GOP Demands 'Immediate Intelligence Briefing' on Chinese Balloon

Rep. Elise Stefanik (Getty Images)
February 3, 2023

House Intelligence Committee member and Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) on Friday demanded "an immediate intelligence briefing" on the Chinese spy balloon floating over Montana.

"The Chinese Communist Party's violation of the United States' airspace and growing military aggression is a threat to our national security," Stefanik wrote in a press release. The congresswoman said she is demanding the briefing "so that we can know exactly how this happened and what malign intentions are behind this spying to ensure we hold China accountable."

Beijing on Friday admitted responsibility for the air balloon, claiming the "airship" was for "meteorological and other scientific research." The Pentagon has allegedly told President Joe Biden not to shoot down the balloon for fear of debris.

Stefanik joins several lawmakers in calling for Biden to take action in light of the balloon. "China's brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent," said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.).

Stefanik struck a similar note, saying Biden must make sure the Chinese Communist Party "does not violate American sovereignty again."