Connolly, Pascrell, Titus Blast Trump Administration Blocking Presidential Transition

GSA refuses to acknowledge resounding Biden victory

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Washington, November 9, 2020 | comments

Reacting to reports that the General Services Administration (GSA) is blocking the commencement of the presidential transition process, three House of Representatives chairs are demanding urgent answers.

 

U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), the Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, and Dina Titus (D-NV-01), the Chairwoman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management have today  written to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, seeking an immediate explanation of GSA’s stunning refusal to follow the law and acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s decisive victory.

 

“The American people resoundingly voted to remove Donald Trump from office. By failing to ascertain Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ resounding victory, you are undermining the urgent need for a prompt and effective transition of power in the midst of a global pandemic that must be focused on the safety and well-being of our citizens,”   the members write. “Donald Trump will be vacating the White House by January 20, 2021. You are directly responsible for executing the Presidential Transitions Act, as amended – and ensuring a smooth, effective, and peaceful transition of power during a very difficult time in our nation. We demand that you provide answers to our questions, immediately release congressionally-appropriated funds for the incoming Biden Administration, and cease obstructing the transition to our 46th Presidential Administration.”

 

Under the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, the GSA is legally required to acknowledge the outcome of a national election and begin the passage of an executive transition immediately following the conclusion of a decided election.

 

The text of the members’ letter to the GSA is provided below.

 

 

November 9, 2020

 

Ms. Emily Murphy, Administrator

General Services Administration

1800 F St NW 

Washington, D.C. 20405

 

Dear Ms. Murphy: 

 

As we write you, President-elect Joe Biden’s overwhelming election victory grows by the day.[1] Having won a decisive popular vote margin and a majority of the Electoral College to become our 46th President, it is essential you uphold your responsibilities under the Presidential Transition Act (“Act”) of 1963. Yet, the Washington Post reports that your office is withholding certification of President-elect Biden’s victory, thereby blocking the expedient and peaceful commencement of the presidential transition.[2]

 

A candidate becomes “President-elect” and “Vice President-elect” when they “are the successful candidates for the office of the President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained by the Administrator” of the General Services Administration.[3]

 

The law explicitly states that the purpose of a presidential transition is to “assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws” because any disruption “could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of the United States and its people.”[4] Your actions delaying  “the orderly transfer of the executive power” fly in the face of congressional intent and ignore the will of the American people while endangering public health and national security.[5]

 

The American people resoundingly voted to remove Donald Trump from office. By failing to ascertain Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ resounding victory, you are undermining the urgent need for a prompt and effective transition of power in the midst of a global pandemic that must be focused on the safety and well-being of our citizens.

 

We ask that you promptly answer the following questions:

 

  • Please outline why you believe the clear 2020 Presidential election outcome is not “apparent” and what actions you are taking to “ascertain” who the President-elect and Vice President-elect are.
  • Have Donald Trump, adjutants of Mr. Trump, or other White House officials directed you to block commencement of the presidential transition? Please detail any interactions you have had with White House personnel on the presidential transition.

 

Donald Trump will be vacating the White House by January 20, 2021. You are directly responsible for executing the Presidential Transitions Act, as amended – and ensuring a smooth, effective, and peaceful transition of power during a very difficult time in our nation. We demand that you provide answers to our questions, immediately release congressionally-appropriated funds for the incoming Biden Administration, and cease obstructing the transition to our 46th Presidential Administration.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

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