President-elect Joe Biden answers a question as he leaves The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Monday.

President-elect Joe Biden answers a question as he leaves The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Monday. Susan Walsh/AP

Transition Roundup: Concerns Over Biden’s Pick for Defense Secretary; Calls for Disability Representation in Biden Administration 

There's a lot to keep track of. Here’s today’s list of news updates and stories you may have missed.

Tuesday is “Safe Harbor Day,” which is the deadline for states to resolve any disputes over their election results and certify them before the Electoral College votes on December 14. President Trump said late last month he would leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Biden, but has continued to claim there was widespread fraud in the presidential election, despite losing his legal challenges so far. Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed. 

Biden picked Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to be Defense secretary, Politico reported on Monday. “Biden has chosen a barrier-breaking former four-star officer who was the first Black general to command an Army division in combat and the first to oversee an entire theater of operations,” said the report. “Austin, who also ran U.S. Central Command before retiring in 2016, emerged as a top-tier candidate in recent days after initially being viewed as a longshot for the job.” If confirmed, he will be the first Black Defense secretary. 

There is some trepidation about Austin, however, because he will need a waiver from Congress since he hasn’t been out of the military for the seven years required. That would only be the third time a waiver has been required since Congress passed the National Security Act in 1947. “The Pentagon now needs to re-establish traditional national security processes and return to a sense of normalcy,” Jim Golby, former special adviser to vice presidents Joe Biden and Mike Pence, wrote in The New York Times on Monday night. “President-elect Biden no doubt will want to streamline civilian oversight of war plans, increase transparency surrounding military operations and chart a new and perhaps very different vision for the defense budget.” Although Austin “is a fine public servant” he or “any other recently retired general or admiral” should not lead the Pentagon. 

On Tuesday, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies failed to pass a resolution “essentially acknowledging” Biden as the winner of the election because all Republicans opposed it, Politico reported. The members are Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. (chairman); Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. 

In order to fully fulfill his mission to create an administration that will “look like America,” RespectAbility, a nonprofit that advocates for opportunities for those with disabilities, called on Biden to prioritize disability representation. “The decisions made in the months ahead by the Biden-Harris administration are going to significantly impact the one-in-five Americans living with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president and CEO of RespectAbility, in a statement on Monday. “Out of the more than 500 people named as part of the transition process, we only know of four individuals who have public disabilities or disability experience.”

Michael Pack, CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, is planning to make a final purge during the last few weeks of the Trump administration. This would be for the individuals he put on administrative leave, CNBC reported on Monday. The news comes less than a week after the Office of Special Counsel said there was a “substantial likelihood” of wrongdoing by Pack and other top officials, as Government Executive previously reported. 

Upcoming: Biden will give remarks to introduce his health appointees and nominees at 1:40 p.m. (time subject to change). 

Today’s GovExec Daily podcast episode looks at what federal managers can expect during a transition.

Help us understand the situation better. Are you a federal employee, contractor or military member with information, concerns, etc. about how your agency is handling the transition? Email us at newstips@govexec.com.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.