clearn.png
Saturday December 5th, 2020 8:04PM

Biden could announce Cabinet picks as soon as next week

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is moving quickly to fill out his administration and could name top leaders for his Cabinet as early as next week.

Biden told reporters on Thursday that he's already decided on who will lead the Treasury Department. That pick, along with his nominee for secretary of state, may be announced before Thanksgiving, according to people close to the transition who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The Cabinet announcements could be released in tranches, with groups of nominees focused on a specific top area, like the economy, national security or public health, being announced at once.

Such a move is intended to deliver the message that Biden is intent on preparing for the presidency even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede and attempts to subvert the election results in key states. Trump's roadblocks have undermined core democratic principles such as the peaceful transfer of power and are especially problematic because Biden will take office in January amid the worst public health crisis in more than a century.

“It’s a huge impact. And each day it gets worse, meaning a week ago, it wasn’t that big of a deal. This week, it’s starting to get to be a bigger deal. Next week, it’ll be bigger,” said David Marchick, director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. “Every new day that’s lost has a larger impact than the day before.”

Still, Biden’s transition work is progressing, with the president-elect holding frequent virtual meetings from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and a music venue downtown. At this point, Biden is deeply involved in choosing his Cabinet, a process described by one person as similar to fitting puzzle pieces together.

In putting together the 15-person team, Biden is facing demands from multiple, competing interests, as well as the political realities of navigating a closely divided Senate.

He’ll have to find the right mix of nominees to appease progressives demanding evidence he’s committed to major reforms; fulfill his promise to build the most diverse government in modern history; and pass through a more difficult than expected nomination process with a slim margin of control for either party, depending on the outcome of two Georgia Senate runoffs in January.

Those considerations appear to be already informing Biden’s calculus for secretary of state.

Two finalists to be America’s top diplomat include Antony Blinken, a former deputy national security adviser and deputy secretary of state, and Chris Coons, who holds Biden’s former Senate seat from Delaware and sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Blinken and Coons are close to Biden, and both have privately and, in some cases, publicly, expressed interest in the job. But with the balance of power in the Senate depending on two runoffs in Georgia, Blinken may have the upper hand, according to people close to the transition. The thinking, these people said, is that even if Coons is tapped for the post and replaced with a Democrat by Delaware’s Democratic governor, the loss of his influence in the Senate may outweigh his value as secretary of state.

That Senate calculation also weighs heavily on perhaps Biden’s presumptive first choice, former ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser Susan Rice. Rice, who is also close to Biden, would almost certainly face difficulty in a confirmation process with a Republican-controlled Senate because of her past comments about the deadly 2012 attack on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya.

As Biden moves forward, his team won't have access to their counterparts at the various federal agencies or tap funds and office space for the transition until the General Services Administration ascertains that Biden is the winner.

Marchick noted that the delay in that process could ultimately undermine the number of administration staff Biden is able to get in place on time. Candidates must go through an ethics clearance process, file dozens of pages of forms, and some positions require security clearances.

The lack of ascertainment is also putting somewhat of a cash crunch on the Biden team. According to two donors familiar with the transition’s efforts, they’ve raised about $8 million for the transition already, hitting their original goal, but without the roughly $6 million in federal funds afforded to Biden's transition team, they’ve been forced to continue fundraising.

In an email to donors this week obtained by the AP, Chris Korge, the Democratic National Committee’s national finance chair, warned that the Biden transition didn’t have enough money to “totally fund” their efforts and told donors that “the American people will be the big losers if we don’t immediately step up and do something about it.”

Speaking on a call with reporters Friday, Yohannes Abraham, an adviser to Biden’s transition, warned that the delay is affecting the transition's planning.

“This isn’t a game,” he said. “There’s no replacing the real-time information that can only come from the post-ascertainment environment that we should be in right now.”

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Pac-12 cancels Washington State-Stanford game
The Pac-12 has canceled Washington State’s football game at Stanford
5:09PM ( 9 minutes ago )
'No more room for delay': Biden wants emergency COVID-19 aid
President-elect Joe Biden is calling on Congress to enact billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance before year’s end
5:08PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Georgia Secretary of State certifies election for Joe Biden
Georgia’s top elections official has certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state
5:05PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Who needs Russia? Loudest attacks on US vote are from Trump
In the weeks before the presidential election, federal authorities warned that foreign countries could spread false information about the results to discredit the legitimacy of the outcome
4:42PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Illinois teen charged in protest slayings posts $2M bail
An Illinois 17-year-old charged with killing two people during a protest in Wisconsin has posted bail and been released from custody
4:25PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Lieutenant gov's flags fly in the face of some PA lawmakers
Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, may have gotten under somebody’s skin
4:24PM ( 54 minutes ago )
AP National News
Trump makes late-term bid to lower prescription drug costs
President Donald Trump's administration is trying to close out major unfinished business on lowering prescription drug costs
2:59PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden wants Congress to pass emergency COVID aid this year
President-elect Joe Biden is calling on Congress to enact billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance before the year’s end
2:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
Georgia Secretary of State to certify election for Biden
Georgia’s top elections official is expected to certify election results showing Joe Biden won the presidential election in the state
2:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
VP Mike Pence campaigns in Georgia ahead of Senate runoffs
Vice President Mike Pence is campaigning Friday in Georgia in support of the state’s two Republican senators
3:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Trump's election challenges falling flat in court
While President Donald Trump vows to press ahead with efforts to overturn the election, judges across the country have consistently swatted down his legal challenges
2:57PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: WH disputes concerns about getting vaccine out
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is disputing Joe Biden’s concerns about the government’s ability to distribute a coronavirus vaccine after one is approved, given that the Trump administration is refusing to share information with the president-elect’s team
2:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Mich. leaders head to DC as Trump bids to subvert election
Two Michigan state legislators are headed to the White House as President Donald Trump makes an extraordinary and sure-to-be futile attempt to block Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state and subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election
10:50AM ( 6 hours ago )
Florida's Sen. Scott has coronavirus, 'very mild symptoms'
Sen_ Rick Scott of Florida says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is isolating at home with “very mild symptoms.”
10:34AM ( 6 hours ago )
Biden to meet with Pelosi, Schumer as challenges loom
President-elect Joe Biden is set to hold his first in-person meeting since winning the election with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer
10:21AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Pac-12 cancels Washington State-Stanford game
The Pac-12 has canceled Washington State’s football game at Stanford
5:09PM ( 11 minutes ago )
'No more room for delay': Biden wants emergency COVID-19 aid
President-elect Joe Biden is calling on Congress to enact billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance before year’s end
5:08PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Georgia Secretary of State certifies election for Joe Biden
Georgia’s top elections official has certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state
5:05PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Raptors denied permission to play in Canada, head to Tampa
The Toronto Raptors will start the NBA season next month in Tampa, Florida, because of travel restrictions by the Canadian government stemming from the pandemic
4:55PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Daily COVID-19 deaths in US reach highest level since May
The coronavirus surge is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears close at hand
4:54PM ( 26 minutes ago )