Biden sends army of aides, Cabinet members to Glasgow climate summit amid major problems at home

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President Biden and a third of his Cabinet will be at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Scotland that starts Sunday, a high-profile show of force amid pressing domestic issues.

Attendees at the conference include Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director 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 Biden administration attendees. The White House confirmed the list to Fox News.

The long list of top administration officials in attendance reflects the high priority Biden has put on his climate policy. 

President Biden speaks at a meeting with business leaders and CEOs on the COVID-19 response in the library of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Biden will be at the Glasgow climate summit that starts on Sunday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“The existential threat to humanity is climate change,” Biden said in a recent tweet. “In a few days, I am headed to @COP26 in Glasgow to demonstrate a commitment to the world that we will get to a net-zero emissions economy no later than 2050.”

The eight members who will attend represent a third of Biden’s Cabinet. At the conference will be six of the 16 members of the presidential line of succession, not counting the president himself. 

The first, second and third people in the line of succession remain in the U.S., so the most important people 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 attend the conference, significant domestic problems continue.

Inflation is driving up the price of goods for many Americans, with gasoline prices at the highest level since 2014. A supply chain crisis is leading to shortages of everything from wine and coffee to cars and certain foods. Ships are bottlenecked at U.S. ports from Los Angeles to Savanah, Georgia. 

In this May 7, 2021, file photo Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington. Yellen will be in Glasgow, Scotland with President Biden this weekend despite inflation at home and a stalled economic agenda. 
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Meanwhile, Biden’s economic agenda is struggling to make it through Congress. Despite a visit from the president on Thursday, progressives continued their blockade of the bipartisan infrastructure bill Democrats hoped to pass before Biden made it to the climate conference. 

Biden and Yellen were very involved in reconciliation talks. And Buttigieg was one of the driving forces behind the reconciliation bill.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ endorsement of Biden’s scaled-back reconciliation framework was a big step for Democrats Thursday. But Senate moderates are still not committed to support a reconciliation bill. And massive policy disagreements remain that Democrats will have to figure out. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg does a television interview with CNBC outside the White House October 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. Buttigieg will be in Glasgow, Scotland for a climate summit despite a supply chain crisis in the U.S. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“The policy priorities of the Biden administration are far out of step with those of the American people. While the president and almost half of his Cabinet are soaring off to Scotland, most Americans would like to see a plan to deal with soaring inflation and skyrocketing energy costs,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News. 

“We learned this week that the economy is limping along at 2% GDP growth. President Biden needs to train his focus on Americans struggling here at home,” he added.

Other Biden officials overseeing key issues will remain stateside.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is dealing with the southern border crisis, is not expected to go to Glasgow. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who’s come under fire for a recent memo asking the FBI to investigate threats against school boards, will also remain in the United States. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh also won’t be going to the climate conference amid a lingering worker shortage.

FOX Business’ Tyler O’Neil and Kristina Biddle contributed to this report. 

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