Waltz Introduces First Bill to Establish U.S. Space Command, Strengthening Effort to Locate HQ in Florida
March 14, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Today at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Air Force budget, Representative Michael Waltz (FL-R) announced new legislation directing President Donald Trump and the Department of Defense to establish the United States Space Command as a unified combatant command and repeal a conflicting directive in law for a subordinate command.
Last month, Waltz led a bipartisan request urging the Department of Defense to locate U.S. Space Command headquarters in Florida. As a result of these ongoing discussions with the Department of Defense, it became apparent Walt’z legislation, H.R. 1746, would be necessary to clarify previous legislative language and support the Administration with establishing a U.S. Space Command. This is an instrumental step in the ultimate formation of the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.
“The 21st Century space race is on, and this is not only a jobs issue for Florida, but also a national security issue for America,” Waltz said upon introduction. “I’m thankful President Trump has been working to ensure America’s leadership and ability to compete in space, and I’m proud to introduce legislation the Department of Defense needs to establish a United States Space Command and hopefully locate its headquarters in Florida.”
A PDF of the legislation is available here. Watch Waltz’s exchange at the House Armed Services Committee here.
On December 18, 2018, the President issued an Executive Memo to establish a United States Space Command as a unified combatant command. This directive from the President was issued on advice from then Secretary Mattis and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and with the unanimous support of the Joint Chiefs. Waltz’s bill emphasizes Congressional support for the proposal that holds significant national security implications.
On January 8th, Secretary of Defense sent a letter to Congress detailing the importance of the legislation Waltz has introduced and requesting prompt action. Last month, the Pentagon submitted its legislative proposal to Congress for establishment of the Space Force, which Waltz’s bill compliments and positions for consideration.