Meet Emily Murphy, the Trump-appointed administrator of the General Services Administration and primary reason why President-Elect Joe Biden has resorted to soliciting supporters for money to fund his presidential transition.
The GSA is a large bureaucratic entity responsible for helping other federal agencies run smoothly; from managing office space to improving technology and record-keeping. Federal law dictates that the head of GSA must issue a letter of “ascertainment” acknowledging the winner of the presidential election before the presidential transition process can begin. In other words, Murphy alone has the power to officiate Biden’s win and release the allotted federal funds necessary to kickstart the transition. Those funds allow the Biden team to access important intel and briefings during President Trump’s lame-duck period, allowing a smooth transition of power come inauguration.
There’s only one problem: Murphy, a coward, hasn’t issued the letter yet.
House Democrats have issued a letter of their own, accusing Murphy’s inaction of having “grave effects” and hampering the incoming Biden administration’s ability to tackle the covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the White House denies pressuring Murphy to withhold ascertainment, Murphy’s friends are crying to the media about how Murphy is stuck between a rock and a hard place (give me a break), and Biden is shilling for cash on Twitter in a move that is perhaps as necessary as it is bootleg.
This GoFundMe presidential transition can be put to an end any minute now if Murphy, a staunch Republican, pulled her head of out her ass and grew a spine. But it appears as if her head is quite comfortable, thank you very much. The Washington Post reports that Murphy “still has not determined” when she will declare Biden the apparent winner.
Day after day, Murphy, a loyal Republican the president appointed three years ago, weighs her options but declines to say what fact or development she is waiting for. She has told agencies that the first step in the transfer of power, which would release millions of dollars and give Biden access to the government, may be weeks away.
Murphy is said to be considering several mileposts that would give her a political comfort level in declaring Biden president-elect. She could act after the states finalize voting results. (As of Friday, 15 had certified.) Or she could wait until the electoral college meets Dec. 14. That was the timeline the Clinton-era GSA chose to determine the winner after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore in 2000, although Biden’s victory margin is far more decisive than the 537 votes that hung in the balance in Florida.
If her boss continues to make unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him, Murphy could hold off until Congress counts the electoral votes Jan. 6.
An anonymous source told the Post that Murphy “doesn’t want to be disloyal to the administration that hired her.” Sorry, but... tick-tock, sis.
In other news, the Georgia Senate runoff is turning into a massive shitstorm for the Republican Party.
On Friday, following a statewide recount, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that President-elect Joe Biden won the traditionally red state of Georgia, earning 12,670 more votes than President Trump. This reality check, however, will likely only cause Raffensperger to receive more abuse from Republican conspiracy theorists across the country and Georgia’s own Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The two called for Raffensperger’s resignation over a week ago in a move that was likely meant for Trump’s appeasement above all else. But Trump’s specter in the vital runoff elections is triggering intra-party squabbles that might do more to hurt the Republicans than help.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that “In the runoff, Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are banking on a rival party mired in disarray.”
Most privately expressed fears that the GOP warring, along with Trump’s false claims of fraud, risks alienating independent-leaning voters who typically vote Republican but sided with Biden this year. Only a handful of former elected officials would speak openly about their worries.
“I am concerned that everyone is so afraid of offending Trump that it stifles them from being able to focus on moving forward to the task ahead, which is winning the Senate,” said Allen Peake, a former GOP state legislator from Macon.
Former U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland called on Raffensperger and other state officials to more forcefully address the unsubstantiated allegations of fraud, or risk more Georgians who “may throw up their hands and say, ‘Why vote?’”
Whatever. Let them fight.
- Speaking of the Georgia Senate races... Vice President Mike Pence is still acting like Trump is getting another four years in office:
- Excuse me?
- Sen. Mitt Romney said some stuff:
- Maybe that stuff running down Rudy Giuliani’s face wasn’t hair dye. [New York Times]
- Actor Edward Norton has some theories about Trump. [People]