The argument between Colorado and Alabama over who will be home to Space Command spilled out into open view.
On the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) spoke directly to Sen. Tommy Tuberville, calling upon him to lift the holds on Department of Defense civilian and general flag nominees. Tuberville placed the holds in protest of a DoD rule that funds travel and gives paid time off for service members and their dependents seeking an abortion.
Tuberville, on the floor, defended his decision.
“If my colleague cared about military readiness, maybe we’d go after more of the ridiculous policies that have led to our lowest — our lowest — recruitment numbers in decades,” Tuberville said. “But my hold does send a message that the secretary is not — and I repeat, not — above the law. And he cannot ignore lawmakers who are demanding his organization abide by law. I object, and will continue to object to any nominees as long as this illegal new abortion policy is in place.
“I’m holding the military accountable, others are holding our national security hostage by forcing their agenda where it doesn’t belong. Americans want a military focused on a national defense — and that’s what I’m fighting for.”
The fight between the two states over the command has been well chronicled. Much of the Colorado political delegation has maintained that Alabama is undeserving of the Space Command because of its conservative policies, particularly those dealing with abortion.
Toward the end of the debate on the issue, Bennet said, “I call upon my colleague from Alabama to lift these holds.”
Tuberville (R-Auburn), in response, cited the multiple studies, including a recent one from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, that have placed Alabama and Redstone Arsenal as the number one candidate for the headquarters.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.