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24 November 2020 16:42

Rudy Giuliani Donald Trump Press conference

GSA Chief Emily Murphy Moves to Make Federal Resources Available to Biden Transition Team – GovCon Wire

Emily Murphy was right to hold off until yesterday to sign off on the release of federal funds for Joe Biden's transition team. Now the president-elect and his crew can get travel, equipment, staff training and other costs covered until Inauguration Day. We can't ascertain Murphy's thought process, but I'm guessing the certifications of vote counts in legally contested states, culminating in Michigan, sparked a signal from the White House to go ahead. President Donald Trump is a realist, and you can't float a debenture to cover a vote deficit. Those disagreeing with Trump's controversial assertions of vote count fraud correctly called for evidence. Those issuing ad hominem attacks on Murphy, asserting she was doing political dirty work on behalf of the White House are equally required to produce proof.

In the 2000 election, the then-administrator of the GSA, David Barram, told Congress on Dec. 4 that he could not ascertain the election results, but instead would make transition resources available to both George W. Barram wrote, "While the Act gives no explicit criteria or deadlines for making this ascertainment, as the legislative history demonstrates, Congress made it perfectly clear that if there is 'any question' of who the winner is 'in a close contest' this determination should not be made." It would be made a week later by the Supreme Court, closer to Christmas than to Thanksgiving. Watching the chorus of media excoriation of Murphy, and its amplification on social media, one might have thought the chief of the General Services Administration has ultimate Constitutional power to decide the fate of the nation. But as Murphy stated in her letter to Biden, "As you know, the GSA Administrator does not pick or certify the winner of a presidential election. Instead, the GSA Administrator's role under the Act is extremely narrow: To make resources and services available in connection with a presidential transition." Biden deserves an orderly transition and is entitled to the resources Congress makes available to him.

Murphy is a Trump appointee, no secret there. But as the person in charge of federal procurement of buildings and office space, computers, automobiles and trucks, and office supplies, hers is hardly a job fraught with political import — not like, say, attorney general or Environmental Protection Agency administrator. More interesting in Murphy's letter than the technical release of funds is her explanation of the seeming delay, and what was going on, and of how elections are in fact decided. Key here is that neither the GSA administrator nor, say, the Associated Press, decide who is the next president. She wrote, "To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.

receive threats online, by phone, and by mail directed at my safety, my family, my staff, and even my pets in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely. Emily Murphy Administrator GSA The General Services Administration has informed President-elect Joe Biden through a letter that GSA will now make federal resources and services available to help facilitate the presidential transition, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said in an ascertainment letter, obtained by WSJ, the agency will provide $6.3M in government funds to help the Biden transition team implement the provisions of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 and make available $1M in additional funds to provide a transition directory and appointee orientation sessions. "As stated, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services described in Section 3 of the Act upon request," wrote Murphy, a three-time Wash100 Award winner. Michigan on Monday officially certified its election results.

"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," said Yohannes Abraham, executive director of Biden's transition team. The US federal agency responsible for the presidential transition process has recognised Joe Biden as the "apparent winner" of the election in a letter. The letter came from the General Services Administration's Emily Murphy after weeks of delay. What does the letter do and why is it important? What is the GSA letter?

The GSA must "ascertain" the winner of the US election to formally begin the transfer of power and allow crucial transition planning to begin. GSA administrator Emily Murphy made that critical move, declaring Joe Biden as the "apparent winner" of the election in a letter, Ascertainment is a routine administrative process that usually passes without any fanfare. And it usually happens in short order after the winner of the US election is called by media networks (with rare exceptions, like the 2000 election race that involved a Supreme Court ruling). But this time around, Ms Murphy's letter came 20 days after the election and 16 days since major US networks announced Mr Biden as the winner. In fact, Denise Turner Roth, the GSA administrator during the Obama administration, had urged Ms Murphy to declare the winner in a CNN opinion piece published days ago. Former GSA administrator Denise Turner Roth has criticised the transition delay. Ascertainment letters can be dull and procedural, but Ms Murphy's mentioned "numerous threats" which she said were made "in an effort to coerce me into making this determination prematurely". Ms Murphy had been under immense pressure to authorise president-elect Joe Biden, with Republicans, national security experts and business leaders all having called for that process to move forward. With the official GSA declaration of Mr Biden as the "apparent" winner, this is what can happen: The Biden transition team gets about $US6 million ($8 million) of federal funds to help with the transition The Biden transition team gets about $US6 million ($8 million) of federal funds to help with the transition It also gets another $US1 million for appointees to begin orientation It also gets another $US1 million for appointees to begin orientation The Biden team will also have access to an official office in Washington DC to carry out transition business The Biden team will also have access to an official office in Washington DC to carry out transition business Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will receive the same national security briefings that Donald Trump gets Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will receive the same national security briefings that Donald Trump gets Meetings between Biden transition officials and Trump administration officials can begin US election: what's happening now GSA clears way for transition of power to Biden The latest on the ongoing count in battlefield states like Georgia Live results: The count, state-by-state How did Trump and Biden react? Mr Biden's Twitter account simply listed a transition website, buildbackbetter.gov, in a tweet following the announcement. The.gov domain is only available to government entities, and the fact that it's at the end of the Biden transition website is more recognition that Joe Biden has won this election. President Donald Trump continues to baselessly call his race against Joe Biden "the most corrupt election in American political history," and has said he will still pursue court battles in an effort to overturn the election results. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has been the first US Government agency to recognise Mr Biden's win after today's news out of the GSA. So does that mean Trump has conceded the election to Biden? This is as close as Mr Trump has gotten to recognising he has lost the US election. The President made it very clear that he still thinks his legal strategy will overturn the results, and hasn't said anything close to "Joe Biden has won". But there's nothing stopping Mr Trump from saying whatever he wants about the election, while also clearing the way for the official processes to happen. Yohannes Abraham, the Biden-Harris transition executive director, said the GSA 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". He also added that in the days ahead, Biden transition officials would "gain a complete understanding of Trump administration's efforts to hollow out government agencies". The Biden team are preparing for a pandemic-modified inauguration on January 20. It is worth noting that Mr Trump does not have to concede for Mr Biden to be sworn in as the 46th US president. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: By clicking "I agree" below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. See our Privacy Policy and Third Party Partners to learn more about the use of data and your rights.