Pence: Trump’s national security will be as 'dominant' in space as it is on Earth

Pence: Trump’s national security will be as 'dominant' in space as it is on Earth
© Getty Images

Vice President Pence on Thursday said the Trump administration is taking steps to "ensure American national security is as dominant in space as it is here on Earth."

Pence spoke at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to endorse the development of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE's "Space Force," a new military branch for space. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“In this still-new century, we will create an armed service devoted solely to advancing American security in space, and the need is real," Pence said. "Our administration is committed to keep America ahead of our adversaries in this critical domain, and as we speak the Department of Defense is moving forward with initial steps to strengthen American security in space,” he said, citing Chinese and Russian developments in space intended to “counter America’s space capabilities.”

Pence reiterated his promise that the Space Force would be a reality by 2020.

While House Republicans have backed Trump's initiative, but skeptics on both sides of the Senate have relayed concerns about where funding for the Space Force program would come from and the readiness of existing military branches.

“How do we make sure we're protecting taxpayer dollars and making sure they're most efficiently used while achieving that objective?” Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstDrug price outrage threatens to be liability for GOP Progressive groups target eight GOP senators in ad campaign ahead of impeachment trial GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles MORE (R-Iowa) asked Tuesday

“Nobody thinks we’re at the readiness level that we should be. And then once we get there, then we can talk about a space force,” Sen. Dan SullivanDaniel Scott SullivanSenators inch forward on federal privacy bill Romney, Collins, Murkowski only Senate GOP holdouts on Graham's impeachment resolution GOP worries it's losing impeachment fight MORE (R-Alaska) said.

Other signs point to senators potentially coming around to the idea.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee said in a recent statement to The Hill that he “will work with the President and DOD to consider all options for countering China and Russia in space as things continue to evolve and change.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), meanwhile, told The Hill earlier this week that he is “open-minded” about the idea.