McConnell: President Biden Owes Americans Answers on Flying Object Takedowns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security:

“There is something unusual going on in our nation’s skies, and President Biden needs to communicate and level with the American people.

“About two weeks ago, the American people learned that a Chinese spy balloon had crossed into our airspace and was taking its time surveilling our homeland. We watched it tour a big chunk of the country before the Administration finally, belatedly took it down.

“Since then, the public has seemingly heard about another new unidentified flying object on a daily basis.

“Yesterday one of our F-16s shot down something they still have not identified near Lake Huron.

“The day before that, in consultation with Canada, an American F-22 shot down something else over the Yukon.

“The day before that, we took out something else over Alaska.

“The Administration has still not been able to divulge any meaningful information about what was shot down. What is going on?

“Has the Biden Administration just dialed the sensitivity of our radars all the way up?

“If so, what are these objects that we are just now noticing for the first time?  Are they benign science projects and wayward weather balloons, or something more nefarious we’ve been missing all along? 

“President Biden owes the American people some answers.

“What are we shooting down and where did they come from?

“Whether they are hostile or not, is there coherent guidance about when to shoot them down?

“If the Administration knew all along about China’s surveillance efforts, why did it not have options to shoot that balloon down before it maneuvered itself across America? Did the right people in the government know about this surveillance threat? Did ODNI and DoD not adequately share intelligence about this growing threat? 

“How did we get into a position where the greatest nation in the world doesn’t know what is traversing our own airspace?  How long has the domain awareness gap that NORTHCOM Commander Gen. VanHerck has identified existed, and what has the Department done about it? 

“The Commander-in-Chief owes the country some answers.”