President Joe Biden replaced climate czar John Kerry with clean energy czar John Podesta in a way that doesn't require Senate confirmation, and no one in his party is batting an eyelash including moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Fox News Digital reported.
Kerry will step down as special presidential envoy for climate (SPEC) to take a more active role with Biden's campaign, and Biden will basically put Podesta in that role but as a senior adviser to the president for international climate policy, a non-confirmed role.
Technically the SPEC role will be vacant, and Kerry's staff will report to another State Department official, so Biden can sidestep Senate confirmation.
He is doing so because Podesta is such a radical that he would never be confirmed, according to key Republicans like Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).
"Upon Secretary Kerry’s departure, the existing SPEC state team will report to Rich Verma, the deputy secretary of state for management and resources," a White House official told Fox News Digital. "John will continue to oversee the White House Office of Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation while working closely with the State Department."
Confirmation was not required for the role when Kerry was first appointed in 2021, but at least partly because of Kerry's appointment, Congress passed a provision in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the president from appointing any State Department special envoy "without the advice and consent of the Senate."
Biden signed that act into law in 2021, and now he has to abide by it--unless he can find a loophole like he did in this case.
While moderate Democrats aren't speaking up about this unabashed trickery, Republicans are calling foul.
"Any appointed administration official that will heavily rely on State Department staff and resources should be accountable to congressional committees with jurisdiction over State, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee," Jim Risch, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said about the move.
Most of the opposition to Podesta comes from his consideration of Communist China as a "true friend" to the Democrat agenda.
"John Podesta runs a think-tank funded by big tech, he’s spent years working for dark-money climate activists, and has said he has the ‘highest regard’ for CCP officials," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said. "This man should be nowhere near the federal government, so it’s no shock the Biden Administration wants to avoid Senate confirmation and a public eye on their terrible pick."
There hasn't been much transparency from the $13.9 million annual budget SPEC unity with 45 personnel, mot of whom are unknown.
Podesta will seemingly be able to play things even closer to the vest in his implementation of billions of dollars in clean energy initiatives and ties to other climate activists around the world.
He's already working with radical activists in his current position, and will undoubtedly continue to do so.