House Oversight chair digs deeper into Podesta appointment

By Emma Dumain | 03/14/2024 06:33 AM EDT

Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer wants documents and a briefing from the administration.

John Podesta.

White House climate adviser John Podesta. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Another congressional Republican is accusing the Biden administration of skirting the Senate confirmation process with its appointment of a new international climate adviser.

Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday demanding information related to John Podesta’s elevation as a “senior adviser to the president for international climate policy” — a job he’ll assume in addition to his existing role as a senior White House adviser for Inflation Reduction Act implementation.

Podesta is replacing John Kerry, who left his position as special climate envoy earlier this month. Had Podesta been given Kerry’s identical title, he would have been subject to Senate confirmation, per a new law that passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022.


“By granting Envoy Kerry’s position to Mr. Podesta with a different title and location,” Comer wrote to Blinken, “the Biden Administration appears engaged in an intentional effort to evade application of law requiring a special envoy to be Senate confirmed.”