Senator Mitch McConnell tore into President Joe Biden in a statement on Sunday because of the way that he handled the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the United States for several days last week.
The senator’s statement came after the U.S. military used an F-22 Raptor on Saturday to shoot down the spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. It used a single air-to-air A9X sidewinder missile that was fired at an altitude of about 60,000 feet.
“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 also noted reports that have surfaced about Chinese spy balloons that have operated in other parts of the Americas. He said that the president should be working with allies and partners to combat 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 continued. “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.”