Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS
During continued debate about other spending bills, some Democrats have proposed slashing the budget by defunding the U.S. Space Force. The No Militarization of Space Act was introduced on Sept. 22, led by Representative Jared Huffman (D-Cal.).
In the press release announcing the bill’s introduction, Hoffman stated that space has been a neutral and non-militarized area of exploration. Hoffman accused the Space Force of having “threatened longstanding peace and flagrantly wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.”
He also wrote, “It’s time we turn our attention back to where it belongs: addressing urgent domestic and international priorities like battling COVID-19, climate change, and growing economic inequality. Our mission must be to support the American people, not spend billions on the militarization of space.”
Huffman’s bill was co-signed by fellow Democrats Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Marc Pocan (Wisc.), and Chuy Garcia (Ill.), who have been critical of defense spending in the past and of the space force in general.
The USSF asked earlier this year for a 2022 budget of $17.4B, a $2B increase from the current budget. Most of this increase is supposed to cover asset transference from other military branches, like the Army’s Defense Wideband Enterprise SATCOM System. They also hope to add an additional 1,966 active duty members to make a total of 8,400 guardians.
The No Militarization of Space Act is not likely to gain traction in either the House or the Senate. The USSF began with bipartisan support in 2019 under Trump’s administration to address growing concerns about space militarization as a crucial element in future warfare.
Last year, the U.S. and United Kingdom accused Russia of testing a space military weapon designed to kill satellites. A satellite-killing weapon, if successfully used, could cripple military coordination and response times.
There are also growing concerns that China is planning to build stealth satellites to aid in its use of ballistic missiles against potential enemies, including the U.S.