The Pentagon’s Space Force plan was met with a tepid response by the House Appropriations Committee. The latest draft of the 2020 budget gives the military $15 million to study how to stand up the branch, but no money to create it. Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at CSIS, says that the effort is far from over.
“The House appropriators certainly didn’t embrace the idea, but they didn’t actually say no either. What they could’ve done was say, ‘No money in this appropriations bill can be used for the purposes of establishing a Space Force.’ They did not put that in the bill,” Harrison said. “The $15 million they created, they put it in a new appropriations account called ‘Operations Maintenance: Space Force’ They imply and they leave the door open that this could happen, but ultimately they cannot authorize a Space Force. What the Senate Armed Services Committee did… they did create a pathway towards creating a separate service. They put some guardrails on it, it was not what the DoD proposed, but there’s no way that Congress would’ve given them the wide latitude that they wanted.”