Since President-elect Joe Biden’s victory earlier this month, President Donald Trump has refused to concede and continues to make baseless claims of voter fraud –– pushing election lawsuit battles across the country, further challenging the validity of the results.
But the conversation changed last week when Biden’s transition to power officially kicked off. Trump’s administration acknowledged Biden’s win, granting the new administration access to intelligence briefings and other government services to allow for a smooth transition.
Several states have also certified their election results this week, including a few battlegrounds. While some states are still approaching deadlines to certify results, all results must be certified before the Electoral College meets Dec. 14. Challenges to any results must also be resolved by Dec. 8.
Here’s what else you need to know about Biden’s ongoing transition to power.
GSA formally recognizes Biden victory
Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, announced Monday that the Trump administration formally recognized that Biden won this year’s election, signaling the start of the transition process for the Biden administration.
The GSA, which is an independent U.S. government agency, mainly works behind the scenes to support other federal agencies or departments. When it comes down to the transition of power between the outgoing president and incoming president-elect, the GSA plays a crucial role in providing the new administration’s transition team with office space and other resources needed to allow for a smooth transition.
Over the last few weeks, Trump has continuously refused to concede to Biden, still arguing that he won the election and that voter fraud ran rampant on Election Day and the days that followed as several states raced to count ballots. Trump’s actions, though, led to a major stall for the Biden administration to begin the transition process ahead of the inauguration in January.
Murphy’s announcement allocated more than $6 million to Biden’s transition team, which will allow it to hire new staff and cover other transition-related expenses. The Biden administration has also gained access to important briefings and information needed to hit the ground running in January.
Murphy’s announcement also came after weeks of criticism from national security officials and members of Congress, including Republicans, who questioned the delay of Biden’s transition and highlighted national security concerns.
Shortly after Murphy’s announcement, Trump tweeted that current election lawsuits will continue and he believes they will “prevail.” Trump also acknowledged Murphy’s announcement, adding, “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."
Still, Trump aides say the president's approval of the transition may be the closest the president comes to conceding to Biden. Since then, the president has continued to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud on Twitter.
Biden announces his picks for top cabinet positions
Throughout Biden's campaign, he said he sought to create a government as diverse as America and on Monday, he began doing just that with the announcement of picks for some of his cabinet positions.
Biden chose Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American, to be the first Latino head of the Department of Homeland Security. Avril Haines will be the first female director of national intelligence and Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman, will serve as Biden's ambassador to the United Nations.
Biden has also announced that Antony Blinken will act as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security advisor, Janet Yellen as treasury secretary, Ron Klain as chief of staff and John Kerry as the climate change envoy.
Biden still has several positions to fill including the Justice Department chief and the secretaries of agriculture, commerce, defense, education, energy, health and human services, housing and urban development, interior, labor, transportation and veterans affairs.
On Tuesday, Biden also shot down the possibility of nominating Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to cabinet positions. Instead, Biden suggested he would like to keep Warren and Sanders in the Senate to push his progressive policy ideas.
States continue to certify election results ahead of Dec. 14
Two Wisconsin counties finished their recounts of the presidential election vote tally, adding 87 votes to Biden's margin of victory over the president in the state, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted to certify the state's election results after a Republican member of the board joined two Democrats in voting to certify. Republican Norm Shinkle abstained from voting, which allowed the state to certify its results that show Biden won.
Several other states also certified their results this week like North Carolina and Indiana, both of which went to Trump. Maine also certified its results and went to Biden.
Some states have yet to certify their results, but deadlines are fast approaching for states like California and New York in the coming weeks.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: When is the inauguration? The progress in Biden's White House move