Trump gives up: Transfer of office can begin

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After weeks of blockade, Donald Trump, who is still President, allows the handover process to proceed.

For weeks the outgoing President Donald Trump blocked the process of handing over the office to his successor Joe Biden.

On Monday, Trump showed himself willing to allow the process – also via Twitter. Trump instructed the authorities and his team on Monday to cooperate with Biden. The head of the responsible U.S. federal administrative agency GSA, Emily Murphy, was to “do what needs to be done” to support Biden’s transition team.

Previously, Biden’s election victory in Michigan had been confirmed.

Election fraud
But Trump still refuses to concede defeat, claiming that victory was stolen from him by massive electoral fraud. He announced in his Twitter message on Monday that he would continue to fight and once again declared himself confident of victory.

The 78-year-old Biden – who is to be sworn in as the new president of the United States on January 20 – was given access to the government infrastructure by the GSA, which had previously been denied to him in preparation for his assumption of office. After the official confirmation of the election results in Michigan, the authorities had classified Biden as the likely winner of the election, thus giving the green light for the Trump government to cooperate with the Democratic team.

On Monday the election results were officially confirmed in Michigan, another important state. Afterwards GSA chief Emily Murphy Biden had sent a letter – published by the news channel CNN. This will give Biden’s transition team access to, among other things, $6.3 million, which is earmarked for the seamless handover of official business. At the same time, his employees are now officially allowed to communicate with government officials – something they were previously denied.

“Today’s decision is a necessary step to begin addressing the challenges facing our country,” said Biden’s transition team in a statement. They will discuss the Corona crisis and national security with current government officials – and will also use the meetings in the coming days to gain “a full understanding of the Trump government’s efforts to undermine government agencies.

The orderly transfer of official duties (“transition”) after a presidential election has been anchored in law for nearly 60 years. With this, Congress wanted to ensure that Americans could always rely on having a functioning government. “Any interruption caused by the transition could produce results harmful to the security and well-being of the United States and its citizens,” was the 1963 statement of the Act’s rationale.

The U.S. President is the most powerful man in the Western world – that is why the “transition” is so important. He must be fully operational from day one: he will be commander-in-chief of the armed forces, responsible for a good 1.3 million soldiers and will have the codes to authorize the use of nuclear weapons in an emergency. He and his government will be responsible for a budget of almost five trillion US dollars (4.2 trillion euros). Even the pandemic and the economic crisis will leave the president little time to adjust.

Newly elected presidents use the two and a half months between the vote and the inauguration to put together their government team. This is not just about the cabinet, state secretaries and heads of government. Unlike in Germany, for example, the president must also quickly fill thousands of positions in the White House, ministries and public authorities. Around 1,200 of the personnel must be approved by the Senate. An elected president must therefore begin personnel planning as early as possible in order to be able to implement his policies.

The election on November 3 was followed by an unusually long hanging contest. It was not until four days later – as is customary in the United States – that the US media, based on their own surveys and counted votes, proclaimed Biden the winner. The last time George Bush senior was voted out of office after only one term was in 1992.

  • hp with reports from APA and kurier.at. picture: pixabay.com
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