Republican and Democratic members of the Alabama House of Representatives have joined on a video opposing reports the White House wants to stop the U.S. Space Command headquarters from moving to Alabama.
Members released the joint video Monday, one week after a report that President Biden may block the move to Huntsville, which ranked highest among bases nationwide that competed for the headquarters. The base was started in Colorado Springs, Colo., and officials in that state are fighting to keep it permanently.
Quoting unnamed sources, NBC News reported May 23 that “some defense and congressional officials” believe President Biden’s White House is laying the groundwork to stop the command’s move to Alabama “in part because of concerns about the state’s restrictive abortion law.”
“I just hope that we get to the point where politics is put to the side, that we’re focusing on the merits of the decision, why that decision was made and they made the right choice,” Democrat and House Minority Leader Rep. Anthony Davis of Huntsville said in the video released Monday.
Republican state Reps. Rex Reynolds and James Lomax, both of Huntsville, also recorded support. Reynolds said the Air Force base selection committee and leadership chose Huntsville, and Lomax said more than 80 government agencies and commands already reside at Redstone.
“It’s not just an Army base,” Lomax said. “It’s a federal center of excellence.”
Republican House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter of Rainesville said the Air Force has said twice the command should be in Huntsville, and state Rep. David Cole, a retired Army colonel, spoke for Huntsville saying he understands what the command means in protecting America.
Republican state Rep. Wes Kitchens of Huntsville said, “When you look at all the statistics, Huntsville is the clear choice.” And Rep. Mike Kirkland of Scottsboro said the employees affiliated with Space Command would enjoy Huntsville.
“We are equipped, we are ready and we are able to take care of Space Command,” said Republican State Rep. Phillip Rigsby, a Huntsville native.
Support also came from Mobile, where Republican Rep. Shane Stringer said military decisions should be based “solely on what’s best for our military. “We should not be inserting red state/blue state politics,” Stringer said calling it “an affront to our military.”
Republican state Rep. Scott Stadhagen of Hartselle also said he wants President Biden to “make the right decision” and put the command headquarters where it belongs.
Quoting unnamed choices, NBC News reported May 23 that “some defense and congressional officials” believe President Biden’s White House is laying the groundwork to stop the command’s move to Alabama “in part because of concerns about the state’s restrictive abortion law.”
All abortion is illegal in Alabama unless medically necessary to avoid a serious health risk to the mother. The law says the mother cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for an abortion.
Before the abortion law passed, Huntsville had already scored best in a military comparison of multiple states wanting the Space Command headquarters. The competition was designed to compare the competing bases for command needs and effect on family members.
The Pentagon has a new policy that it will pay the expenses of any service member who must leave her state to get an abortion.