More than a dozen Republican Senators are demanding President Biden finally give an answer for why he allowed a Chinese spy balloon to float across the continental U.S. earlier this year.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, R-FL, Senate Committee on Armed Services Ranking Member Roger Wicker, R-MS, said in a new letter that Biden has yet to give a public accounting of the ‘flagrant violation of U.S. sovereignty.’
In the letter, the senators expressed their frustration with Biden, his alleged failure to confront China’s continued threats to America’s security, and are demanding his administration’s assessment of the spy balloon.
The Republicans have written other letters to the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence and the White House.
Previous letters were sent to the White House in both March and February.
‘While four months have passed since a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to fly across the United States, your administration has yet to provide the American people a full accounting of how this spy platform was allowed to traverse across sovereign U.S. territory, what the balloon carried, and what it collected during its mission,’ the lawmakers said.
They continued: ‘Your administration has also not taken appropriate steps to hold the PRC accountable for this flagrant violation of U.S. sovereignty. As such, we urge you to immediately direct all relevant administration officials to release information, as appropriate, to the American public regarding the Chinese spy balloon.’
Lawmakers have described the use of the balloon as deliberate espionage by the Chinese Communist Party as it was carrying surveillance equipment.
It was allowed to float from Alaska and across the country before it was ultimately shot down off the coast of South Carolina.
The People’s Republic of China, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, has only increased its brazen threats to our national security.
They were joined in signing the letter by fellow Republican Sens. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Jim Risch of Idaho, Susan Collins of Maine, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, John Cornyn of Texas, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Michael Rounds of South Dakota, and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Eric Schmitt of Missouri, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, and Dan Sullivan of Alaska.
Read the full text of the letter below:
Dear Mr. President:
We write to express our deep concern with the lack of transparency from your administration over the information it has collected regarding the surveillance platform that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) deployed over our country.
In your State of the Union address this year, you promised the American people that you would protect the United States from the PRC’s threats to our sovereignty. While four months have passed since a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to fly across the United States, your administration has yet to provide the American people a full accounting of how this spy platform was allowed to traverse across sovereign U.S. territory, what the balloon carried, and what it collected during its mission. Your administration has also not taken appropriate steps to hold the PRC accountable for this flagrant violation of U.S. sovereignty. As such, we urge you to immediately direct all relevant administration officials to release information, as appropriate, to the American public regarding the Chinese spy balloon.
The People’s Republic of China, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, has only increased its brazen threats to our national security. In addition to deploying a spy platform into U.S. territory, the PRC has conducted dangerous maneuvers against U.S. aircrafts in the South China Sea and U.S. ships navigating international waters, and continues to support Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, harass American companies operating in China, commit egregious human rights violations, all while threatening a free and democratic Taiwan.
We note with grave concern how, in a recent report in The New York Times, officials in your administration acknowledged that a May 2023 PRC malware attack against Guam was ‘part of a vast Chinese intelligence collection effort that spans cyberspace, outer space and, as Americans discovered with the balloon incident, the lower atmosphere.’ It is time that your administration fully exposes Beijing’s efforts to collect intelligence against the United States and the threats posed by such activities.
As such, we urge you to release, to the American people, all appropriate information that the United States has collected regarding the Chinese spy balloon. In particular, we note that the Financial Times reported last April that ‘China is refusing to let U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visit Beijing over concerns that the FBI will release the results of an investigation into the downed suspected Chinese spy balloon.’ We therefore call on you to stand up to Beijing’s efforts to coerce the United States into silence on the PRC’s violation of U.S. sovereignty and to release the FBI’s findings on the PRC’s spy balloon immediately.
Furthermore, we encourage you to review all options to firmly respond to, and deter, the PRC’s significant violations that threaten American national security and interests. Beijing continues to test U.S. resolve and tarnish U.S. credibility—we must respond with strength, or risk further aggression from America’s adversaries.
Fox News Digital reached out to both Rubio and Wicker for additional comment but a response was not immediately received.
Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report.