After an unnecessary and inexcusable delay, the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, has ascertained that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and is the President-elect. Now, the transition to the Biden-Harris Administration is officially underway and Donald Trump will, without a doubt, be a one-term president.
But it never should have taken this long.
On November 9th, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Dina Titus and I wrote to Administrator Murphy seeking access to information about how she came to her decision to delay the transition, and demanding an explanation for her unprecedented obstruction of the peaceful transfer of power. We never received a response.
Last Thursday, Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Nita Lowey, Mike Quigley and I sent a letter to Administrator Murphy demanding that she brief us on her decision to delay certification of the transition by Monday of this week. If she refused, we informed her, we would be forced to weigh the option of summoning her for a public hearing before our committees.
GSA informed us of her refusal on Monday. We responded immediately to remind her again of the possibility of calling her to testify. Hours later, she notified the Biden team that she had made her ascertainment and would begin the transition.
I’m glad Administrator Murphy finally decided to get around to executing a basic function of her job as the law requires her to do. But I want to be clear about this: there is no justification – none – for Emily Murphy’s refusal to do her job for weeks after every major news outlet called the election for President-elect Biden.
It should not take the ire of Congress and the shouts of the American public to convince any government official to uphold his or her oath to the Constitution. Her actions were not those of a public servant with the good of the whole country in mind. Her decision was dangerous, and it must be condemned.
Now, I will continue to urge GSA to work expeditiously to make sure the Biden team has the resources to which they are entitled, and I will not take my eye off of them until it’s done.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other, and remember that my office is here to help. Be sure to visit the COVID-19 page on my website for more information and resources. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you need assistance, please don't hesitate to call us at (703) 256-3071.
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress