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Exclusive — House Science Committee Chair: ‘We Need to Be Ready for Attacks in Space’

Washington, D.C.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, says America needs “to be ready for attacks in space,” including satellite warfare, in an interview with Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor Amanda House.

During a multi-topic interview, Smith explained that the creation of a U.S. Space Force is “an acknowledgment that if we ever have to conduct warfare, you might call it, in space, we need an entirely different approach.”

“It may be satellite warfare, or it may be some other type of warfare, but it’s different from what we’ve encountered in the past, and the Air Force now configured is not necessarily ready for conflict in the heavens, in space,” he continued. “Whether we call it a Space Force, or a new component of the Air Force, we need to be ready for attacks in space as well as closer to the Earth, in the air, or on the land.”

(The Space Force conversation begins above at 05:58)

Asked about the role private individuals like SpaceX CEO Elon Musk may play in the U.S.’s new program — especially given SpaceX’s recent decision to increase prices, forcing NASA to pay more for their current contracts — Smith said he was not particularly concerned about the threat of a monopoly:

You might argue that SpaceX has a monopoly. I don’t quite see it that way. I think there is more competition. SpaceX is still providing provisions to the international space station. They are still sending rockets up at less cost than NASA has in the past or than the Russians do. So they are still less than the alternative, but we shouldn’t let any company have a corner of the market and there is enough commercial interest in space these days that I think you will have competition and I don’t think any company is going to be allowed to artificially increase prices.

One concern Smith does have, however, is the impact of Democratic obstruction.

“When it comes to a Space Force, Democrats have a history often times of being anti-defense, anti-military and we’re seeing that manifested again with their opposition to the Space Force,” he said. “Let’s not just automatically reject any idea that comes from the president or the military. Let’s investigate it. Let’s see where it goes. Let’s see if it has practical application.”

“The Democrats just automatically reject — whether it’s a space force, whether its anything the president might propose, whether it’s a new Supreme Court justice… Their first reaction is ‘no, never’ and I think the American people are going to react not well to Democrats who say ‘no’ and keep denying us progress in this country,” Smith concluded.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.

Amanda House is Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse and Instagram

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