To learn the reason it required President Joe Biden eight days to react to the Chinese spy balloon, Republicans in the House are planning to issue subpoenas to prominent figures of the intelligence community and threaten to block funding unless they receive answers.
GOP lawmakers told the the media, on Tuesday that the Biden administration has been mum regarding the balloon and its response. An unnamed Department of Defense official has told the press that the Trump administration permitted three such balloons to pass over the American continent without a military response. Biden’s reluctance to shoot the balloon down has further raised concerns about the Chinese operation.
Republican Illinois lawmaker Mike Bost expressed alarm that the Chinese spy balloon was only discovered by chance. According to Mike Bost, subpoenas are well within the Republican majority’s power and could be the “stick” needed to compel people to come forward now that they are in the majority. In addition, Bost threatened to withdraw funding if the Biden administration refused to provide answers to congressional inquiries.
Bost suggested that the Biden administration be hit as hard as possible with the purse strings since they don’t seem to realize that the GOP is the overseer and controls the budget.
Bost’s remarks come as Republicans in the House are at odds with the White House over whether or not to increase the United States debt ceiling. California Republican and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has rejected a clean increase in the debt ceiling and asked Vice President Joe Biden to talk with Republicans on cutbacks to domestic discretionary expenditure.
Despite the best efforts of Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), who referred to Republicans as “bed wetters,” the House GOP has made it obvious they aim to keep the balloon issue front and center. The president is about to deliver his second State of the Union address, and the Republican opposition has threatened him.
According to White House talking points obtained by the Free Beacon, Biden plans to steer the conversation away from Sino-U.S. ties to discuss the economy and potential future domestic spending ideas.
Republic of New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis said the Biden administration’s reaction to the Chinese balloon was an attempt to “deflect attention from the situation they’ve created.”
Malliotakis claims an unnamed official released information damaging Trump’s reputation as retaliation for criticism of a lackluster response to Chinese aggression. However, there was a crucial piece of information missing from that disclosure. During the previous administration, it was alleged that the Pentagon failed to take down several Chinese spy balloons.
It is unclear what Biden’s initial reaction was when he learned that a Chinese spy balloon had flown over American soil. Rumors were circulating that Biden had ordered it shot down immediately but that Pentagon authorities ultimately overrode the decision.
The GOP is interested in learning the Pentagon’s procedures for handling potential Chinese spy missions. Rep. Lisa McClain (R., Mich.) criticized Vice President Joe Biden for waiting eight days before sending troops.