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House Unanimously Votes to Condemn China Over Spy Balloon

Screenshot via KSVI-TV

On Thursday morning, the House unanimously voted 419-0 in favor of a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their spy ballon, which it says is "a brazen violation of United States sovereignty." 


That the House would come together to unanimously support a measure is something of a rarity these days, but it's no less crucial. The partisan divides when it comes to how the Biden administration so sloppily handled the balloon likely still exist though, but that wasn't exactly what Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who serves as the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman and who sponsored the resolution was going for. 

As The Hill's Mychael Schnell mentioned in covering McCaul discussing the resolution:

Despite the criticism, McCaul this week said he wanted the resolution to be a bipartisan effort rather than a partisan measure that knocked the Biden administration.

“It’s too important of an issue,” McCaul told reporters on Monday. “We want to stand strong together against China instead of having our internal fights.”

The resolution, however, still asks plenty from the Biden administration. An lengthy section "calls on the Biden administration to continue to keep Congress apprised by providing comprehensive briefings on this incident," which include:

(A) a complete amount of all infiltrations of the national airspace by the [People's Republic of China] over the past several years, regardless of platform;

(B) a complete account of similar past incidents of the PRC's use of surveillance balloons around the world;

(C) a complete timeline of events for the most recent infiltration from first detection to the eventual shootdown of the balloon; 

(D) an assessment of what surveillance data the PRC was potentially able to collect or transmit, via the balloon while it was over United States territory;

(E) a detailed account of what measures were taken to mitigate the intelligence collection threat poised by the balloon, the costs of those measures, and the impact on the regular operations of the affected installations, platforms, and personnel; 

(F) a description of what options were identified to mitigate the threat, and a description and timing of the recommendation the U.S. military made to the President regarding those response options;

(G) a detailed account of diplomatic communications between the United States and the PRC regarding this incident, including any demarches by Department of State personnel and subsequent responses by the PRC; and

(H) a detailed description of plans, capabilities, and methods to deter and defeat intelligence collection activities conducted by the PRC or other foreign adversaries in the national airspace system and any additional authorities needed from Congress to ensure detection and defeat of these actives in the future. 


Compliance from the administration would be crucial, especially given how little the American people and even evidently members of Congress were told about the balloon, and until it had already been traipsing through the country for days, something President Joe Biden knew about and wanted shot down. 

Not long before he tweeted about the resolution passing unanimously, Fox News' Chad Pergram tweeted that the Senate is receiving a "classified briefing" on the spy balloon. Even Democratic members appear less than thrilled, as is the case with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), 

What briefings and other information they have received do not appear to have satisfied members, though. Stephen Neukam also highlighted earlier on Thursday for The Hill as to how "Senate Republicans demand more information on Chinese balloon from Biden administration," especially when it comes to Sen. Marco Rubio, who as the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Intelligence is entitled to "Gang of 8" briefings, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

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