Although House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has focused on various domestic issues since the GOP secured control over the House of Representatives earlier this year, the recent news of a Chinese spy balloon soaring over the U.S. has turned his attention toward international matters.
During a recent Fox News Channel interview, he denounced the Biden administration’s decision not to shoot down the object.
In a statement on Friday, the White House asserted that Biden relied on the “strong recommendation” of military leaders “not to take kinetic action at this time because of risk to safety and security of the people on the ground.”
Although the administration vowed that it would keep “all options on the table” and a subsequent update indicated that the U.S. would attempt to bring down the balloon when it moves over the Atlantic Ocean, Comer and others were not satisfied with the delayed response.
“Well, I have concerns this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale,” he told host Harris Faulkner, citing the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in 2021 as part of that pattern.
“And now we have China clearly playing games with the United States,” Comer added. “This balloon never should have been allowed to cross … past the Pacific Coast into the continental United States. Never should have happened.”
As for the potential ramifications of China’s mission, he noted that the U.S. government does not seem to know what capabilities the balloon even has.
“Is that bioweapons, weapons in that balloon?” he asked. “Did that balloon take off from Wuhan? We don’t know anything about that balloon. But the fact that this balloon was slowly making its way to the United States for several days and this administration never alerted anyone about the possibility of this balloon coming up, I think it is very concerning.”
Comer described the entire situation as a failure on the part of the Biden administration, expressing outrage that “they didn’t shoot it out of the air before it even reached the continental United States.”
A number of other prominent Republican officials have similarly denounced the inaction of the Biden administration.
Contrasting Biden’s response to that of the Trump administration, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “When we realized the [Chinese Communist Party] was spying on Americans from their Consulate in Houston, we shut it down.”