Republicans demand details of Podesta climate role

Source: By Emma Dumain, E&E News • Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2024

Critics accuse the White House of skirting the Senate confirmation process.

John Podesta.

John Podesta speaking in Houston last year. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Congressional Republicans are still angry President Joe Biden appears to be skirting the Senate confirmation process in his appointment of John Podesta as his new “climate czar.”

In a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday, GOP lawmakers in both chambers are demanding more answers about the nature of Podesta’s position, which was seemingly set up to avoid compliance with a new law requiring confirmation for “special envoys.”

“As leaders of the Committees with primary responsibility over climate policy at the domestic and international levels, we require more information from the administration to exercise our oversight responsibilities,” the members wrote, “as well as to ensure the American people clearly understand who is making decisions and international climate commitments that could have major impacts on their well-being and livelihoods.”

Signers of the letter are Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas), and House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).