Biden Transition Team Calls on Federal Agency to Declare Winner

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team called Monday on the General Services Administration to designate him the winner of the presidential election so that it can begin accessing federal resources needed to make a smooth transition into the White House.

A Biden transition official said that since the networks and other news organizations have declared Biden the winner, the GSA’s administrator should move quickly to “ascertain” the winner of the race, as federal law requires. The official said that with the exception of the 2000 election, when the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore remained undeclared for weeks because of ballot-counting problems in Florida, the administrator had ascertained the winner within 24 hours of the race being called.

Emily W. Murphy, the Trump-appointed GSA administrator has not yet declared Biden the apparent winner of the presidential election, a decision that would unlock millions of dollars in transition funding but contradict Trump’s unfounded assertion that he won.

The Biden official said the transition is considering its options, including legal action, to pressure the agency, but declined to detail the moves it is considering. The official shied away from discussing whether Murphy was holding off on her decision under the weight of political pressure.

One of the resources the transition hasn’t been able to access is State Department operations, which has traditionally helped facilitate — and translate — calls between the president-elect and foreign leaders. Instead, Biden’s team is arranging leader calls on its own, as it did Monday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The transition will send readouts of additional calls as they occur.

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