Collins and Tester: “It is clear more needs to be done to address these situations”
Washington, D.C. — Continuing their oversight efforts around the Chinese spy balloon, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jon Tester (D-MT), the leaders of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to President Biden urging the administration to take decisive action to prevent future violations of U.S. airspace.
“We remain deeply concerned by these violations of United States sovereignty, and it is clear more needs to be done to address these situations,” Senators Tester and Collins wrote. “As the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, we are encouraged to hear that you will include in your upcoming Fiscal Year 2024 budget request the resources and plans necessary to respond to these types of provocations.”
The Senators continued, “As we made clear during this committee session, our country needs to take decisive action to curb a future spy balloon from traveling through American air space. While questions remain regarding that highly publicized event, the Administration needs to strengthen our capabilities in this space. There is no duty more important than keeping the United States safe and defending our national security. We will work with, and hold accountable, anyone to meet that responsibility.”
As Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Senators Tester and Collins continue to lead oversight efforts around the Chinese spy balloon and are committed to securing a budget that will ensure the Department of Defense has the tools it needs to better prevent these evolving threats.
Earlier this month, they introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning the Chinese spy balloon that was first publicly reported in U.S. airspace above Billings, Montana.
Additionally, the Senators led the first public briefing with Administration officials on the Chinese spy balloon, demanding answers from Biden Administration officials on the actions that were taken and on what the plan is for addressing future unidentified objects that enter U.S. airspace.
Officials who appeared before the committee included The Honorable Melissa Dalton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs; Mr. Jedidiah Royal, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs; Vice Admiral Sara Joyner, Director of Force Structure, Resources and Assessments, Joint Staff (J8); and Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, Vice Director for Operations, Joint Staff (J3).
You can read the full letter HERE.