(Tribune News Service) — NBC News reported Monday that President Joe Biden may halt plans to move Space Command to Huntsville, Ala.

Unnamed sources in the report say they believe the White House's potential plan to delay stems from "abortion politics" in Alabama, which recently passed what is considered to be one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

In his final days in office, former President Donald Trump made the decision to move Space Command from Colorado Springs to Alabama, a decision which Colorado Springs officials and members of the state's congressional delegation have worked for more than two years to reverse, or at least to reopen the headquarters location process.

The Gazette previously reported that they argued moving the command would cost more than $1 billion, force many of the command's personnel and civilian employees to move or quit, and would likely delay the command's plan to formally begin operations later this year.

When considering a headquarters location, the military generally considers access to health care, housing, room for growth and quality of life. According to the NBC report, the White House said the Alabama abortion ban was not a factor in its ongoing review of the headquarters location decision.

The Gazette previously reported that two federal inquiries — conducted by the Department of Defense's Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office into the legitimacy of the Trump administration's decision to relocate the base to Alabama — did not recommend the Department of the Air Force to reopen the evaluation process. A third review by the U.S. Air Force is reportedly ongoing.

Despite rumors that a decision is imminent on whether to keep the headquarters in Colorado Springs or move it to Huntsville, no announcement has been made.

"For over two years I've urged the Biden administration to reverse Trump's politically motivated decision and keep Space Command in Colorado. This decision should be made in the interest of the national security of the United States," Sen. Michael Bennet said.

"As I said on the Senate floor last week, reproductive freedom is important for our military readiness and national security, and it should be a factor in where we base Space Command. It's time to finish deliberations and keep Space Command where it belongs, in Colorado."

The Gazette previously reported that an investigation by the Government Accountability Office found "significant shortfalls" in the Air Force selection process, while a Department of Defense Inspector General probe found the process was reasonable and not improperly influenced by politics.

Senior military and political leaders had recommended Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs as "the preferred choice for USSPACECOM's permanent headquarters" due in part to its ability to reach full operational capacity more quickly than any other site under consideration, according to previous reporting by The Gazette.

However, The Gazette reported an environmental review of potential command sites states the Huntsville community will provide a facility that can house the in-process, nascent Space Command headquarters "at no cost during the construction of a permanent headquarters."

(c)2023 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

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