Lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to divulge more information about the downed objects, saying they have received little so far.
“I think there ought to be more transparency — and I believe it can be offered in a way that protects national security and sources and methods,” Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Monday.
Sen. Gary Peters, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said he spoke three times with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the weekend along with Pentagon officials. He said he learned nothing more than what has already been reported by the news media.
“We still have questions outstanding as to what we know,” he said. “We’ll be asking probing questions tomorrow when they come in a classified setting,” Peters added, noting his calls over the weekend were unclassified.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said he doesn’t believe there’s a protocol for how the US handles these objects and he plans to use the appropriations process to find out “what they knew, when they knew it and what the plan is.”
Senate Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Marco Rubio, a Republican, said he thinks “the communication disclosure has been poor” and called for President Joe Biden to address the unidentified objects.
“I think they [the American people] need to hear from the president, maybe as simple as saying ‘you know, we don’t know what they are, we’re doing everything we can to sort of determine, and this is why we shot them down,’” Rubio said.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney warned against getting “too excited” about balloons and unidentified objects when there are still so many questions about what they are.
“I think we get a little hyped up over objects that don’t quite understand what they are — balloons, weather balloons — and let’s find out what they are before we get too excited,” he said.
Another Republican, Sen. Todd Young, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said there’s “a lot more to learn” before assessing if the shooting down of the objects was handled properly.