Biden turns to supporters for transition funds as Trump keeps stalling

Josh Marcus
·2 min read
<p>President-elect Joe Biden</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden

(AFP via Getty Images)

The incoming Biden administration is asking supporters to help fund the transition process as the president and federal agencies continue to ignore the election results.

Campaigns are expensive — the presidential contest likely cost more than a record $6.5 billion — but the bills don’t end along with the election. Incoming administrations need office space, paper, travel stipends and the like to get set up.

Normally, the federal government’s General Services Administration acknowledges when a likely winner is declared and provides the funds for them to begin the transition. A GSA funding request asked for about $10 million earlier this year to help fund this cycle’s transition.

But so far the Trump-appointed head of the GSA, Emily Murphy, hasn’t done so, even though the GSA certified Mr Trump as the winner a day after the 2016 election, when he had a much smaller lead.

To break the logjam, the Biden team has considered legal action.

On Thursday top Democrats on a congressional oversight committee sent a scathing letter to Ms Murphy demanding an immediate briefing and threatening to haul her before a full congressional hearing.

“Your actions in blocking transition activities required under the law are having grave effects, including undermining the orderly transfer of power, impairing the incoming Administration’s ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, hampering its ability to address our nation’s dire economic crisis, and endangering our national security,” the letter reads.

It also distinguished the election delays from those of the 2000 contest between George W Bush and Al Gore, which stalled for weeks amid a contested recount in Florida.

“Unlike the dispute after the 2000 election in Bush v. Gore,” the letter says, “there is no legitimate path forward for President Trump — regardless of how many baseless lawsuits he files or his irrelevant refusal to concede. He has now lost dozens of cases in multiple states as many of his own attorneys abandon his efforts.”

The president continues to insist he won the election but avoid questions from the press about it, leaving a Friday “press conference” without taking any questions.