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White House says Space Force work will continue

White House says Space Force work will continue
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The Biden administration will continue work on the U.S. Space Force, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden says he and GOP both 'sincere about' seeking infrastructure compromise The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Colonial pays hackers as service is restored Colonial paid hackers almost M in ransom: report MORE said Wednesday, following Republican backlash against her earlier dismissal of a question about the year-old military service.

“We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work,” Psaki tweeted Wednesday evening.

Abolishing the Space Force would require an act of Congress, so experts did not expect President Biden to try to get rid of it. But Psaki’s tweet is the first time the administration has explicitly said the military branch — a signature achievement of former President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE — will continue.

Earlier in the day, Psaki was asked at a White House press briefing whether Biden will keep the Space Force and what its scope would be.

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“Wow, Space Force. It's the plane of today,” she replied, in an apparent reference to a question at a previous briefing about the Air Force One paint job.

“It is an interesting question,” she continued. “I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I'm not sure who that is. I will find out and see if they have any update on that.”

Republicans quickly latched onto the comments, accusing Psaki of making fun of the military branch.

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“The Space Force was passed with near unanimous support in Congress, the same type of ‘unity’ President Biden is supposedly working towards,” tweeted Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersFive questions about Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan Congress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee who has been one of the service’s top congressional boosters.

“Jen Psaki needs to immediately apologize to the men and women of the Space Force for this disgraceful comment,” added Rogers, who voted against certifying Electoral College votes Jan. 6 after the Capitol attack.

Trump coined the name Space Force and championed creating the service, quashing opposition to it that had existed at the Pentagon and in the Republican-controlled Senate. But the service that eventually became the Space Force has its roots as a bipartisan House proposal in 2017.

Lawmakers in both parties see the Space Force as integral to ensuring the military puts enough focus on space to counter China and Russia. Both countries, for example, have stepped up anti-satellite missile tests in recent years.

But the service has been a punchline for late-night comedians and Twitter jokesters since Trump began talking about it, and it also spawned an eponymous Netflix satire. Some progressive groups have also called for Biden to abolish the service that they see as adding to Pentagon budget bloat despite the fact that most of its budget was taken from existing Air Force funding.