The Biden-Harris Administration Will Finally Begin Its Transition

On Monday, the head of General Services Administration (GSA), Emily Murphy, released a letter addressing President-elect Joe Biden. This comes after votes were certified even after recounts and pressure from House Democrats and notable Republicans amped up as concerns for the coronavirus grew larger and threats to the country’s security began to come into question. The letter announces the approval of and issues the start of the presidential transition, finally giving the Biden-Harris Administration access to millions of dollars in federal funds and other government official resources to aid them. I voted stickers Photo by Element5 Digital from Unsplash

In the United States, the presidential election is run a little differently from what other countries might use to dictate their next leader. The electoral college is a system, rather than a place, established by the founders in the U.S. Constitution. Each state has a certain number of electors based on the number of representatives in Congress. These electors must represent the vote of the people since the vote of the people does not directly elect the president; rather it reflects the vote of the electoral college. In 48 of the 50 states, votes are assigned on a winner-take-all basis. If a candidate receives 270 or more electoral college votes, then they are to be declared President-elect, which would conclude the electoral votes and the election itself. In the 2020 election, President-elect Joe Biden received over 270 electoral college votes, with a total of 79,886,365 votes. Key states like Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota were all blue.

Although President Donald Trump thanked Emily Murphy in a tweet on Twitter and said that he recommended Emily to initiate protocols regarding the presidential transition and for his team to follow, Emily backfired and acknowledged in her letter that she had reached the decision independently citing law and facts, directly contradicting the words of President Trump. Nonetheless, President Trump still refuses to formally concede and promised to strongly keep his case going regarding voter fraud and his distrust in the 2020 election. 

The 1963 Presidential Transition Act was put in place by Congress to conduct an orderly transfer of power in an instance where there could be challenges. Essentially, it is the duty of the General Services Administration to make the official transition happen regardless if the current sitting president concedes or not. Through this act, the President-elect has access to office space, major candidates, staff compensation, daily briefings and other tools.

President-elect Joe Biden, not waiting long, revealed several historic cabinet picks for top jobs like national security and foreign relations. The nominations are Alejandro Mayorkas and Avril Haines. Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first Latino to head Homeland Security as the Secretary. Avril Haines, a woman, will be the first to direct National Intelligence. Biden is expected to later announce more of his picks, like the Treasury Secretary role.

kamala harris speaking at an event Photo by Gage Skimore from Flickr

Come January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be the new president of the United States. Some of the key issues that Americans could see the Biden-Harris Administration respond to first are the coronavirus pandemic, health care, race inequalities, the environment and most importantly, the economy. 

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