to hand the gold medal to the fifth-place finisher.”

“President Biden has irresponsibly decided to yank a military decision out of the Air Force’s hands in the name of partisan politics,” Britt said in a written statement. “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.”

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, who Biden last month said was being “irresponsible” by blocking confirmation of military officers, said the president is damaging the military.

“The Biden administration has been talking a lot about readiness over the past few months, but no administration has done more to damage our military readiness in my lifetime. They’ve politicized our military, destroyed our recruiting, misused our tax dollars for their extremist social agenda, and now they are putting Space Command headquarters in a location that didn’t even make the top three. They are doing this at a time when space is only becoming more important for national security.”

Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, called the decision “political gamesmanship” that “jeopardizes our nation’s national security and sets a dangerous precedent for future decisions made solely based on political preference.”

Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, also said he was concerned by the example the change creates.

“The precedent that has been set today should sound the alarm for the future of strategic, national security decision-making processes, and lands a direct hit to the future of state’s rights,” Aderholt said.

Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, called the move by Biden “disappointing, but not surprising.”

Said Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Mobile: “We will not give up this fight because Space Command belongs in Huntsville.”

Gov. Kay Ivey and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth both condemned the move on social media Monday, Ivey calling it “very simply the wrong decision for national security.”

“Joe Biden corrupted the Pentagon by placing Space Command HQ in Colorado despite three studies that rate Huntsville as the ideal home,” Ainsworth said. ” … By politicizing the process, Biden has surrendered US military advantage and put our national security at risk.”

State lawmakers were equally disappointed in the decision, with most members of the State House telling Alabama Daily News they believed the decision to be politically motivated.

Rep. Kerry Underwood, R-Tuscumbia

“Analysis of Air Force data clearly shows the Huntsville location at the top of all categories tested with Colorado coming in well behind us at nearly 10 points in 5th place. There is no reason outside of political that Space Command isn’t located exactly where the Air Force wants it – in the Great State of Alabama.”

Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville

“It is very troubling that petty politics has overturned the recommendation of the U.S. Air Force and military leaders who determined that Redstone Arsenal was the location best suited for housing the U.S. Space Command. The space and military expertise in Huntsville is proven and unsurpassed.

The best interests of our country are not served when the Administration ignores the recommendations of military experts who followed a thorough review and process to make a decision.”

Rep. Matt Simpson, R-Daphne

“I’m extremely disappointed that partisan politics has overruled the independent studies which clearly showed Alabama as the best location for Space Command. These decisions should not be based on red states vs. blue states, but instead should focus on what is best for the United States.”

Rep. Bill Lamb, R-Tuscaloosa

“I was extremely disappointed to hear of the Biden administration making such a politically motivated decision to keep the Space Command in Colorado , particularly after all the studies recommended the move.”

Rep. Donna Givens, R-Loxley

“As always with our President, I am greatly disappointed. Again, it is another way, in his mind, to stick it to Alabama. Which it actually does.”

Rep. Mike Shaw, R-Hoover

“I think the move is clearly politically motivated, and everyone can see that from miles away. Light years in this case. Huntsville is the birthplace of rocketry in the US and has produced exceptional results for decades. Arguments about readiness ring hollow.

There is no logical argument against having it here in Alabama. I know our senators, House members, governor and everyone will be pushing back hard on this senseless decision.”

Rep. Chad Robertson, R-Heflin

“Space Command belongs in Huntsville. The fact that this president has made a decision that is not in the best interest of this nation but is in his political interests is sad but, unfortunately, is not surprising. Huntsville is plainly the best choice of location.”

Rep. Phillip Rigsby, R-Huntsville

“I’m extremely disappointed with the decision by President Biden and his administration not to bring space command to Huntsville Alabama. It is evident in the studies completed by the department of defense and the government accountability office that Huntsville is the best choice when choosing a location for space command if we are at all concerned about national security.”

Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur

“(It’s) disappointing to see a president overrule his military recommendations and not follow through with their choice of Huntsville.”

Rep. Alan Baker, R-Brewton

“Based on the merits in comparing the two locations, it seems quite obvious President Biden made this a political decision. His decision is definitely not what is best for the country.”

Rep. Susan DuBose, R-Hoover

“Biden’s decision is very disappointing. Biden continues to disregard the best interests of our country in order to advance his political narrative. Alabama should continue to advance legislation we know to be in the best interest of our state and country. We will not be intimidated by Biden’s bully tactics.”

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