U.S. Space Command won’t be switching from Colorado to Alabama just yet after a House panel voted Thursday to stall the transfer.
The House Armed Services Committee, in advancing the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, included an amendment that prohibits the move until the Pentagon's inspector general and Government Accountability Office finish their investigations into the matter.
No funds authorized or made available for the Defense Department “may be obligated or expended to construct, plan, or design a new headquarters building for U.S. Space Command until the Inspector General of the Department of Defense and the Comptroller General of the United State complete site selection reviews for such building,” the amendment states.
The provision authored by Rep. Doug LambornDouglas (Doug) LambornDefense & National Security — The mental scars of Afghanistan House committee votes to temporarily postpone Space Command relocation Democrats defeat GOP effort to declare 'lost confidence' in Biden after Afghanistan withdrawal MORE (R-Colo.) was adopted early Thursday morning as part of a block of amendments.
The House Armed Services Committee approved the $778 billion legislation in a 57-2 vote just after 2:30 a.m.
“Great news for Colorado Springs!” Lamborn tweeted after the vote. “We must ensure this decision was free of any political influence.”
The vote follows months of lawmakers needling the White House and Pentagon to review the Trump administration’s decision to move Space Command’s permanent headquarters from Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs to the Army's Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.
The Air Force on Jan. 13, just days before former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE was set to leave office, announced the switch, outraging Colorado lawmakers who claimed the decision was politically motivated.
The Air Force has maintained the move was done after careful deliberation, but Trump last month contradicted the service when he said he alone chose to move the command.
“I single-handedly said, ‘let's go to Alabama,’” Trump said on an Alabama-based radio show.
Since the start of the year, Colorado’s entire congressional delegation, as well as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Advocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight MORE (D-Va.) and House Armed Services Committee members, have asked for the decision to be scrutinized.
Peterson Air Force Base, which hosted Space Command’s predecessor, Air Force Space Command, is the provisional headquarters of the command until 2026. The Pentagon has not yet moved to transfer it to Alabama.