Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) said he only learned about the proposal last week, when it first came before the subcommittee on strategic forces.
“I chastised my staff and said, ‘How could I not know that this was happening?’ They said, ‘Well, they had a meeting about it and you missed it,’” Turner said. “A meeting is certainly not enough. Maybe we do need a space corps, but I think this bears more than just discussions in a subcommittee. We have not had Secretary Mattis come before us and tell us what this means. We have not heard from the secretary of the Air Force. There’s a whole lot of work we need to do before we go as far as creating a new service branch.”
“This is honestly the first time I’ve heard about a major reorganization to our Air Force,” she said Wednesday evening. “This is sort of a shocking way to hear about a very major reorganization to our military, and I think it deserves at least a couple hearings and discussions on the matter at the full committee level.”
But the measure, which would also establish a new U.S. Space Command and make the new chief of the Space Corps the eighth member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has the support of both Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the chairman of the full committee, and its ranking Democrat, Adam Smith (D-Wash.) The bill language was developed by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), the top Republican and Democrat on the strategic forces subcommittee.