weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Titus applauds GSA chief for letting presidential transition proceed

Updated November 23, 2020 - 7:31 pm

WASHINGTON — Nevada Rep. Dina Titus and other Democrats on Monday applauded General Services Administration head Emily Murphy for releasing transition funding for President-elect Joe Biden weeks after the election was held.

Titus, D-Nev., said it shouldn’t have taken so long, but she praised Murphy for “allowing the transition to proceed.”

“President-elect Biden announced outstanding national security nominations and appointments today,” Titus said on Twitter. “His team will now have the resources and information they need to keep us safe.”

Murphy was appointed in 2017 by President Donald Trump, who praised her in a tweet for upholding her duties and waiting until the election process was carried out.

Even Republicans were urging Murphy to allow the transition to begin following vote recounts and numerous failed legal challenges by the Trump campaign seeking to overturn the Biden victory.

“Since it seems apparent that Joe Biden will be the president-elect, my hope is that President Trump will take pride in his considerable accomplishments, put the country first and have a prompt and orderly transition to help the new administration succeed,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

“When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do,” Alexander said.

Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., praised Biden on Monday for his announced Cabinet selections, including the first Latino to head the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, who served in the Obama administration.

Murphy’s decision to move forward ends a stalemate that began after the election.

Trump had spread undocumented claims of massive voter fraud in Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. No evidence for those claims was produced.

Following the election, Titus, chairwoman of the House subcommittee that oversees the GSA, applied pressure on Murphy. Titus said Murphy had taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

“The peaceful transition of power is the foundation of our democracy. For over six decades, the Presidential Transition Act detailed that process,” Titus said. “She must carry out her role.”

Trump’s legal strategy to count all votes in every state, regardless of delays in the transition, was defended by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said the president was 100 percent within his right to do so.

But in a letter to Murphy dated Nov. 9, Titus, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., cited the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 as legal authority for the GSA to certify and provide funds to the transition team for Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The three congressional subcommittee chairs also gave Murphy a deadline of this week to brief them on why there has been a delay in forwarding funds and transition support to Biden.

“The American people roundly voted to remove Donald Trump from office,” the letter states. “By failing to ascertain Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ clear victory, you are undermining the urgent need for a prompt and effective transition of power in the midst of a global pandemic that must be focused on the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Terrorism alert warns of politically motived US violence

The Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning of the potential for lingering violence from people motivated by anti-government sentiment after President Joe Biden’s election.

Biden makes ambitious aim for US to curb climate change

The actions make clear that “both significant short-term global emission reductions and net-zero global emissions by mid-century — or before — are required to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory,” the White House said in a statement before Biden signed the orders.