House Democrats on Thursday demanded that the Trump appointee at the helm of delaying President-elect Joe Biden’s access to resources needed for the presidential transition process brief lawmakers and possibly testify in public.
“President-elect Biden has now collected more votes than any other candidate for President in history, and he defeated President Trump by a margin of nearly six million votes,” Reps. Carolyn Maloney (NY) and Nita Lowey (NY), chairs of the House Oversight and Reform and Appropriations wrote in a letter to the head of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, declaring that it was time for the administrator to acknowledge Biden’s win and provide the letter of “ascertainment” required for formal transition resources to be relinquished.
“We have been extremely patient, but we can wait no longer,” the lawmakers said in the four-page letter calling on the Trump appointee to fulfill her legal duty to recognize the election’s winner.
“As GSA administrator, it is your responsibility to follow the law and assure the safety and well-being of the United States and its people — not to submit to political pressure to violate the law and risk the consequences,” they said.
The committee chairs requested that Murphy appear no later than Nov. 23 for a House briefing. Questioning from the House, they said, would determine whether Murphy and two of her deputies would be called to testify in person on Capitol Hill. Two subcommittee chairs, Reps.Gerald Connolly (VA) and Mike Quigley (IL), also signed the letter.
Murphy’s unsubstantiated decision not to recognize the President-elect, comes as President Donald Trump continues to refuse accepting his own electoral defeat — launching a legal crusade in long-shot court cases to cast doubt over the integrity of the vote in key battleground states won by his opponent. A recount of the vote in Georgia on Thursday reaffirmed Biden’s apparent victory in the traditionally red state.
Although Biden’s transition team has found ways to circumvent the stumbling blocks of Trump’s tantrum amid his relegation to a single term, the lawmakers noted that Murphy’s failure to act is yielding “grave effects” as the nation scrambles to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“Your actions in blocking transition activities required under the law are having grave effects, including undermining the orderly transfer of power, impairing the incoming administration’s ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, hampering its ability to address our nation’s dire economic crisis, and endangering our national security,” the Democrats wrote.
The letter follows one similar in tone sent by Senate Democrats who have also requested a briefing from Murphy and have called on her to let the transition move forward.