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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden angered scores of his supporters Friday after posting a message to Twitter begging for transition funds.
“Here’s the deal: Because President Trump refuses to concede and is delaying the transition, we have to fund it ourselves and need your help. If you’re able, chip in to help fund the Biden-Harris transition,” the post read.
Here's the deal: Because President Trump refuses to concede and is delaying the transition, we have to fund it ourselves and need your help.
If you're able, chip in to help fund the Biden-Harris transition. https://t.co/apJMrdpoSS
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 20, 2020
The tweet drew immediate pushback — and no small amount of ridicule — from supporters and political opponents alike.
“Here’s the deal: you’re giving your rich donors everything they want so ask them,” one user wrote in response.
Here's the deal: you're giving your rich donors everything they want so ask them https://t.co/vTZjLdsI4t
— Flag Smasher (@EoinHiggins_) November 20, 2020
“Why don’t ask your Lincoln Project friends for some of the tens of millions they pocketed? Instead of squeezing people without jobs and healthcare,” said another.
Why don't ask your Lincoln Project friends for some of the tens of millions they pocketed? Instead of squeezing people without jobs and healthcare… https://t.co/a8xsSNdtSB
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) November 20, 2020
Others reacted similarly.
For a small donation, you can help this 80 year-old Dixiecrat achieve his dream and get into the White House.
— Marcus ADOS (@Marcus_S86) November 20, 2020
It’s about time you removed “elect” from your bio and replaced it with “cheat”.
— Chris .. an EU free zone 🇬🇧🥂 (@Chris27657780) November 20, 2020
This is the weirdest gofundme I’ve ever seen. https://t.co/8NVyJZhNw1
— Louie Mantia, Jr. 🌸 (@Mantia) November 20, 2020
Are you really asking for $$$. https://t.co/KCzIUtL9Qv
— Fred (@WaywardWinifred) November 20, 2020
Typically, presidential transitions are funded with tax dollars via the Government Services Administration (GSA). But earlier this month, the agency said it would hold off providing those funds until it “ascertains the apparent successful candidate once a winner is clear based on the process laid out in the Constitution.”
Under provisions of the 1963 Presidential Transition Act, the agency’s administrator, Emily Murphy, to order funds dispersed upon the clear determination of a presidential winner. And currently, the Trump campaign has filed a number of lawsuits challenging, among other things, final vote tallies as well as pre-election changes to voting laws that were issued by bureaucrats and courts and not passed by state legislatures.
“An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law,” GSA spokeswoman Pamela Pennington said in a statement.
“The GSA administrator does not pick the winner in the presidential election,” she said. “The administrator’s ascertainment is done for the purposes of making services provided by the PTA available.
“Until an ascertainment is made, the statute allows for the Biden Transition Team to continue to receive the preelect services from the government (e.g., limited office space, computers, background investigations for security clearances). GSA has met all statutory requirements under the PTA for this election cycle and will continue to do so,” she added.
In February, Congress allocated $9.9 million to the agency for transition services.
In an interview with NPR, Robert MacKichan, general counsel to the GSA during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, said he believes Murphy is acting properly.
“If I were in her shoes right now, given what has been publicly made available, I think it would be premature,” he said Nov 9.
The press declared Biden “president-elect;” he has yet to formally become the president-elect because state electors do not meet to cast their votes for president until Dec. 14. Until then, the president’s legal team has said it intends to pursue legal challenges after alleging widespread electronic ballot fraud.
Nevertheless, the Biden team mulled pursuing legal action to force the GSA to release transition funds.
“Legal action is certainly a possibility, but there are other options as well that we’re considering,” a Biden team spokesperson said earlier this month after insisting the election had been “independently called” for the former vice president.
The appeal for funds from the public, however, suggests the Biden camp is no longer considering legal challenges.
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