GSA won’t give transition funds to Bush yet

The General Services Administration will not release $5.3 million in transition funds or provide access to its Washington transition office until challenges to the election are resolved, a spokeswoman said Sunday.

While Texas Gov. George W. Bush was certified the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes on Sunday, Vice President Al Gore intends to contest the Florida result in court--leaving the election outcome in jeopardy, according to GSA.

"As long as both sides continue with their plans to go to court, we believe that the outcome remains unclear. Therefore, we are not planning to authorize the transition at this time," said GSA spokeswoman Beth Newburger.

At a news conference Sunday night, Bush named his running mate Dick Cheney chair of his transition effort and said Cheney would seek the Clinton administration's help in opening a transition office in Washington. President Clinton was scheduled to hold a Cabinet meeting Monday to discuss the transition and other issues.

Under the 1963 Presidential Transition Act, GSA cannot disburse transition funds while the outcome of the election remains in doubt.

Bush could move his transition team to Washington even without GSA funds, Bush campaign officials told the Washington Post. The campaign is prepared to raise money and find private offices in Washington to jump-start the transition effort, a senior Bush adviser told the paper.

GSA's transition headquarters, at 1800 G Street N.W., has office space to accommodate more than 300 people.

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