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Senator threatens hold on DoD nominees over Space Command

WASHINGTON — As a Colorado senator threatens to block Department of Defense nominations, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) is steadfast in urging the Pentagon to approve moving the U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs to Redstone Arsenal.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, tweeted Monday he may put a hold on six nominees to the Department of Defense. The senator said he is upset that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin won’t meet with him about the Space Command move.

In the Tweet, Bennet said the Department of Defense “has repeatedly ignored my request for a meeting with Secretary Austin about the Space Command basing decision. For that reason, I voted against Brendan Owens’ nomination tonight, and will consider holds on other Pentagon nominees until a meeting takes place.”

Bennet and fellow Colorado Sen. John Hickenlooper were the lone Democrats to vote against Owens on Monday.

Tuberville’s office was not bothered by the threats, saying it could be perceived the decision may finally go to Redstone Arsenal.

Last May, Tuberville called the protests by the Colorado congressional delegation “sore loser syndrome” and a “detriment to U.S. military effectiveness.”

“Space Command’s pending relocation to Redstone Arsenal, and … Senator Tuberville’s extensive work thus far to confirm that Huntsville always has been, and still is, is the best choice for SPACECOM,” his office said Wednesday. “The senator, as a member of the Armed Services Committee with jurisdiction over this issue, urged the full Senate to support the U.S. Air Force’s basing decision and has fully laid out the conclusions of two separate government investigations that both found the Air Force’s process to be thorough, legal, and comprehensive. READ MORE HERE.

  • ‘After 15 months of delay, Congress just received reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG). Both reports confirmed that the Air Force basing process was thorough, legal, and comprehensive; both confirmed Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama ranked highest at every stage of the process… For the sake of national security and military readiness, I will strongly oppose further efforts to unnecessarily delay this critical move,’ wrote Senator Tuberville.
  • ‘At this point, the biggest thing standing in the way of SPACECOM is political inertia and sore loser syndrome, each a detriment to U.S. military effectiveness. It’s time we embrace the Air Force’s decision and move forward together.’

“In other words, despite insinuations from some Colorado proponents, there was no bias in the process. Senator Tuberville urged Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall to move forward with the decision, for the sake of our national security. Once that decision is made, Senator Tuberville looks forward to working with Alabama’s Congressional delegation and his Armed Services Committee colleagues to ensure SPACECOM is fully operational at Redstone Arsenal as quickly as possible.”

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