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GSA Official to Brief Lawmakers Next Week on Presidential Transition

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GSA Official to Brief Lawmakers Next Week on Presidential Transition

By Zachary Stieber, The Epoch Times, November 23, 2020:

An official from the General Services Administration (GSA) will soon brief some members of Congress on the presidential transition, the agency confirmed to The Epoch Times on Monday.

Allison Brigati, a deputy administrator at the GSA, will spend 30 minutes on Nov. 30 briefing House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and two subcommittee chairmen, Reps. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).

The Democrats had written to GSA administrator Emily Murphy last week, asking her to brief them “immediately on your ongoing refusal to grant the Biden-Harris Transition Team access to critical services and facilities.”

The top Republicans on each committee and subcommittee will also be at the briefing. They are Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Steve Womack (R-Ark.).

Also on Nov. 30, the GSA will host an in-person briefing for staff members on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the GSA spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

Staff for the House Appropriations and Oversight committees are invited to the Senate staff briefing.

The GSA, a little known agency, has been elevated in significance because Democratic presidential Joe Biden has declared victory in the 2020 election and is working on transition plans.

President Donald Trump has not conceded and he and his campaign are contesting the election results in court. The Epoch Times is not calling the race until the litigation is resolved.

The House Democrats argued that “there is no legitimate path forward for President Trump,” meaning there’s no legal basis to withhold an ascertainment designation, or a finding by the GSA that Biden is the winner.

Democrat House chairs later rejected the offer for a briefing next week.

“Every additional day that is wasted is a day that the safety, health, and well-being of the American people is imperiled as the incoming Biden-Harris Administration is blocked from fully preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, our nation’s dire economic crisis, and our national security,” they wrote on Monday, requesting a briefing sometime on Tuesday.
Epoch Times Photo
General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony in Washington on June 21, 2019. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

A GSA spokesperson told The Epoch Times earlier this month that such an ascertainment has not yet been made.

Murphy will only initiate the transition when a “winner is clear, based on the process laid out in the Constitution,” the spokesperson said.

Until then, the Biden-Harris team is continuing to receive the services it was pre-election, including office space, computers, and background investigations for security clearances.

Ronald Klain, a Biden adviser, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that without the ascertainment, Biden and vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “are not getting the kind of intelligence briefings they’re entitled to.”

“Our transition isn’t getting access to agency officials to help develop our plans, and there’s a lot of focus on that vaccine rollout plan that’s going to be critical in the early days of a Biden presidency. We have no access to that, and we’re not getting background checks. We’re not in a position to get background checks on cabinet nominees. And so there are definite impacts,” he said.

“Those impacts escalate every day, and I hope that the administrator of the GSA will do her job.”

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