The General Assembly on Friday unanimously passed a memorial to be sent to President-elect Joe Biden and others, asking him to reverse the Trump administration decision to take the U.S. Space Command out of Colorado Springs, two days after the administration announced it would go against a decision by the Air Force and move the post to Huntsville, Alabama.
Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs is already the acting provisional Space Command Base and will remain so until 2023, according to Senate Joint Memorial 21-001, which was sponsored by Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, and Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs. Colorado is also the center for U.S. military space operations and strategy, the memorial noted.
"Moving the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) to Huntsville, Alabama, will be incredibly disruptive to the National Defense Strategy. In addition, it will cause a major upheaval in existing infrastructure and jobs in the state, which will result in higher costs and less efficient outcomes for the United States military," the memorial said.
The state Senate memorial implored the Biden-Harris administration to overturn the decision.
"We strongly urge the Department of Defense and the incoming Biden-Harris administration to reevaluate the merits of this irresponsible decision and should rightly conclude that it is the correct decision to keep the existing United States Space Command in Colorado" and to permanent base USSPACECOM in Colorado, "recognizing that Colorado provides the existing command structure, base infrastructure, and communications platforms necessary to successfully host additional national security initiatives and ensure coordination of efforts without committing additional funds."
Gardner told the Senate that he was bitterly disappointed to learn another location had been chosen for the permanent home. "The recommendation from the Department of Defense was that Colorado be that home, that it was without question, and based on national security ... and best for the country.
"This is among the most important messages we will send this session," Gardner said. Hinting that there will be times when lawmakers may disagree, "we are united in this endeavor for the good of our country and the good of Colorado."
Colorado was a home run for all of the criteria required, added Sen. Paul Lundeen, R-Monument.
"This has been a divisive year, a frustrating election for some, rewarding for others. We had a special session in which we showed great cooperation" and the legislators worked together in the last three days, said Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, R-Parker.
And while letters send to Washington are sometimes "letters to Santa Claus," attributed to former Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, "not this time," Holbert added. "This is for us in Colorado to prove we can work together."
In the House, the memorial was sponsored by Colorado Springs lawmakers Reps. Terri Carver (R) and Marc Snyder (D).
The decision was made without any real explanation at all, Snyder told the House.
"This whole effort has been Team Colorado," added Carver. Everyone worked tirelessly, from the governor's office to the elected officials in Colorado Springs, she added. "We hope that decision will be reconsidered in the near future and decided on the merits.
In addition to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, the memorial will be sent to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, Colorado’s Congressional delegation, and top military officials.