Further delay in starting the transition to the Biden administration harms Americans. Kansas Republican leaders, please get started.
I sincerely hope that the Republican federal officeholders who represent me, or who will soon represent me and my state, recognize that the presidential election is over, that Joe Biden won, and they encourage and help with a peaceful and effective transition to the new presidential administration.
While none of these leaders — Senator Pat Roberts, Senator Jerry Moran, Representative Ron Estes, Representative Roger Marshall, Representative-elect Jake LaTurner, and Representative-elect Tracey Mann — have the power to compel the transition to start, they can add their names to the small list of Republicans urging my president Donald J. Trump to get along with the nation’s business. Their leadership can convince other Republicans to follow.
If by some chance it turns out that my president Donald J. Trump won the election, we can simply stop the transition in its track. No permanent harm will have been done. But needlessly delaying the transition is harming national security and the health of Americans.
We now have a COVID-19 vaccine that will likely be approved for use. Its distribution involves overcoming large obstacles, both technical and human. The Biden administration must be ready to continue the efforts of the Trump administration with no delay or problems. Start the transition, please.
National security is at stake. The 9/11 Commission Report noted that the disputed presidential election of 2000 and the resultant short transition period was a problem:
“The dispute over the election and the 36-day delay cut in half the normal transition period. Given that a presidential election in the United States brings wholesale change in personnel, this loss of time hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees.”
In its recommendations, the committee concluded this:
“Improve the Transitions between Administrations
“In chapter 6, we described the transition of 2000—2001. Beyond the policy issues we described, the new administration did not have its deputy cabinet officers in place until the spring of 2001, and the critical subcabinet officials were not confirmed until the summer—if then. In other words, the new administration—like others before it—did not have its team on the job until at least six months after it took office.
“Recommendation: Since a catastrophic attack could occur with little or no notice, we should minimize as much as possible the disruption of national security policymaking during the change of administrations by accelerating the process for national security appointments. We think the process could be improved significantly so transitions can work more effectively and allow new officials to assume their new responsibilities as quickly as possible.”
The Biden administration needs to be ready to seamlessly assume the duty of keeping us safe. Start the transition, please.