House Democrats told a Trump administration official on Thursday that she had until Monday to explain why she hadn’t designated Joe Biden the apparent winner of the 2020 election.
On Monday, the official said she would send a deputy in her place … in a week.
The official, Emily Murphy, is the administrator of the General Services Administration. And in order for Joe Biden’s transition team to meet with Trump administration officials and begin the official process of preparing to govern, Murphy needs to officially “ascertain” that Biden is the apparent winner of the 2020 contest.
So far, she hasn’t, and on Thursday the Democratic chairs of the House Oversight and Appropriations committees, as well as two subcommittees, demanded that Murphy brief them by Monday on the reasons for the hold-up. On Monday, all they got was another delay.
“GSA’s Deputy Administrator Allison Brigati will host a 30 minute briefing on Monday, November 30, with the four requesting House Committee Chairs and their Ranking Members,” a GSA spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also said GSA will hold an in-person-only briefing the same day for three Senate committees: appropriations, homeland security and governmental affairs, and environment and public works.
The House Democrats who requested a briefing by Monday weren’t happy with that response.
“We cannot wait yet another week to obtain basic information about your refusal to make the ascertainment determination,” wrote Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey, Subcommittee on Government Operations Gerry Connolly (D-CA), and Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Chair Mike Quigley (D-IL).
“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.”
The Democrats said they were reserving several briefing times for Tuesday and asked for a response by 5 p.m.
In an interview Monday afternoon on MSNBC, Quigley noted that Congress has the power to compel Murphy’s testimony.
“We’re keeping all the options open,” he said.