A group of House Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to abolish the nation’s newest armed service, eliminating the Space Force and giving the Air Force its responsibilities.
Backed by five members of the House Progressive Caucus, which is made up of left-wing Democrats in the party, the “No Militarization of Space Act” was introduced as Congress debated its annual Pentagon policy bill.
“It’s time we turn our attention to what is rightfully itss: addressing pressing national and international priorities like tackling COVID-19, climate change and growing economic inequality,” the measure’s author said. , U.S. Representative Jared Huffman, a Democrat from the wealthy San Rafael suburb of California’s Bay Area. “Our mission must be to support the American people, not to spend billions on the weaponization of space.”
The move, announced in a press release, comes amid increasingly bitter budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. Republicans have threatened to thwart Democratic efforts to raise the government’s debt ceiling and block a Democratic-backed spending plan that is needed to avoid the Oct. 1 shutdown of federal agencies.
Colorado Springs Republican U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn bristled at the introduction of the Space Force kill bill, which came after it was defeated as an amendment to a broader measure of the Pentagon.
“It’s a frivolous bill that has no hope of passing,” Lamborn said in an email. “The creation of Space Force was a bipartisan effort from the beginning. This reorganization of our national security space enterprise resulted from the late recognition of space as a combat domain and the growing threat to space assets. criticism from our close competitors.”
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The measure should gain ground to pass the house, where the Space Force has received support from both sides of the aisle. Even if the House supported it, the measure would face almost certain defeat in the Senate, where Democrats hold control by the narrowest margins and the space service has enjoyed bipartisan support.
The bill to kill Space Force is co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. ; Marc Pocan, D-Wisc. ; and Chuy Garcia, D-Ill.
The Space Force, which is approaching its second anniversary, was created amid growing tensions in orbit between America, Russia and China. Pushed by President Donald Trump, the new service was intended to give space troops a seat in high-level discussions of US war plans while giving orbiting missions greater prominence in budget discussions.
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With four Space Force installations, Colorado is home to the bulk of the new service’s troops and core capabilities. At bases in Colorado, Space Force troops, dubbed gatekeepers in Pentagon lingo, operate nearly all of the Pentagon’s spacecraft, including the Global Positioning System and missile warning satellites.
At an Air Force Association conference this week, the Space Force’s chief general said the service works to keep war from reaching orbit rather than fighting battles above. beyond the earth’s atmosphere.
“I am convinced that if we can protect our critical capabilities and deny an advantage to an aggressor, or impose a cost that he cannot bear, we can prevent war from spreading to other domains,” said Raymond during the conference.
The new service, which falls under the Department of the Air Force, will eventually include about 1,300 soldiers. Unlike the Air Force, Navy, and Army, Space Force does not include troops in support roles. The service relies on the Air Force for jobs such as cooks, cops, lawyers, and doctors.
Unlike the partisan battles common on Capitol Hill in recent months, Lamborn said most lawmakers from both parties supported the new service.
“Most Democrats don’t want to abolish the Space Force, because the Biden administration approved our new service, and the Democrats on the House Rules Committee voted down this bill as an amendment to the Space Force Act. national defense clearance,” Lamborn said. “I continue to be a strong supporter of the US Space Force.”
Lamborn, however, can agree that the Pentagon is spending too much on one aspect of its space enterprise. The congressman argued that President Donald Trump’s decision to uproot US Space Command from Colorado Springs in favor of Alabama could waste billions of dollars.
A Lamborn, House member-backed amendment to the Pentagon policy bill would block funding for the move until investigations into the decision by the Government Accountability Office and the Pentagon’s inspector general are complete. .
Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240