It feels like 2004 again. John F. Kerry has quickly become a punching bag for Republicans who object to President Biden’s agenda for addressing climate change. GOP lawmakers say the former Democratic nominee for president has seized too much power in his White House post as Biden’s special climate envoy. They suggest the same, too, of Gina McCarthy, a former Environmental Protection Agency chief who is now serving as Biden’s domestic climate adviser.

Biden's special climate envoy, John Kerry, speaks at the White House, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Yet every modern president surrounds himself with an inner circle to coordinate actions through the massive federal bureaucracy on issues like the economy, national security and immigration. Biden is no different — he is just the first to hire a big White House team specifically to tackle climate change.

Republicans take issue with Biden enacting his climate plan through Kerry and McCarthy without their input.

But Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the two “have already established themselves as the unconfirmed and unaccountable czars on climate” during a confirmation hearing Wednesday for EPA administrator nominee Michael Regan.