By Nikki Slusher
The GOP senator who is holding up military leadership confirmations over it’s women’s healthcare policy on abortion has just found out that when you play stupid games, you get stupid prizes.
On Monday the Pentagon announced that the U.S. Space Command would no longer be moving to Alabama, instead continuing its operations in Colorado. The move was originally ordered by former President Donald Trump, and Republicans erupted in outcry over the decision. The GOP accused President Joe Biden of acting out of political spite over the ongoing partisan standoff over the Pentagon’s abortion healthcare policies.
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has blocked military promotions for over six months in protest of the Pentagon’s policy to reimburse “military personnel who have to travel to obtain an abortion or fertility treatments,” per The New York Times. The president made the final decision after General James Dickinson, the head of the U.S. Space Command, had argued that moving to Alabama from Colorado Springs would hurt military readiness. Specifically this was related to the U.S. competition with racing China in space.
Tuberville said the reversal was giving benefits to a Democratic-led state and “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.” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) said in a statement, “It’s clear that far-left politics, not national security, was the driving force behind this decision…This fight is far from over.” Rogers sits as the chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) tweeted that, “The White House choosing to not locate Space Command Headquarters in Alabama – the rightful selection – is very simply the wrong decision for national security. The fact that a CNN reporter is who first delivered the news to Alabama should say all.”
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, spokesman for the Pentagon, said, “Locating Headquarters U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs ultimately ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period.” He argued that it would “enable the command to most effectively plan, execute and integrate military space power into multi-domain global operations.”
Ryder added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and U.S. Space Command chief Gen. James Dickinson all support Biden’s decision. Initially, Donald Trump agreed to move the command to Alabama after a “high-level meeting” at the White House. He went on in the final days of his administration to brag that he “single-handedly” rewarded the red state by putting the command there. Yes, it was a politically partisan move even though GOP lawmakers claim that is what Biden is doing.
Colorado’s Gov, Jared Polis (D) and Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet (both Democrats) supported Biden’s decision with Bennet calling Colorado the command’s “rightful home.” Hickenlooper asserted the move was not related to Tuberville’s ongoing antics, although he noted that the Alabama senator’s decision to hold our military leadership hostage is “very frustrating.”
“On a bad day it bugs the living daylights out of me. But it’s completely separate from Space Command,” Hickenlooper said. “In my opinion, I believe that’s how the Defense Department looked at it. And I think that’s how the White House looked at it.” A huge loss of civilian workers to the command would’ve been lost too had the move happened. Besides, why bring more federal funding to a place that claims to hate it?