President Biden and a third of his cabinet will be at the UN climate conference in Scotland, which starts on Sunday, a high-profile demonstration of power amid pressing domestic issues.
Participants in the conference include Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Finance Minister Janet Yellen, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken, Energy Minister Jennifer Granholm, Interior Minister Deb Haaland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Director for the White House on Science and Technology Policy, Eric Lander, and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
Biden climate advisers John Kerry and Gina McCarthy will also be in Glasgow.
CNN first reported the list of participants in the Biden administration. The White House confirmed the list to Fox News.
The long list of top administration officials present reflects the high priority Biden has placed on its climate policy.
“The existential threat to humanity is climate change,” Biden said in a recent tweet. “In a few days, I’m on my way to @ COP26 in Glasgow to demonstrate a commitment to the world that we will achieve a net zero-emission economy by 2050.”
The eight members who will attend represent a third of Biden’s cabinet. At the conference, six of the 16 members of the president’s order will attend, without counting the president himself.
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The first, second, and third persons in the order remain in the United States, so the most important persons for the continuity of government remain on American soil. They are Vice President Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
While senior officials are attending the conference, significant domestic problems continue.
Inflation is driving commodity prices up for many Americans with gasoline prices at the highest level since 2014. A supply chain crisis is leading to a shortage of everything from wine and coffee to cars and certain foods. Ships have bottlenecks in U.S. ports from Los Angeles to Savanah, Georgia.
Meanwhile, Biden’s economic agenda is struggling to get through Congress. Despite a visit by the president on Thursday, progressives continued their blockade of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which Democrats hoped to pass before Biden reached the climate conference.
Biden and Yellen were very involved in reconciliation negotiations. And Buttigieg was one of the driving forces behind the law of reconciliation.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ approval of Biden’s scaled-down reconciliation framework was a major step for Democrats Thursday. But Senate moderates are still not obligated to support a reconciliation bill. And there are still massive political disagreements that Democrats will have to figure out.
“The political priorities of the Biden administration are far out of step with the American people. While the president and nearly half of his cabinet are flying to Scotland, most Americans would like to see a plan to deal with rising inflation and skyrocketing energy costs,” says Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to Fox News.
“We learned this week that the economy is lagging behind with 2% GDP growth. President Biden must train his focus on Americans struggling here at home,” he added.
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Other Biden officials overseeing key issues will remain state-owned.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is dealing with the crisis at the southern border, is not expected to go to Glasgow. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has come under fire for a recent memo asking the FBI to investigate threats against school boards, will also remain in the United States. Labor Minister Marty Walsh will also not go to the climate conference due to a persistent shortage of workers.
FOX Business’ Tyler O’Neil and Kristina Biddle contributed to this report.