McCarthy pushes for pan-congressional briefing on Chinese spy balloons

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has asked all members of Congress for a “full account” of the Chinese balloons that traveled across the country last week to monitor US military bases. La.) he revealed on Feb.

A Chinese surveillance balloon flew across the United States for about a week before being shot down by a military fighter jet on Saturday. The balloon sparked bipartisan furor in Washington over the growing threat from China.

At a press conference on Tuesday, House Majority Leader Scalis called the incident a “national security threat” and a “test” from Beijing to America.

“Chairman McCarthy has requested a full briefing of all members of Congress to find out what is really going on, so we are gathering more facts through that process,” he told reporters. told to

House lawmakers have worked to roll out a bipartisan resolution aimed at blaming China for the balloon invasion. Scalise said the action will involve members of four different committees and has yet to finalize the wording.

House Republicans Hold Press Conference at RNC Headquarters in DC
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) speaks during a news conference at RNC headquarters in Capitol Hill, Washington, January 25, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

McCarthy said on February 2 that shortly after the Pentagon announced that it was tracking the trajectory of the spy balloon, the “Gang of Eight,” Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, attacked the balloon. requested a confidential briefing on

A Gang of Eight briefing is reportedly scheduled for Wednesday. He said he planned to hold a confidential briefing on the matter. .

McCarthy told reporters on Monday he wanted to know why the administration hadn’t taken down the balloons earlier and what past balloon sightings were. He argued that the Pentagon’s reasoning that it delayed the balloon’s descent for a while didn’t make sense.

“You could do it over Alaska just fine. You could have done it in northern Idaho. You could have done it in Montana. Those aren’t populated areas that gave you a lot of opportunities.” he said.

White House officials, including National Security Council coordinator John Kirby, emphasized that they blocked the balloon’s ability to gather intelligence as it traveled across the country, but Scalis, like McCarthy, said he said he was not satisfied with this.

“president [Joe] Biden tried to call success that they shot it down over the ocean. The problem was that the ocean they shot down was the wrong one, it should have been the Pacific Ocean.

Since the balloon was discovered on Jan. 28, “there have been numerous opportunities to shoot down the balloon over the Pacific before actually carrying out the mission,” Scalise added.

“It passed many military bases. This was not a random route through the United States.”

He said data could have been sent to China during the flight because Chinese authorities controlled the balloon’s orientation.