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Short Biden transition may be national security risk

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The incoming president and his group now have entry to officers at federal businesses, amongst different keys towards a easy begin to the administration.

The federal authorities is about to start working with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition group now that the top of the Common Providers Administration has “ascertained” that he’s the obvious winner of this month’s presidential election.

Amongst different issues, the ascertainment course of provides the incoming president and his group entry to officers at federal businesses and directs the Justice Division to work on safety clearances for transition group members and Biden political appointees. It even provides his group entry to official authorities web site domains.

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Right here is why else the designation is essential:


With the ascertainment, GSA will now launch $6.three million in congressionally appropriated funds to Biden’s transition group and 175,000 sq. ft (16,200 sq. meters) of federal workplace area, together with safe areas the place Biden and his group can obtain delicate intelligence briefings.


Biden made clear quickly after declaring victory that the cash that got here with ascertainment was of much less concern.

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However the president-elect and aides mentioned that the designation was essential in order that he may legally start consulting with federal authorities consultants about plans to distribute a coronavirus vaccine that’s anticipated to quickly come to market. Trump administration officers additionally had refused to offer Biden the categorised presidential every day briefing on intelligence issues till the GSA made the ascertainment official.

It additionally means the White Home Transition Coordinating Council can proceeds with homeland safety and emergency preparedness workout routines with Biden’s group as required by legislation.


Slowing the tempo of the transition may hamstring a brand new administration proper out of the gate. The Trump administration, consultants say, by no means absolutely recovered from the gradual tempo of hiring from its mismanaged 2016 transition after Trump tossed apart fastidiously ready plans the day after his victory.

That mentioned, the Biden transition group has began shifting ahead with constructing out the brand new administration. Biden introduced on Monday that he is nominating Antony Blinken to function secretary of state; Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland safety secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations; and Avril Haines to function director of nationwide intelligence. He’s additionally anticipated to quickly formally announce that he is nominating former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to change into treasury secretary.


Most up-to-date president-elects have had about 77 days between their election and inauguration. Biden’s group may have 57 days.

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In 2000, the GSA dedication was delayed till after the Florida recount battle was settled on Dec. 13. On the time, the administrator relied on an evaluation from one of many drafters of the 1963 Presidential Transition Act that “in a detailed contest, the Administrator merely wouldn’t make the choice.”

The abbreviated transition course of was recognized by the 9/11 Fee Report as contributing to the nation’s unpreparedness for the fear assaults.

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