Top Republicans slam Biden admin's response to China after three balloons downed in a week

House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner said the Biden administration is not briefing Congress in person about sensitive issues such as the balloons.

Published: February 12, 2023 11:43am

Updated: February 12, 2023 3:31pm

Top Republicans on Sunday slammed the Biden administration's response to China after three suspected Chinese spy balloons were shot down within a week. 

"China's a problem, and this administration thus far hasn't set a very good example of standing up to China," Rep. James Comer, House Oversight chair, told ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday. "Shooting the balloon down in the Atlantic once it flew over all the military bases, including my own Fort Campbell, Kentucky, it's very disturbing."

Comer, a Kentucky Republican, said the Biden family's ties to China are alarming as well. "You know, Americans are outraged that China flew a balloon over the United States. Americans are outraged that China is trying to buy farmland. I think Americans would be outraged to know how much money the Biden family has taken in from China. And for what, we don't exactly know. So this is something we're concerned about," he said. 

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that China knows America is weak, which is why it is sending balloons over the country at this time.

"They see, as well as sense weakness in America right now," he said. "President Biden, he's detached from reality. He's delusional. ... The fact that he doesn't acknowledge that what is happening right now is alarming and puts our nation in peril is itself alarming. We don't exactly have the A-team in place right now."

Rep. Mike Turner, House Intelligence Committee chair, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he approves of the Biden administration's downing of two suspicious balloons over the weekend. 

"I would prefer them to be trigger-happy than to be permissive. But we're going to have to see whether or not this is just the administration trying to change headlines. But what I think this shows, which is probably more important to our policy discussion here, is that we really have to declare that we're going to defend our airspace," Turner, an Ohio Republican, said.

He also criticized the Biden administration for not briefing lawmakers in person. 

"This is particularly annoying about this administration. The Biden administration needs to stop briefing Congress through our television sets and actually come and sit down and brief us," he said.

Rep. Michael McCaul, House Foreign Affairs chair, approved of sanctioning Chinese companies that allegedly helped build the initial surveillance balloon shot down last weekend, but he told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that he thinks the administration needs to do more to secure America both on the ground and in the air. 

"We're a great nation. And the fact of the matter is, unfortunately, this administration has chosen not to secure the border. He can't even control and secure our airspace now, it looks like," McCaul, a Texas Republican, said.

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