Congress Focuses on National Security Following Balloon Incidents
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the past week, the U.S. has shot down a total of four objects hovering above our sky. The activity up in our air has stirred tensions with China and questioned our safety. At the Capitol this week, national security is a top focus.
"That is a T-kill. The balloon is completely destroyed."
That’s the audio from fighter jets after taking down the Chinese spy balloon that hovered over US mainland more than a week ago. The White House said divers were able to recover a significant amount of debris from that balloon.
Congressional members have had classified briefings on this. Senators on both sides of the aisle feeling more at ease but members are still critical of the Biden administration’s lack of transparency on this.
“I think what not only Michiganders need right now, but also all the American people, their concern that the White House has not really stepped up and had a press conference and really had the president come out and say, folks, you know, here's what happened, here's how we dealt with it, here's how we're going to deal with the future,” said Rep. Jack Bergman (R- MI).
Bergman said the Department of Defense immediately contacted him about the balloon over Lake Huron this past weekend. Bergman said crews are working fast to recover the debris. The White House stated they believe the other three balloons shot down, including the one over Lake Huron, might be benign balloons, posing no threat to the US.
At the Capitol, Senators are laser focused on national security.
“China has been projecting power in many ways for a long time,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- NY). “The last ten or 15 years, they're doubling of their military budget, their investment in Belt and Road initiative to create bases, create opportunities worldwide to project their power. Russia has been projecting its power through an invasion of Ukraine.”
International relations experts said the US needs to focus on countering China.
“The Secretary of State, the President and all leaders have to show strength, but also show that they're willing to dialog with other countries,” said Rep. Bergman.