Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a statement, blasted president Joe Biden over his decision to allow a Chinese spy balloon to fly over the continental U.S. for several days before shooting it down.
McConnell criticized the Biden administration for reacting to the balloon indecisively while adding that shooting it down at the time it did was “too late.” McConnell also shredded the administration’s safety claim, noting that it was improbable that there was nowhere between the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the coast of Carolina where the military could have shot down the balloon without endangering Americans or Canadians.
“We should not have let the People’s Republic of China make a mockery of our airspace,” McConnell wrote in his statement. “Whether it’s spy balloons or spy satellites, hypersonic weapons or stealth aircraft, massive naval construction or nuclear stockpile expansion, China’s military modernization effort is no joke. Last year President Biden proposed an absurd budget that would have cut defense funding after inflation. Let’s hope his budget proposal this year is more decisive, serious, and strong than the embarrassment that just played out in our skies.”
McConnell added that he hoped the Biden administration would assist U.S. allies and partners so they can effectively defend themselves against “brazen Chinese espionage.”
McConnell’s statement comes after Rep. Mike Ezell (R-MS) told Fox News Digital that Biden’s decision to allow the balloon to travel peacefully across the U.S., especially near major military bases, “is a joke.”
Ezell, who sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security, added that the U.S. cannot continue to demonstrate weakness in the face of China’s aggression.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) tweeted that it was puzzling that Biden waited for the balloon to drift across the U.S. for several days before shutting it down.
Even more puzzling. If it was worth shooting down, why was it permitted to drift across the continental US first? And can its mechanisms be recovered and examined?
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) February 4, 2023
“If it was worth shooting down, why was it permitted to drift across the continental U.S. first?” Bishop wrote.
Joe Biden was tested on the world stage and abysmally failed.
The Chinese spy balloon should never have been allowed to cross into our sovereign nation gathering intelligence.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) February 4, 2023
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) also echoed McConnell’s sentiments in a tweet stating that the balloon should never have been allied cross into the U.S. Stefanik added that the balloon presented a test on the world stage for Biden and the president failed “abysmally.”