WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – President-elect Joe Biden’s first ministerial picks arrive Tuesday, and planning is underway for a pandemic-modified inauguration in January as his team moves forward despite Trump administration roadblocks.
Ron Klain, Biden’s new chief of staff, gave no details on Sunday which department heads Biden would announce first. The Associated Press reported that Biden may nominate his candidate for secretary of state or secretary of the treasury next week.
Biden pledged to build the most diverse government in modern history, and he and his team often speak of their desire to see his administration reflect America. He is being watched to see if he will make history by appointing the first woman to head the Pentagon, the Treasury Department or the Veterans Affairs Department, or the first African American to head the Department of Defense, the Department of of the Interior or the Treasury. Department.
Biden said last week that he picked his pick for Treasury Secretary.
Klain said the Trump administration’s refusal to clear the way for Biden’s team to gain access to key information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition takes a toll on planning, including the process. selection of the Cabinet. Trump’s general service administration has yet to acknowledge that Biden won the election – a determination that would remove those hurdles.
“We are unable to verify the background of cabinet candidates. And so there are definite impacts. These impacts are intensifying every day, ”Klain told ABC“ This Week ”.
Even some Republicans have broken with Trump in recent days and called on him to accept the election results.
“I frankly think it’s time to – well, it was high time to start a transition, at least to cooperate with the transition,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, RN.D., on “Meet the Press ”from NBC. He said the designation of the GSA should take place on Monday “because it didn’t happen last Monday morning”, to give the incoming administration “all the time it needs”.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Said there was a “very good chance” that Biden would be president and that Biden and his team should have access to information relevant to the transition. After a federal judge ruled against the Trump campaign in an election challenge in Pennsylvania on Saturday, GOP Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said the president had “exhausted all plausible legal options” and Toomey praised Biden for his victory.
And on Sunday, former Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a longtime Trump supporter, told ABC it was time for the president to stop challenging the outcome. Christie said Trump’s legal team was a “national embarrassment.”
Ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration, Klain said he is “certainly going to have to be changed” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that Biden’s team is consulting with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate on their plans.
“They are going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not cause the disease to spread. That’s our goal, ”said Klain.
Inaugurations typically include a traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, remarks from the President and Vice President of the Capitol, a lunch with lawmakers in the Capitol Rotunda, and numerous balls across Washington. These are all events attended by hundreds and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people who travel to the nation’s capital.
It is not known how public health concerns will affect these traditions.
During the campaign, Biden contrasted Trump on the coronavirus by scaling back his own events in response to the pandemic. Biden held smaller gatherings where people were asked to wear masks and adhere to social distancing recommendations from public health experts. Since winning the presidency, Biden has emphasized the importance of wearing a mask.