Political News

Here's what resources Biden's team gets now that the formal transition is underway

Posted November 23, 2020 9:48 p.m. EST

— When the General Services Administration informed President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that the Trump administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, it released a slew of resources for his team to access in the coming weeks, including nearly $6.3 million.

The now-available resources are enumerated in a "memorandum of understanding" between Biden and the GSA, which also outlined the government resources he was able to use before Administrator Emily Murphy acknowledged his win.

Here are some of the resources the incoming president will now be able to access:

Nearly $6.3 million

Biden's transition team will be able to use approximately $6.3 million during the next few months as it prepares to take over. The funds will primarily go for renting office space, paying staffers working for the transition team and compensating experts or consultants, according to the memo. The money can also be used to pay for travel expenses, rental cars, IT services and other administrative costs, the document says.

In addition to that $6.3 million, another $1 million will be set aside for orientation activities "for individuals the President-elect intends to nominate as department heads or appoint to key positions in the Executive Office of the President," according to the memo.

Federal employees

Federal transition laws also give Biden's team access to employees of any federal agency and employees of any congressional committee or office, including ones working in the offices of House members or senators, so long as the congressperson or agency head consents to it, the memo says. Both career and political officials have expressed interest in starting the formal transition process.

Office space

Biden's transition team can now use "approximately 128,000 rentable square feet of space designed to house approximately 500 individuals," according to the memo, which says the space can be used until the inauguration. The memo notes that the office space has not been configured to comply with coronavirus pandemic guidelines and that Biden's staff "shall determine any Covid-19 protocols for the space, including entrance and screening requirements" and the GSA will "make all reasonable efforts to accommodate" the protocols.

Biden officials have previously said that a lot of the transition work will be done virtually due to the pandemic.

IT and mail support

The GSA memo says the agency will also provide "an architected infrastructure to meet telecommunications and IT services and equipment for use" by Biden's team. The GSA will also begin providing mail support for Biden's team, which includes "training on official government mail procedures" for staffers. The US Secret Service will also oversee off-site mail screening of all incoming letters and parcels.

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