Short-term transition may be a risk to national security
The new president and his team now have access to heads of federal agencies, among other keys to a smooth start to the administration.
The Federal Government is set to begin working with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team now that the Chief of the General Service Administration has “established” that he is the apparent winner of the presidential election. this month.
Among other things, the vetting process gives the new president and his team access to officials from federal agencies and asks the Department of Justice to work on security clearances for transition team members and appointees. Biden. It even allows his team to access official government website domains.
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Here’s why the designation matters:
WHAT EXACTLY DOES BIDEN GET?
With this finding, the GSA will now release $ 6.3 million in congressional funds allocated to Biden’s transition team and 175,000 square feet (16,200 square meters) of federal offices, including secure areas where Biden and his team can receive sensitive information.
DOES THE BIDEN TEAM REALLY NEED MONEY AND OFFICE SPACE?
Biden made it clear shortly after declaring the victory that the money that came with the audit was less of a concern.
But the president-elect and his aides said the designation was crucial so he could legally begin consulting with federal government experts on plans to distribute a vaccine against the coronavirus that is expected to hit the market soon. Trump administration officials had also refused to give Biden the confidential daily presidential briefing on intelligence matters until the GSA formalized the verification.
It also means that the White House Transition Coordinating Council can conduct homeland security and emergency preparedness exercises with Biden’s team, according to the law.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Slowing the pace of the transition could cripple a new administration from the start. The Trump administration, experts say, never fully recovered from the slow pace of hiring after its poorly managed 2016 transition after Trump threw aside carefully prepared plans the day after his victory.
That said, Biden’s transition team has started to move forward with building the new administration. Biden announced Monday he was appointing Antony Blinken as secretary of state; Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary for internal security; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to the United Nations; and Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. He is also expected to officially announce that he has appointed former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary.
CAN THE DELAY CAUSE A LONG-TERM IMPACT?
Most recent presidents-elect have had approximately 77 days between their election and their inauguration. Biden’s team will have 57 days.
In 2000, the GSA’s decision was delayed until the Florida recount fight was settled on December 13. At the time, the administrator relied on an assessment by one of the drafters of the 1963 presidential transitional law that “in a tight fight, the administrator would simply not make the decision. “
The abbreviated transition process was identified by the 9/11 Commission report as contributing to the nation’s lack of preparedness for terrorist attacks.