The House Oversight Committee on Thursday demanded the release of documents related to John Kerry’s negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party while serving as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC).
In a letter obtained by National Review, committee chairman James Comer (R., Ky.) accused Kerry of potentially threatening foreign policy, undermining the economy, and bypassing congressional authority through his SPEC role, which was created by President Biden without the need for Senate confirmation.
The letter to Kerry read the following: “The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is investigating your role in the Biden Administration and the nature of your negotiations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In the 117th Congress, we requested information from you regarding your position as special presidential envoy for climate (SPEC)—a cabinet-level position that does not require Senate confirmation despite your apparent ability to bind the United States to international agreements1—and SPEC employees’ ties to outside organizations. To date, you have failed to respond to any of our requests. Yet, you continue to engage in activities that could undermine our economic health, skirt congressional authority, and threaten foreign policy under the guise of climate advocacy. The Committee requests documents and information to understand your role and provide necessary transparency over the SPEC and its activities. ”
This is the second request for documents following Kerry’s disregard for an initial request sent by Comer during the previous congress, according to Comer’s office.
The House Oversight Committee has again demanded that John Kerry, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, release documents regarding his negotiations with China, the country’s chief geopolitical rival.
This latest request follows an initial one that was ignored by Kerry during the last Congress, according to the office of Committee Chairman James Comer.
The GOP has criticized Kerry for his apparent disregard of China’s human rights record and hostility towards the US, as he has focused on climate change mitigation efforts with the Chinese Communist Party.
Kerry has maintained that human rights issues should not be linked with climate change negotiations, where the US and China are expected to work together as partners. In May 2022, he announced that he was working with the CCP to establish a group dedicated to reducing carbon emissions.
Despite these efforts, Kerry’s stance on the CCP and its human rights record continues to be a source of contention and criticism from those who feel he should take a more critical approach towards the country.
In an October interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerry said:
“My hope is that President Biden said very clearly, and President Xi agreed, in their first conversation, that climate should not be part of the bilateral differences between our countries, climate is not a bilateral issue. It’s a global, multilateral, existential threat to the world. And we both have responsibilities as the two largest emitters to try to cope with it.”
Given the chance to condemn the immoral acts committed by Beijing, Kerry has avoided doing so, stating that his sole focus is to change China’s behavior regarding emissions and not human rights. During the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in August, when questioned about China’s use of forced labor in Xinjiang for solar panel production.
Kerry cowardly stated that it was not within his area of responsibility.
“Well, we’re honest. We’re honest about the differences, and we certainly know what they are and we’ve articulated them, but that’s not my lane here,” Kerry claimed. “That’s — my job is to be the climate guy, and stay focused on trying to move the climate agenda forward.”
On Thursday, Comer accused Kerry of showing a “disregard for American national security and taxpayer dollars.”
He said, “So how do we get there? The lesson I’ve learned in last years, and I’ve learned it as secretary and leaned it since reinforced in spades, is money. money, money, money, money, money, money.”