In a statement issued on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lambasted President Joe Biden for allowing a Chinese surveillance balloon to fly above the United States for several days last week.
McConnell’s comment comes after the US military deployed an F-22 Raptor to shoot down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina on Saturday.
“As usual when it comes to national defense and foreign policy, the Biden Administration reacted at first too indecisively and then too late. 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 said.
McConnell also cited additional reports of Chinese surveillance balloons operating in other regions of the Americas, saying Biden needs to cooperate with friends and partners to confront the danger.
“I hope the President’s belated decision to finally do the right thing carries over into his soon-to-be-released annual budget request. 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.” The Kentucky Senator added.
The 80-year-old McConnell, who is currently serving as Senate Minority Leader, will be up for re-election in 2026.