Members of Alabama’s Republican congressional delegation have criticized the Biden Administration over its handling of the Chinese spy balloon situation.
A F-22 fighter jet shot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina Saturday after it had flown over the continental U.S. for several days.
President Joe Biden said he gave the go-ahead Wednesday for the military to shoot it down, but said the Pentagon waited until it was over the Atlantic Ocean due to safety concerns.
Before the balloon was shot down, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) said this was “a national security failure by President Biden.”
Why is the spy balloon from the Chinese Communist Party being allowed to continue moving across our country? This is a national security failure by President Biden. The balloon needs to be removed from our airspace immediately. https://t.co/peUPf48uQD
— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) February 3, 2023
After the balloon was shot down, other members of the delegation blasted Biden for not taking action sooner.
“Allowing this spy balloon to fly over the U.S. for days before taking action to stop it is just another example of President Biden’s weak leadership,” said U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile).
Allowing this spy balloon to fly over the U.S. for days before taking action to stop it is just another example of President Biden’s weak leadership. I look forward to getting answers and demanding accountability!https://t.co/5lK0h7d014
— Rep. Jerry Carl (@RepJerryCarl) February 5, 2023
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, praised the military over the takedown of the balloon, but said Biden still showed weakness against China.
China challenged Biden, and Biden failed. https://t.co/08DI555f7p
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) February 5, 2023
“I applaud our servicemembers for completing a successful mission to neutralize a spy balloon sent by the Chinese Communist Party,” Rogers said in a press release. “I remain deeply concerned by the Biden administration’s decision to allow the spy balloon to traverse the United States. The Biden administration reportedly learned of the CCP spy balloon on January 28th – nearly a week before residents in Montana spotted the balloon loitering over their state.
“It’s clear the Biden administration had hoped to hide this national security failure from Congress and the American people.”
Rogers emphasized the need to get more answers from the Biden administration on the issue.
“Now, the White House must provide answers about why they decided to allow a CCP spy balloon to cross the United States and what damage to our national security occurred from this decision,” he said. “The United States must project strength to deter China – this failure is another example of weakness by the Biden administration.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) agrees with Rogers that more questions need to be answered about this incident.
“I’m glad the United States military has shot down this balloon,” Aderholt said. “But there are more questions that need to be answered. Like why was this not detected over the Pacific and shot down there?”
I’m glad the United States military has shot down this balloon. But there are more questions that need to be answered. Like why was this not detected over the Pacific and shot down there? And we must make sure the Chinese stop violating our sovereignty and airspace. https://t.co/bVH8Z5Dfec
— Robert Aderholt (@Robert_Aderholt) February 4, 2023
U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) said he thinks this move by China is “unacceptable.”
“Top DOD officials have debunked the CCP’s claim that their object in U.S. airspace is a ‘civilian airship’ – it’s a spy balloon,” Strong said. “This blatant provocation is unacceptable.”
?THREAD: Top DOD officials have debunked the CCP’s claim that their object in U.S. airspace is a “civilian airship” – it’s a spy balloon. This blatant provocation is unacceptable.⁰⁰https://t.co/1WKlfp8gJj
— Dale W. Strong (@RepDaleStrong) February 3, 2023
U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) also weighed in on Twitter, taking the opportunity to dig at the President over the scandals surrounding his son Hunter.
How long before we discover that Hunter invested in a helium company? #spyballoon
— Rep. Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) February 6, 2023