Currently, the Huntsville area is a leading contender to be the future home of the U.S. Space Command. However, rogue actions by Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, are jeopardizing those prospects, according to well-placed Washington D.C. insiders.
“He is so dim he could bring down the whole Space Command deal without even knowing it,” said one Hill source.
The U.S. Space Command is expected to create some 1,400 jobs with more than $1 billion flowing into the Tennessee Valley Region annually.
Sources who spoke with APR on conditions of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations say Tuberville’s move to join U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks to disrupt the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 is a cause for great concern on Capitol Hill and would more than likely doom Huntsville’s chances of becoming headquarters for the Space Command.
Losing the Space Command headquarters would be a enormous economic failure for Alabama as well as Tennessee. Because of Central Tennessee’s proximity to Huntsville, it would also experience an economic boost from the command headquarters.
“The Tennessee delegation, both House and Senate, has been very supportive of Huntsville’s push to become the space command’s home, but these shenanigans could see their support rapidly evaporate,” said another insider. “Tuberville and Brooks are quickly becoming a remake of Dumb and Dumber,” the insider quipped.
Without evidence, Brooks has continued to claim that widespread voter fraud led to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in November’s general election. Since then, Tuberville has suggested he would support Brooks’s challenge, which would turn a procedural vote into a partisan spectacle.
If any senator signs onto an objection by a House member to challenge a state’s electoral vote, the joint session would immediately be suspended, forcing both chambers to separately debate the objection and then vote on the matter. This would place Republicans in a precarious situation given Presidnet Donald Trump’s propensity for punishing those he sees as insufficiently loyal.
In recent days, Trump met with Tuberville and praised the senator-elect, who he seems to believe will challenge the electoral vote count that would formally affirm Biden’s victory.
Despite Trump’s many admirers in Alabama, the Electoral College certification process will not overturn the presidential election results. The results have been affirmed by election officials in the hard-fought battleground states, the courts, the Electoral College and soon the Congress. But Tuberville and Brooks can do irreparable harm to the Democratic process by trying to subvert the will of millions of voters — and the move could cost North Alabama billions, according to congressional sources.
For those who have invested time and money to make the U.S. Space Command’s presence in Alabama a reality, it’s no laughing matter.
Gov. Kay Ivey recently had a highly productive talk with Pentagon officials looking to announce the Space Command’s new location in early 2021. On Dec. 22, Ivey took to Twitter to announce her conversation with Pentagon officials: “I just wrapped up a great call with Pentagon officials. I was proud to pitch why AL should be home to Space Command HQ. I would love to give a warm ‘Alabama’ welcome to @US_SpaceCom HQ in the near future, if they choose the Rocket City! @huntsvillecity @TeamRedstone #alpolitics”
I just wrapped up a great call with Pentagon officials. I was proud to pitch why AL should be home to Space Command HQ. I would love to give a warm “Alabama” welcome to @US_SpaceCom HQ in the near future, if they choose the Rocket City! @huntsvillecity @TeamRedstone #alpolitics pic.twitter.com/mzfvf67vk9
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) December 22, 2020
“This has nothing to do with presidential elections,” said a Hill insider. “This is about the future of North Alabama and much of Central Tennessee.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during a private caucus call with Republican senators on Dec. 15, warned them not to object to the election results on Jan. 6, according to Politico, and said doing so would force Republicans to vote the measure down, thus appearing to be against Trump.
D.C. aides are questioning whether Tuberville will defy McConnell and damage Huntsville’s future in a futile attempt to show fealty to the outgoing president. Tuberville’s campaign would not clarify the senator-elect’s position when previously contacted by APR.