Tester’s Bipartisan Amendment to Must-Pass Defense Bill Demanding Assessment of Chinese Spy Balloon Tech Clears Major Hurdle

Senator’s provision to prevent American technology from being used in foreign espionage programs officially included in Senate NDAA package

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, who is leading the Senate’s bipartisan investigation into the Chinese spy balloon that was first spotted over Montana in February, today announced he successfully secured the inclusion of his bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual must-pass defense bill, to assess commercially available technology that can and is being used in foreign espionage programs.

“My top priority will always be defending Montana and our national security – full stop. That’s why I’m leading the Senate’s investigation into the Chinese spy balloon to make sure this kind of brazen incursion of our airspace never happens again,” said Tester. “My bipartisan amendment demanding an investigation into how China uses American technology in foreign espionage programs is a crucial step toward getting Montanans the answers they deserve and keeping our country safe.”  

Last week, Tester called on the Biden Administration to immediately investigate how the spy balloon used American-made technology, writing: “The fact that the Chinese Communist Party was able to use our technology in their spy program is extremely troubling and must be immediately analyzed.  This is a clear demonstration that our current defense and technology export controls may not be adequately preventing or dissuading adversaries from using our own technology against us. I expect this Administration, and the individual departments you oversee, to take whatever necessary action is required to bolster our export controls so that this doesn’t happen again.”

As Chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Tester continues to lead oversight efforts around the Chinese spy balloon, including boosting the military’s budget to ensure the Pentagon has the tools it needs to better prevent these evolving threats. This spring, Tester brought Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and top Air Force leadership to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing to meet directly with servicemembers and receive updates on Malmstrom’s response to the Chinese spy balloon.

See Tester’s bipartisan amendment HERE.