President Biden is facing fierce bipartisan backlash over his decision to cancel the planned move of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters from Colorado to Alabama, including from one of his staunchest allies.
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., released a statement late Monday sharply attacking Biden over the decision, calling it ‘shameful’ and accusing him of bowing ‘to the whims of politics over merit.’
‘This Administration’s decision to keep Space Command in Colorado bows to the whims of politics over merit. Huntsville’s merits won this selection process fair and square,’ 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 best for our national security. To be clear, the Alabama Congressional Delegation stands united in opposition to this decision,’ she added.
Biden’s decision to cancel the move despite Huntsville separating itself as the clear choice for Air Force leaders to relocate Space Command has fueled accusations that politics played a role. His administration’s ongoing feud with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., over the Pentagon’s funding for abortions has been the main driver of those accusations.
Tuberville responded to the decision by accusing Biden of having ‘inserted politics’ into the debate over whether to move Space Command to Alabama.
‘The top three choices for Space Command headquarters were all in red states – Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas,’ Tuberville said in a statement. ‘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.’
Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Biden had consulted with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and senior military leaders before deciding that Colorado Springs, Colorado, will remain as the permanent location of Space Command.
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for its reaction to Sewell’s criticism, as well as asked whether its feud with Tuberville contributed to the decision, but did not immediately receive a response.
Having Space Command’s headquarters remain in Colorado Springs, Ryder said, will ensure that the U.S. maintains ‘peak readiness in the space domain… during a critical period.’
In addition to Tuberville, Sewell was unanimously joined by her fellow Alabama congressional delegation members, all Republicans, in slamming Biden over the decision.
Rep. Dale Strong, R-Ala., whose district includes Huntsville and would have been home to the new headquarters, said the Biden administration was ‘ignoring what is best for the nation’s security’ and vowed to make it answer for its decision.
‘President Biden has irresponsibly decided to yank a military decision out of the Air Force’s hands in the name of partisan politics,’ Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., 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 have remained in the Air Force’s purview. Instead, President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher,’ she added.
House Armed Services Committee Chairmen Mike Rogers, R-Ala., echoed Britt, accusing Biden on social media of having the military ‘settle fo fifth-best and call it national security.’
‘I will be continuing my investigation into Biden’s deliberate, political, taxpayer-funded meddling in this decision. This is not over, and Colorado Springs will not be the permanent location for US Space Command,’ he vowed.
Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Ala., also promised not to give up on the Space Command moving to Huntsville while Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., called the decision ‘unacceptable,’ and ‘another broken promise.’
‘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,’ Rep. Barry Moore said in a statement.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., called the decision ‘the latest chapter in the long saga of the Biden Administration’s failing national security record.’
Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey joined the delegation in blasting Biden over decision, stating she heard about it in a report from a liberal media outlet rather than the president himself.
‘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,’ she said.
Fox News’ Bradford Betz and Liz Friden contributed to this report.