On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) slammed President Biden for how long his administration took to shoot down the Chinese spy balloon that was flying over the United States.
McConnell’s comments came a day after the U.S. military shot down the Chinese spy balloon a week after it was first detected and after it had already traveled thousands of miles across the United States. The Biden administration has defended the delay by claiming they wanted to wait until it was no longer over land to protect Americans from falling debris – even though the balloon was first detected by U.S. officials when it was over water near islands in Alaska.
“As usual when it comes to national defense and foreign policy, the Biden Administration reacted at first too indecisively and then too late,” McConnell said. “We should not have let the People’s Republic of China make a mockery of our airspace. It defies belief to suggest there was nowhere between the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the coast of Carolina where this balloon could have been shot down right away without endangering Americans or Canadians. This was a reminder of the PRC’s brazenness and President Biden missed the opportunity to defend our sovereignty, send a message of strength, and bolster deterrence.”
McConnell that pointed to recent reports about other Chinese spy balloons flying over different parts of the Americas, and said that Biden needs to work with the leaders of those countries to fight the threat of “brazen Chinese espionage.”
“I hope the President’s belated decision to finally do the right thing carries over into his soon-to-be-released annual budget request,” McConnell added. “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.”