Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville has accused the Biden administration of “blatant patronage politics” after it announced the headquarters of Space Command won’t be moving to his state as planned, but will instead remain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Space Command, officially reestablished by the Trump administration in August 2019, is responsible for U.S. military efforts in space, which it describes as vital to the American way of life and national security.
Republican Tuberville has infuriated the Biden administration by blocking senior military promotions to protest the Pentagon‘s policies on abortion. This has left the U.S. Marine Corps without a confirmed leader for the first time in 164 years.
After the decision not to move Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama, was announced on Monday, Tuberville released a furious statement accusing Joe Biden of having made a disastrous mistake. Newsweek has contacted Space Command and the White House for comment by email.
The senator said Huntsville had been selected “over 59 other cities on the basis of 21 different criteria.” However, “as soon as Joe Biden took office he paused movement on that decision and inserted politics into what had been a fair and objective process.”
Tuberville said it was shameful that the decision was announced with Congress in recess. He urged the GOP-controlled House Armed Services Committee to investigate “whether the Air Force illegally used taxpayers’ dollars to upgrade facilities in Colorado Springs.”
The governor added: “This is absolutely not over. I will continue to fight this as long as it takes to bring Space Command where it would be best served – Huntsville, Alabama.
“Today’s disastrous mistake just adds to the long string of bad decisions that this compromised President has made. He is batting 1000 in that category since taking office,” Tuberville added.
Speaking to CNN on Monday, John Kirby, White House national security spokesman, said the decision had been made purely based on defense considerations.
Kirby added: “This was really a decision based on one thing and one thing only for a president, and that was operational readiness.
“He took the inputs of many leaders across the Department of Defense when it came down to it. He believes that it’s in the best national security interest of the country if we leave Space Command in Colorado,” Kirby said.
Tuberville has been holding up hundreds of senior military promotions, which are typically unanimously approved on the Senate floor, for more than five months to protest the Pentagon reimbursing travel expenses for service members who are required to go out of state to have an abortion.
Earlier this July, Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen told Newsweek that the decision was deeply shameful, arguing it “poses great risk to our readiness and our national security.”
Justifying its abortion position, Kirby said new laws, passed by Republican states after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, are causing a “retention and morale issue” within the military.
This July, the GOP-controlled House passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block any financial support for service personnel seeking an abortion.