Daines Slams Biden Defense Department for Inadequate Response to Chinese Spy Balloon Fiasco

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today issued the following statement after receiving an inadequate response from the Biden administration to the letter he sent to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on February 3 when the Chinese spy balloon was first spotted over Billings, Montana. Daines was the first member of Congress to call on the Biden administration for answers after the spy balloon was spotted over Montana and later released a list of questions that still remain unanswered.

“The Pentagon’s response to my questions regarding the Chinese spy balloon fiasco shows the administration is more interested in covering up the truth and hoping it goes away than leveling with the American people, admitting where mistakes were made and working to ensure it never happens again. Like the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan where 13 American lives were lost, this is a slap in the face for Montanans and Americans who watched the balloon float right over their homes and our sensitive military sites. Now that we know the balloon was collecting intelligence, Montanans and the country deserve better, and I hope to see my colleagues, Republican and Democrat, hold this administration accountable.”

Read the full letter from Undersecretary of Defense Colin Kahl HERE.

Earlier this week, Daines issued a statement after NBC’s report indicates that the Chinese spy balloon that traveled over Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana’s ICBMs and the rest of the country was collecting intelligence and sending information back to China despite the Biden administration’s denial that such actions were occurring. 

Last week, Daines introduced a bill to require a gap analysis of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) capabilities that would expose any limitations that have been or have the potential to be exploited by foreign countries that would allow air assets to enter North American airspace undetected. 

Read more about Daines’ efforts to hold the administration accountable for this breach of American airspace and ensure this never happens again HERE.

Contact: Matt LloydRachel DumkeBlake Kernen