Biden campaign pushes GSA chief to approve transition
President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is urging the head of the General Services Administration (GSA) to approve the beginning stages of an official transfer of power as President Trump refuses to acknowledge the outcome of the presidential election.
A GSA spokesperson told The Hill, however, that Administrator Emily Murphy, a political appointee named to the post by Trump, is waiting to determine that “a winner is clear.”
“An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law,” the spokesperson added in a statement when asked if changes were forthcoming in the days ahead.
Major media outlets projected Biden as the president-elect Saturday. While different outlets use different methods for projections, most involve a determination that a candidate has an insurmountable lead.
The GSA signing off on the transition would give Biden’s team access to millions in federal funding for salaries and travel, according to Reuters. The transition team already has access to Commerce Department office space as provided by the Presidential Transitions Act.
Sen. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Operations, told the news outlet that a speedy transition process is especially important due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The Administrator plays a critical role in the peaceful transfer of power and ensuring vital government services are not disrupted. This is all the more important amid a deadly pandemic,” Connolly said.
Biden’s team has announced its intention to hit the ground running on the coronavirus pandemic in particular. The president-elect announced the members of his post-election task force on Monday.
The Trump administration has pushed for recounts in key states, some of which will likely be triggered automatically by the narrow margins, but experts say they are unlikely to alter the results. Biden is tens of thousands of votes ahead in Pennsylvania, the state where his win prompted the projections of his electoral victory.
Despite presenting no evidence to back their claims, members of the president’s legal team have also announced they will mount legal challenges based on allegations of widespread voter fraud, but those too are seen as long shots.
–Updated at 10:15 a.m.