Over three weeks after he was declared the winner of the 2020 election, Joe Biden’s transition to the White House has finally officially started.
As General Services Administrator Emily Murphy was facing scrutiny from Congress on why she hadn’t signed off on the process, a still somewhat swinging Donald Trump announced he gave the green light to his exit from the Executive Mansion on January 20, 2021:
…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 23, 2020
Though Trump is still refusing to formally concede, the move to ascertainment means that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris can receive top tier security briefings as well as access to materials and funds necessary to taking over the most powerful country in the world. Moves that are all the more vital with the coronavirus pandemic hitting record numbers on the eve of Thanksgiving and a weaken economy.
A state of affairs, Biden and Harris made clear Monday morning in a virtual meeting with members of the Conference of Mayors, including LA’s Eric Garcetti. Along with key staff appointments, Biden today also unveiled his pick for his foreign policy and national security team As well, the rumor is that ex-Fed chair Janet Yellen has been tapped to be Treasury Secretary. If confirmed, Yellen would he first woman to hold the cabinet position originated by Alexander Hamilton.
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“I have dedicated much of my adult life to public service, and I have always strived to do what is right,” Murphy herself said in a letter to Biden stating the trump administration was prepared to start the handover of power. “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” the ex-Republican National Committee staffer added.
“Today’s decision is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track,” stated Biden-Harris Transition Executive Director Yohannes Abraham after Trump’s tweet and Murphy letter went out.
“This final decision is a definitive administrative action to formally begin the transition process with federal agencies, Abraham added. “In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”
Coming just hours after Michigan certified Biden’s victory in the Lake State today, the move towards ascertainment was made a day before Murphy was requested to appear at a hearing on Capitol Hill to explain what the holdup was with the transition. Had the GSA Administrator neglected to show up, she could have been found in contempt of Congress – which is not a good place to be when you’ll likely be looking for a new job in less than two months.