Capitol Correspondence - 12.01.20

Transition Officially Begins with Approval from General Services Administration, and More Transition Updates

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As reported by Axios: “General Services Administrator [GSA] Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called ‘ascertainment’ and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump’s legal challenges played out.

Driving the news: Minutes after Murphy’s letter was first reported by CNN, President Trump tweeted that he recommended the GSA begin the transition ‘in the best interest of our Country.’”

The GSA announcement comes at a time when the Biden-Harris transition team has been announcing its top picks for Cabinet and key federal agency positions. Of note to ANCOR members:

  • Neera Tanden selected for the role Chief of the Office of Management and Budget. As reported by Politico Pulse: “A Tanden-led OMB would likely play an outsized role in policymaking and could be a signal of how the White House will rely on executive authority to achieve its objectives, Biden allies told PULSE. If Tanden gets the Senate-confirmed job […] she’d have her hands on all the major rules coming out of the Biden administration, a role drawing on her experience as leader of the Center for American Progress and as a veteran of two previous administrations.” Read the full article for details on her prospects in the Senate.
  • Biden-Harris transition team outlines key facets of pandemic response plan, including using Defense Production Act for PPE. As reported by Politico Pro, “The president-elect told a group of front-line health care workers in a virtual meeting on Nov. 18 that he planned to use the Defense Production Act to produce enough masks, gloves and gowns to ensure that medical providers and other front-line workers are protected. He also said he would implement and enforce paid sick days to allow infected workers to recover, and push Congress to approve adequate funding for hospitals and state health departments. ‘It’s not enough to praise you,’ he told the group. ‘We have to protect you.’” The article also reported that the incoming administration would place career scientists front and center in the pandemic response, rejoin the World Health Organization to help with global response coordination, and ensure there is a strong plan in place to prevent future pandemics.