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In committee hearing, Tester demands answers on Chinese spy balloon

Senator Jon Tester speaks during a hearing in this undated file photo
Sen. Jon Tester speaks during a hearing in this undated file photo.

Montana’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester led the first public briefing demanding answers from Biden administration officials on the Chinese spy balloon that was first publicly reported in U.S. airspace above Billings.

Tester is chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He led the first of three sessions on the subject this week, calling for answers on what happened and what steps the administration is taking to protect American national security.

He said he and his colleagues have been ringing the alarm bell on Chinese aggression long before last week’s news.

“Montanans and folks all across this country value their freedom. They value their privacy. Those are American values,” he said. “And I will take on anyone to make sure China does not weaken our country.

“This administration owes Americans answers not only on what happened this past week, but on what steps they're gonna take to ensure that this never happens again.”

The committee meets again on Feb. 14.

Orlinda Worthington hosts “Morning Edition” weekdays on YPR. She brings 20 years of experience as Montana television news anchor, producer, and reporter.