Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene carried a white balloon around Capitol Hill before the State of the Union on Tuesday to express worry over the alleged Chinese spy balloon that was detected over the US and shot down in the Atlantic Ocean last week.
“It’s simply an innocent balloon,” the Georgia Republican captioned a Twitter video.
Greene made inflated assertions in another RSBN video.
“President Biden isn’t afraid of balloons. He allowed China to tour the United States with a Chinese spy balloon, gather intel from our military bases, food industries, cities, and important infrastructure, sends it back to China, before shooting it down on February 4,” she claimed. Greene questioned the Biden administration’s balloon management.
“The president owes the American people an apology, an explanation, and a severe strategy on how he’s going to approach China”. Greene appeared at the State of the Union speech sans the white balloon, despite rumours. CBS News awaits comment from Greene’s representative.
The balloon entered U.S. airspace on Jan. 28 and flew over four military facilities in Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, and Missouri before being shot down on Feb. 4.
Beijing owned the balloon, but China said it was a civilian gadget “used for scientific purposes such as meteorology.”
The Defense Department was “certain” it was a Chinese surveillance balloon, a senior defence official told CBS News.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday afternoon that the president had authorised “to take down the surveillance balloon as soon as the mission could be accomplished without undue risk to American lives under the balloon’s path” on Wednesday. Greene had expressed concern that Biden did not act quickly enough.
One air-to-air missile from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia shot down a balloon off South Carolina on Saturday. The Chinese foreign ministry called the shootdown “an obvious overreaction and a severe violation of international standards.”
On Sunday, the U.S. Navy recovered the balloon off South Carolina.
Several politicians, including Greene’s allies, mocked her balloon before the president’s presentation. “Well, I won’t be carrying a white helium balloon if that’s what you’re asking,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) told The Hill’s Emily Brooks.
“She has to do something with all that hot air,” tweeted New Jersey Democrat Bonnie Watson-Coleman, posting a photo of Greene with her balloon.
New York Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres asked, “Is that a space laser?”
Is that a space laser? https://t.co/155k4GMKez
— Ritchie Torres (@RitchieTorres) February 7, 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy assured reporters that Congress would not play “childish games” during the State of the Union.
McCarthy responded, “We’ll follow our code of ethics and do our jobs.” “No juvenile games breaking up a speech.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi notoriously tore up a copy of former President Donald Trump’s final State of the Union speech.
Republicans, including Greene, booed Biden’s economic speech.
“Some Republican allies want to take the economy hostage…unless I agree to their economic proposals,” he remarked. “Everyone at home should know those plans. Some Republicans want Medicare and social security to expire rather than tax the wealthy.”
Greene yelled “liar” at the president.
“Contact my office if you doubt. I’ll offer you the proposition, “Biden replied amid House boos.