On Feb. 15, the Senate is expected to receive a classified briefing into the suspected Chinese spy balloon which was shot down on Saturday. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), has added that the briefing will also contain information about the U.S. military and how it currently stands against the Chinese military.
The briefing is open to all 100 senators, and it comes after many lawmakers requested from the Biden administration more information regarding the incident. For the past week, Republicans have been overly critical of President Biden for not ordering for the balloon to be shot down sooner. They also blame him for allowing the balloon to fly over a large part of the United States before eventually being brought down near the coast of South Carolina.
However, Schumer has defended the decision of the administration saying that they acted in a “calculating and effective” manner. He also called out those critics in the GOP saying that they are “breathless, political, and premature.”
Biden told reporters that he had given the order for the balloon to be shot down from his first briefing on the incident on Wednesday. However, military officials were worried about the damage that shooting it down would cause as the debris could endanger people’s lives and properties. This is why they waited to shoot down the balloon until it was over water.
During the briefing with the Senators, more information regarding the Chinese military and infrastructure systems is also expected to be revealed. Schumer has said that while he does not know what this specific briefing will say he expects to hear about the “surveillance capabilities, research, and development, advanced weapons systems, and other critical platforms” that could lead to one of the two countries dominating in a conflict.