Newsmax: Sen. Tester to Lead Senate Inquiry Into Foreign Balloons In US Airspace
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., will spearhead a Senate panel investigation into the Biden administration’s slow response to the suspected Chinese spy balloons that entered American airspace in previous weeks.
Tester, as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, will also investigate claims of spy balloons occupying U.S. airspace during previous presidential administrations.
The Montana Democrat said President Joe Biden should have taken out the first reported spy balloon before it passed over various military installations within the United States, including the intercontinental ballistic missile silos in his home state, The Hill reports.
“We still have questions about why they didn’t discover these balloons sooner,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday. “… Sen. Tester is going to lead our caucus in investigating this.”
Schumer said his fellow Democrats want answers to why three balloons entered U.S. airspace unchecked during the Trump administration, and why the objects remained undetected for years.
“The question that looms and we asked them in the room is, ‘What happened three years ago, when we saw that there were these objects flying over parts of America?'” wondered the New York senator.
“We want to find out why it took until now,” said Schumer. “Now, they’re upgrading their radars, they’re upgrading everything.”
Last week, North American Aerospace Defense Command Commander Glen VanHerck told reporters that previous spy balloons — which entered U.S. airspace during the Trump administration — flew undetected.
Per a report by The New York Times, the balloons were detected in an analysis of data acquired by a Pentagon task force researching aerial phenomena.
Tester told The Hill he was not satisfied with the Biden administration’s handling of the balloon situation over the Carolina coast, and that U.S. fighters should have intercepted the balloon when it had reached Alaska.