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*Update as of Saturday afternoon: The balloon has been shot down by the United States off the Carolina coast, over the Atlantic Ocean.  There have been concerns that the balloon was actually being used by the Chinese government for surveillance purposes.* 

WASHINGTON — You might have heard about the so-called “Chinese Spy Balloon” that was seen over Montana Thursday.

Lawmakers around the country have been responding to this news on a variety of platforms.  Many Hoosier leaders have posted their feelings about the balloon on Twitter.

Hoosier Senator Todd Young Tweeted Friday, “The spy balloon is another test by the Chinese Communist Party.  This blatant violation of American airspace is a demonstration of the CCP’s reach and the threat it poses to us here at home.”

Young further emphasized his concerns Saturday, writing, “The CCP says a massive balloon flying over a U.S. nuclear missile base is much ado about nothing — just a weather balloon collecting weather research.  Let’s clear this up right now: the CCP should immediately make this ‘weather data’ publicly available.”

Congressman Rudy Yakym echoed similar sentiments, saying, “The CCP is the greatest threat of our time.  Their spy balloon is a violation of our sovereignty and a test of our resolve. President Biden must respond immediately.”

Representative Jim Banks used the balloon’s appearance to also make a dig at the Biden Administration, writing, “What’s higher? Inflation or the CCP balloon Joe Biden has allowed to remain in our airspace?”

Hoosier Democratic Representatives seem to have been quieter about the incident on social media than their Republican counterparts, who advocated for a stronger response from the United States.

Chinese officials said the balloon was mostly a tool for meteorological research, but the Pentagon said the U.S. government was monitoring it “closely.”

The U.S. initially decided against military action, including any effort to “shoot down” the balloon, which former President Donald Trump and former VP Mike Pence encouraged.  The Biden Administration believed the risk to civilians too great to warrant such a step.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to visit China, but that visit was postponed.  However, former Indiana Governor Mike Pence did not agree with that decision.

After the balloon was shot down Saturday afternoon, Pence Tweeted, “Finally!  US Fighter Pilots are the Best in the World.”