Republicans have taken advantage of the Chinese surveillance balloon incident to attack the Biden administration and the Defense Department for their failure at protecting the country. The balloon was flying over the northern U.S. and it has widely considered to be a security risk.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a briefing for the Gang of Eight, the top members of Congress who can receive classified intelligence from the executive branch. In a tweet, McCarthy said that China clearly did not show any consideration for the sovereignty of the U.S. He added that the current situation needed to be addressed and that the President needed to take action.
Former President Trump also took to his Truth Social network to call for the balloon to be shot out of the sky. This is a move that many Republican lawmakers have also been pushing for. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also pointed out that Biden needed to immediately bring down the balloon and that had Trump been in office there would be no way that he would have tolerated this behavior.
The Pentagon on Thursday pointed out that shooting at the balloon might not be the best option because of the security risk of having the debris fall down and damage properties or even injure and kill people.
China has repeatedly denied that they were surveying the country and had instead said that the balloon was part of a civilian research ship with the purpose of studying the weather. However, the weather balloon was somehow taken off its course.
The U.S. military shot down a Chinese balloon suspected of spying near the Carolina coast after it flew over sensitive military sites in North America, with China claiming it was a civilian aircraft and threatening repercussions.