Alabama leaders blasted reports that President Biden may block the move of the Space Command headquarters to the state over its abortion laws.
Alabama lawmakers voiced their concerns Tuesday over a recent NBC report that quotes people familiar with the matter saying the move was delayed over the state’s abortion polices passed last year that ban nearly all abortions — including for incest and rape.
“Alabama is the only choice for Space Command Headquarters — no ifs, ands or buts about it. The contest wasn’t even close,” Gov. Kay Ivey (R) tweeted. “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,” Ivey wrote.
Alabama Republicans announced in 2021 that the Space Command headquarters will be housed in their home state. The Space Command is separate from the Space Force, which is the military service responsible for carrying out the the actions of the command.
The Space Command is the military’s 11th unified combatant command, and uses forces from each of the military services to carry out directed missions in the space domain.
GOP lawmakers that represent the state also expressed their outrage in statements following the NBC report.
Sen. Katie Britt (R) accused the Biden administration of playing politics with the headquarters, saying that it’s in the best interest of national security.
“President Biden’s plans would irresponsibly yank a military decision out of the Air Force’s hands in the name of partisan politics,” Britt said in a 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 remain in the Air Force’s purview,” Britt added.
Rep. Dale Strong said in a statement that any change in location for the headquarters would be a “slight” against those serving in the military, and accused the White House of “bowing down to political pressure over what’s best for the military and national defense.”
“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,” he tweeted.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville also accused the Biden administration of “undermining” the U.S.’s readiness by delaying the move of the headquarters, noting that the headquarters “would be best served in Huntsville.”
The state’s lone Democrat in the House shared similar sentiments with her GOP counterparts.
“The White House should immediately reconfirm Huntsville as the headquarters of Space Command,” Rep. Terri Sewell posted to Twitter. “To change course would be because of politics and not merit. Surely, the Biden Administration would not allow politics to improperly influence this decision.”
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