Image: Donald Trump. Johnstown-Cumbria Airport, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2020. Source: Shiloh Craighead White House official photo.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – President Donald Trump is facing pressure to work with President-elect Joe Biden’s team to ensure a smooth transfer of power when the new administration takes office in January.
The General Services Administration has been instructed to officially recognize Biden as President-elect, beginning the transition. But Trump-appointed agency administrator Emily Murphy has not begun the process and has given no instructions as to when she will do so.
This lack of clarity raises questions about whether Trump, who has not publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory and falsely said the election was stolen, will hinder Democrats if they try to form a government.
In the modern era, there are few precedents for the president to put such obstacles in front of his successor. The stakes are especially high this year because Biden will take office amid a raging pandemic that will require a comprehensive government response.
“America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government to send a clear and swift signal that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and participate in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” said Jen Psaki, Biden’s aide. transition period. Sunday.
The advisory board of the non-partisan Center for the Presidential Transition also called on the Trump administration to “immediately begin the post-election transition process and for Biden’s team to make full use of the resources available under the Presidential Transition Act.”
Biden, who was elected 46th president on Saturday, is taking steps to form a government, despite questions about whether Trump is offering traditional aid.
It focuses primarily on the virus, which has already killed nearly 240,000 people in the United States. On Monday, Biden announced the details of a task force that will create a plan to try to take control of the pandemic, which he plans to start implementing after taking office on January 20.
Former General Surgeon, Dr. Vivek Merty, former Commissioner of the Food Drug Administration, Dr. David Kessler and Dr. Marcello Nunez-Smith, Associate Professor and Associate Professor at Yale University, whose research focuses on promoting health equality for marginalized populations, are his employees. – chairs.
On Monday, Biden vowed to work with “governors and local leaders of both parties” to work out a response to the coronavirus pandemic, and called on Americans to “put aside partisanship and rhetoric designed to demonize each other” and unite to fight the virus.
“It is time to put an end to the politicization of major responsible steps in health care, such as wearing a mask, social distancing,” he said. “We must unite to heal the soul of this country so that we can effectively fight this crisis as one country where hardworking Americans support each other and we are united in our common goal: to defeat this virus.”
In his statement on the creation of the task force, Biden said that the fight against the pandemic is “one of the most important battles that our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and experts.”
“The Advisory Board will help shape my approach to managing the outbreak of registered infections; ensuring the safety, effectiveness and efficient, equitable and free distribution of vaccines; and protecting at-risk populations, ”he said.
There are also 10 members, including two former Trump administration officials: Rick Bright, who said he was fired as head of the Office of Advanced Biomedical Research and Development after criticizing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, and Luciano Boria, who was a specialist until last year on Biosecurity in the National Security Council.
The rest of the group includes experts with experience in a number of areas, including Eric Gusby, who was President Barack Obama’s global AIDS coordinator.
Biden has also set up agency review groups, groups of transitional staff who have access to key agencies in the current administration. They will gather and review information such as budget and staffing decisions, pending decisions, and other work that is ongoing from current Trump administration staff in the departments to help Biden’s team prepare for the transition.
But that process cannot begin in full until the GSA recognizes Biden as president-elect. Determining what is the clear winner of the election for the GSA is legally vague, making the next steps unclear, especially in the short term.
It is assumed that the GSA leadership should act independently and non-partisan, and at least some elements of the federal government have already begun implementing transition plans. Aviation officials, for example, have restricted airspace over Biden’s house on a lake in Wilmington, Delaware, while the Secret Service has begun using agents from its presidential security service for the president-elect and his family.
Full coverage: 2020 elections
George W. Bush, the only living former Republican president, called Biden “a good man who had the opportunity to lead and unite our country.”
But other Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have called on Trump to continue to understand election-related legal issues, making a difficult transition more likely.
Planning for the transition may also depend on two races in the Senate in Georgia that took place before the second round on January 5th. If Republicans take these seats, they are likely to retain a majority in the Senate and be able to slow the endorsement of major Biden cabinet decisions and complicate its legislative goals, including calls to expand access to health care and strengthen the postpandemic economy through green jobs and infrastructure designed to combat climate change.
This could test Biden’s campaign promise to bridge the Trump era split and rule in a bipartisan manner.
While Biden’s aides acknowledged that it would be easier for him to get his proposals passed if Democrats control the Senate, Steph Feldman, his company’s political director, said Biden was known for working with Republicans to pass legislation.
“The president-elect’s plan will remain the president-elect’s plan, regardless of who gets a majority in the Senate, and he will work with colleagues across the aisle to achieve that,” she said.
People close to Biden say he will focus on the future, using his sense of empathy, which has become a trademark of his company. Biden often spoke of the pain he felt after the death of his first wife and young daughter in a car crash in 1972, and the death of Bo’s son in 2015 from brain cancer.
“My brother knows how to feel,” said Valerie Biden Owens, Biden’s sister and longtime chief adviser. “Joe’s strength has been resilience and recovery, and that’s what we need as a country.”
Associated Press writer Zick Miller of Washington and Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.
Source: AP News
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