This declaration often comes within hours of the media launching the race and almost always within the first 24 hours. On the one hand, the letter was usually a technical matter; on the other, it is a critical part of the process as the transition team has no moment to lose when it comes to setting up an entirely new government within a few months. The stakes are compounded this year by the raging pandemic and an economy that could stall as a result. However, in line with Trump’s refusal to allow the election, the GSA has given no signal that it plans to sign the letter anytime soon.
“A determination has not yet been made,” GSA spokeswoman Pamela Pennington told the Post, “and its administrator will continue to comply with and comply with all legal requirements.”
The last time a transition was delayed was in 2000, a recount was done to see if George W. Bush or Al Gore would be the next president. But Murphy’s delay in acknowledging the reality of Biden’s apparent victory is unprecedented in this day and age. The Post writes:
Chris Lu, who served as transitional director for former President Barack Obama in 2008, recalled that after being declared victorious over the late Senator John McCain on November 4th, Obama rose early the next morning to open the transitional office . He missed the call from Jim Williams, the acting administrator of the GSA, to inform him that he had signed transition resources for the Obama team.
But the GSA is clearly pushing back on Trump, who just can’t handle the fact that he lost the election and is still desperately looking for a way to disenfranchise more than 75 million voters.
Meanwhile, the Biden transition team is urging the GSA to face the reality even if Trump is unable to do so.
“America’s national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and quickly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and work for the smooth and peaceful transfer of power,” wrote a spokesman for the Biden transition in an email.
GSA Administrator Murphy may also have to respond to Congress soon, unless she chooses to heed the advice of the Home Inspectorate Chair, Carolyn Maloney.
Now is the time for government officials to do what’s right for the country.
This decision by @GSAEmily is not symbolic. This slows down the inbound administrator’s ability to deal with this pandemic and economic crisis. https://t.co/vkgMKRxrAI
– Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) November 9, 2020