Politico: Lawmakers seize on spy balloon to inflate defense spending 

Lobbyists, meanwhile, are pitching new radars and other homeland defense systems to the Pentagon and Congress. 

Defense hawks in Congress cite many reasons to keep money flowing to the Pentagon: enemy fleets, hypersonic missiles, nuclear threats. 

Now they have a new one, and it was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4. 

Lawmakers and lobbyists are pouncing on a Chinese spy balloon’s seven-day incursion over North America this month to push back against possible defense budget cuts — and make the case for even more funding — as Congress grapples with the growing threat from Beijing and doubts about the military’s ability to detect similar objects. 

“I don’t think there’s one U.S. senator who has been going to these briefings that thinks that the message out of this is less defense spending,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). His state has been at the center of two of the recent flights.  

Read more ….  

Update: Chinese spy balloon has GOP saying no cuts to defense (The Hill)  

WNU Editor: I still expect a 3% – 5% increase in the next US defense budget.