The Biden administration is racing to hire additional agents that will act as international representatives of the president or secretary of State ahead of an early January deadline, after which point the “special envoys” must be confirmed by the Senate.
The law, which will come into effect on Jan. 3, will prevent the State Department from filling special ambassador roles at an expedited rate as nominees will soon have to appear before the relevant Senate committee and be confirmed by a vote in which the entire chamber will participate. With the deadline fast approaching, the Biden administration has appointed four new international representatives in December and 19 in total throughout 2022.
Former Democratic Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer was appointed on Dec. 1 to be the administration’s envoy for global youth issues, according to a State Department press release. Finkenaur will be in charge of implementing youth programs abroad and will also consult with young people on the formulation and implementation of the administration’s foreign policy.
On Dec. 5, the department appointed Kelly M. Fay Rodríguez as the Special Representative for International Labor Affairs in order to advance international and domestic worker rights as well as conditions. The White House announcedon Dec. 15 that it would tap long-serving diplomat Johnnie Carson to lead efforts to implement economic and humanitarian targets agreed upon at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
On Dec. 19, the State Department also appointed former Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Joseph Kennedy III as an economic envoy to Northern Ireland.
The administration has appointed over 40 special envoys, including ambassadors that are intended to promote “racial equity,” “global criminal justice” and biodiversity, according to the American Foreign Service Association.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has been criticized by Republicans who have accused him of directing U.S. foreign policy to further Biden administration’s climate goals. Kerry has repeatedly discouraged investment in fossil fuels both domestically and internationally; Biden’s envoy also unveiled a framework in November that would allow corporations to offset their carbon emissions by buying “marketable carbon credits” from developing nations that reject fossil fuels.
The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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