U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) joined 18 other Senate Republicans in a letter to the White House over the Biden administration’s “lack of transparency” concerning the Chinese spy balloon that the U.S. Air Force shot down off the U.S. coast earlier this year.

On February 4, a U.S. Air Force fighter jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The balloon had already made its way over the continental United States. 

According to Tuberville, Senate Republicans made numerous efforts to obtain a public account of President Joe Biden’s actions before and after the balloon was finally neutralized.

“In your State of the Union address this year, you promised the American people that you would protect the United States from the PRC’s threats to our sovereignty,” read the letter. “While four months have passed since a Chinese surveillance balloon was allowed to fly across the United States, your administration has yet to provide the American people a full accounting of how this spy platform was allowed to traverse across sovereign U.S. territory, what the balloon carried, and what it collected during its mission. Your administration has also not taken appropriate steps to hold the PRC accountable for this flagrant violation of U.S. sovereignty.”

“As such, we urge you to immediately direct all relevant administration officials to release information, as appropriate, to the American public regarding the Chinese spy balloon,” it continued.

In the letter, the senators cited the balloon incident as an example of increasing Chinese hostility toward the United States. 

“The People’s Republic of China, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, has only increased its brazen threats to our national security,” they wrote. “In addition to deploying a spy platform into U.S. territory, the PRC has conducted dangerous maneuvers against U.S. aircrafts in the South China Sea and U.S. ships navigating international waters, and continues to support Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, harass American companies operating in China, commit egregious human rights violations, all while threatening a free and democratic Taiwan.”

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