Statement: Planning and preparation for transition must begin immediately, says bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity

The bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity — a group of more than 40 former elected officials, former Cabinet secretaries, retired military officials, and civic leaders — issued the following statement urging planning and preparation for a transition to begin immediately:

“Supporting our democratic republic means supporting the rule of law. While the Trump campaign is still pursuing litigation, the outcome of the presidential election is clear. The laws that govern peaceful transitions in our country require an ‘apparent’ winner in the presidential race. That criterion has been met. 

“We call on General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy to release the funds, facilities, and other services necessary to start a smooth and efficient transition, in accordance with the law. Responsible stewardship of our democratic republic requires that GSA and other pertinent agencies be allowed to cooperate with President-Elect Joe Biden on appropriate intelligence briefings and transition plans, including the President’s Daily Brief. 

“As the Center for Presidential Transition has noted: The new administration will quickly be required to prepare a $4.7 trillion budget; develop a strong policy agenda; recruit 4,000 political appointees, including 1,250 who require Senate confirmation; and assume leadership of a workforce of 2 million civilian employees and 2 million active duty and reserve troops. 

“Moreover, our national security demands that the president-elect and new administration be fully prepared to meet the challenges facing the country without delay. Sixteen years ago, the 9/11 Commission stressed how a truncated transition between the administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush created national security vulnerabilities. We should not repeat that mistake. Planning and preparation for the transition must begin immediately.”