Tester, Collins Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Chinese Spy Balloon Passes Senate

Bipartisan coalition of senators unite to rebuke unacceptable provocation

Today the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution led by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chair and Vice Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, condemning the Chinese spy balloon that was first publicly reported in U.S. airspace above Billings, Montana.

“Montanans expect their elected leaders to work across party lines to defend our national security, which is why I’m proud to lead this bipartisan resolution condemning China’s unacceptable provocation in the strongest possible terms,” said Tester. “Any effort by China to interfere with Americans’ freedom and privacy will be met with a united front in the Senate, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure they fail in their effort to replace us as the world’s leading superpower.” 

“China’s deployment of a spy balloon to surveil some of our most sensitive military assets was a brazen act.  The American public should not have had to learn about this incursion by spotting it in the sky,” said Collins. “The fact that the military was able to act so quickly to shoot down several subsequent objects raises very serious questions about why the Administration did not act quickly on the first one.  I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Tester to press for answers.”

Last Thursday, Tester and Collins led the first public briefing 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).

As Chair and Vice Chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester and Collins are committed to securing a budget that will ensure the Department of Defense DOD has the tools it needs to better prevent these evolving threats.

You can read the full resolution HERE.