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Biden sending 13 officials to UN climate summit in Glasglow

Amid a sharp rise in inflation and supply chain bottleneck that have fed both a scarcity of goods and hike in prices for consumers, as well as a worsening border crisis, President Biden is sending 13 senior administration officials and cabinet members to next month’s UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to a schedule obtained by CNN, the president is sending top climate advisers Gina McCarthy and jet-setting John Kerry to the November summit alongside, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, USAID Administrator Samantha Power, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, WH Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Eric Lander, and National Economic Council director Brian Deese.

The large group of administration officials is a show of force, the White House said, to show the US is working lockstep with their allies. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg arrives to the White House to attend an event on the global supply chain bottlenecks, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021.AP Photo/Evan Vucci

“In Glasgow, the United States will showcase President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis,” a White House official told CNN. “They will demonstrate the strength of the entire US government working in lock-step to reduce emissions and achieve our international climate commitments — and that the countries who take decisive action on climate will reap the economic and jobs benefits of the clean energy future.”

President Biden will also be joining all 13 at the climate summit. 

During the duration of the conference, the US will meet with other world leaders on creating more commitments to limit global warming, while emphasizing what the US is doing to lower its own greenhouse gas emissions. Per the White House official, the US will encourage other countries towards taking action to keep 1.5 degrees of global warming within reach. 

Haitian migrants use a dam to cross into the United States from Mexico in Del Rio, Texas, Sept. 18, 2021.AP Photo/Eric Gay, File

The report comes as the Biden administration faces crises on several different fronts from the border, supply chain and raising the debt ceiling.

Yellen, a big proponent of raising the debt ceiling, is set to attend the conference. She has warned of “catastrophic” impacts if the nation defaults on Dec. 3. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a short-term debt limit increase to provide $480 billion that will ensure the federal government does not default later this year.

Republicans have vowed to vote against raising the ceiling, urging Democrats to pass it on their own through reconciliation. However, the Democratic party has faced an internal battle of its own with key leaders, including Biden, saying they want to stay away from that option as they attempt to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and massive spending package. 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is a big proponent of raising the debt ceiling.Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Buttigieg, who is also set to be sent to summit, has recently been at the center of the nationwide supply chain crisis that is threatening the timely delivery of everyday consumer goods and holiday gifts. 

Critics, some of whom doubt his ability due to his lack of experience, are urging Buttigieg to take action. 

Nearly 100 large ships have remained near the Los Angeles coast for more than a month waiting to unload goods. Biden on Wednesday announced that the Port of Los Angeles would move to a 24/7 work schedule following the emergency example of the nearby Port of Long Beach, which expanded hours three weeks ago to alleviate the mounting supply-chain crunch. 

John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, will attend the climate summit.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) accused the administration of being “months late and more than a dollar short” in the supply-chain crisis, telling the Washington Examiner that the White House is in “denial.”

“We’ve heard a lot of talk and a lot of formation of task forces but nothing concrete to address this,” he said, later advising Buttigieg to “stop making it worse and tackle the real issues.” 

At the same time, the administration has been slammed for their lack of action towards maintaining security at the border. 

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said the White House is in “denial.”AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Just last month, Del Rio, Texas, saw nearly 15,000 migrants, according to some estimates, camped under the Del Rio International Bridge at one time, after thousands, crossed the Rio Grande. 

Local and state officials urged the administration for assistance, citing a lack of manpower among Border Patrol officials and security concerns. 

The administration has stressed that it is apprehending and deporting as many migrants as it can under Title 42, however, a September memo from the Department of Homeland Security revealed the government does not have the resources to apprehend every person who has entered the US unlawfully.

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