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The U.S. General Services Administration informs Biden to start the presidential transition, Trump gives in

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The U.S. General Services Administration informs Biden to start the presidential transition, Trump gives in

According to the news on the 23rd, the General Services Administration (GSA) has notified the Biden team that it is ready to start the formal transition process. On the same day, Trump also tweeted to “recommend” Director Emily Murphy to “make the decisions that need to be made” and said that “the team has been told to do the same.”

It has been more than two weeks since the US media announced Biden’s victory, but because the Trump camp refused to admit defeat, the transition process between the old and new administrations has been unable to begin. Murphy once refused to sign a letter allowing Biden’s transition team to work, and was called “the most powerful woman in Washington.”

However, according to a report from CNN late at night on the 23rd, Murphy had sent a letter to Biden that afternoon, and CNN also obtained the letter.

According to CNN, the letter can be regarded as the first step for the Trump administration to acknowledge the defeat of the presidential campaign.

Murphy said that the White House did not put pressure on her to postpone the transition process, and she made the decision “not out of fear or favoritism.”

“I made this decision independently, based on the law and the existing facts, and I hope to know.” Murphy wrote, “There is no question about the time point when I made the decision, including officials from the White House and GSA. Put pressure on me directly or indirectly.”

On the afternoon of the 23rd, Trump tweeted to indirectly accept Murphy’s initiation of the transition process and said that his team would also cooperate.

The U.S. General Services Administration informs Biden to start the handover, Trump gives in

According to the “Washington Post” report earlier, the General Services Administration is the “lowest-profile” agency in the federal government responsible for managing the federal building, and therefore it is also known as the “landlord” of the US government. According to U.S. law, only after the General Services Administration confirms that one party has won the election, signs a letter, and officially transfers millions of dollars in funds, the U.S. President’s power transfer process will be officially launched.

Usually, the confirmation by the General Affairs Bureau is just a “routine” job. Because Trump refused to admit defeat this year, the outside world put a lot of pressure on Murphy.

CNN believes that Murphy’s further background towards formal confirmation is the result of the recount of several controversial states. At present, Georgia and Michigan have reconfirmed Biden’s victory. And Pennsylvania is about to complete the confirmation of the election results.

However, it must be pointed out that US law does not stipulate the time for Murphy to make a decision. She can wait until the Electoral College meeting on December 14 before making a decision. In 2000, the election results of Bush Jr. and Gore also encountered controversy. That year, the General Services Administration did not confirm the winner until the Supreme Court made a ruling on December 12.

In the letter, Murphy also mentioned that the relevant legal provisions of the confirmation procedure are relatively vague and need to be updated.

In contrast to Biden, although Trump has been reluctant to admit defeat, Biden acted swiftly. He announced a transition team list of nearly 500 people as early as the 10th, indicating that the handover has already begun, even if it is called the United States. The General Services Administration of the government “landlord” is “blocking the door” and “will not change our motivation to do things in the slightest.”

Since then, Biden has also put pressure on Murphy through the media, declaring that “we expect the head of the General Services Administration to quickly confirm Biden and Harris as the president-elect and vice president.” “The national security and economic interests of the United States depend on the federal government. The government sends a clear and prompt signal.”

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Biden tears away from his hometown and flies to Washington

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According to reports from the Associated Press and CNN on the 19th, the US President-elect Biden departed from his hometown of Delaware in the afternoon and arrived in Washington, the capital of the United States by plane, preparing to participate the next day (20th) Inauguration.

Before leaving, Biden, who was very excited, gave a speech in Delaware, and for a time “tears down”. He said that Delaware would be the starting point of his trip to Washington. Afterward, Biden flew to Washington to meet with Vice President-elect Harris and attended a mourning ceremony for the new crown epidemic in the United States.

Biden’s inauguration will begin on the morning of the 20th, but core areas such as the National Mall in Washington have been blocked. The number of tickets for the inauguration ceremony has been reduced to more than 1,000, which will mainly invite members of the US Congress and government officials. Currently, there are approximately 25,000 US National Guard soldiers in charge of security work during the ceremony.

 

Biden’s speech “tears full of tears”

According to the National Public Radio (NPR), Biden took a flight from Wilmington, Delaware, on the afternoon of the 19th to Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. He originally planned to take an Amtrak train, but the plan was eventually canceled due to safety concerns.

Before leaving, Biden first gave a speech at the Delaware National Guard barracks, which was named after his late son Beau Biden.

In his speech, Biden praised Delaware, which he described as the “starting point of a trip to Washington”: “After I die, Delaware will be inscribed in my heart… My next trip to Washington From here on, this place defines the best of us as Americans.” American media pointed out that Biden “could not help but choked up and burst into tears for a while.”

Biden also mentioned his late son in the military camp, which he described as “one of the main factors that inspired him to run for president.”

Subsequently, Biden briefly reviewed the scene when he took office as Obama’s vice president in 2009 when Biden was traveling to Washington by train and claimed that he would “forever make Delaware proud.” About 100 people attended the speech, including Biden’s family and a large number of Delaware officials.

After arriving in Washington, Biden made a high-profile appearance with the Vice President-elect Harris of the United States. The two attended a mourning ceremony for the new crown epidemic outside the Lincoln Memorial and delivered speeches. The US media pointed out that this was also the first inaugural event carried out by Biden and Harris.

Biden said in the mourning ceremony: “Sometimes it is painful to remember these things, but this is how we heal. It is very important for a country, so we will be here today, lighting up the lights in the evening. The reflection in the pool commemorates everyone we lost.” At the time Biden delivered this speech, the number of deaths from the new crown pneumonia in the United States had exceeded 400,000.

The Associated Press stated that after the mourning ceremony, Biden will go to the Blair Building, the official welcome of the US President, for the night, and attend the inauguration of the US President on the morning of the 20th.

 

The Secretary of State appointed by Biden is busy speculating on China issues

While Biden was making a speech in Delaware, “with tears in tears,” his appointed Secretary of State Brinken was speaking out in Washington, making no secret of his strong views on China, and he started to hype issues related to China before he took office.

According to the “Wall Street Journal” report, at the Senate’s hearing on the afternoon of the 19th, Brinken claimed that China “posed the greatest threat to the United States” and agreed with the Trump administration’s hardline claims against China. Brinken also agreed with the current Secretary of State Pompeo’s series of so-called “investigations” on China, and expressed support for Pompeo’s nonsense on issues related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

In addition to the China issue, Brinken also talked about the Iranian nuclear issue and the Palestinian-Israeli issue. He did not mention the specific plan of the United States to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement, saying that it “still has a long way to go”, and repeatedly stressed that the United States “must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”

On the Palestinian-Israeli issue, he expressed support for the Trump administration’s approach, saying that the new US government will continue to place the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem to show US support for Israel.

The Wall Street Journal analyzed that this means that Brinken has reached agreement with most Republican lawmakers on the China issue, implying that in the next four years, the Biden administration is likely to adopt a more unified and tough foreign policy toward China.

 

On the eve of the ceremony, the security situation continued

Although Biden’s inauguration is near, the United States National Guard, which is responsible for Washington’s security work, is infrequent situations. Not only are there personnel involved in making extreme remarks, but there is also a serious situation of military uniforms being stolen.

The Associated Press quoted an anonymous official from the US Department of Defense as saying that 12 members of the National Guard have been relieved of security work, and they have been found to have ties to right-wing militia organizations or express extreme views. Officials of the Ministry of Defense did not disclose the specific units in which these people served.

The commander of the National Guard, Daniel Hokanson (Daniel Hokanson) confirmed to the Associated Press that these personnel have been removed from their current positions for safety reasons. However, he claimed that only 2 people were involved in making inappropriate comments related to the inauguration ceremony, and the remaining 10 were transferred due to past criminal records or other potential problems and did not involve the inauguration issue.

However, the US Department of Defense also stated that it has not found any serious internal threats.

At the same time, a military uniform was stolen in the surrounding area of Washington. CNN reported that on the morning of the 19th, two US Army uniforms were stolen in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, near Washington.

According to the description of the local police, the thief opened an unlocked vehicle of a US soldier and stole two military uniforms from it. However, the police pointed out that, including the vehicle of the US soldier’s mother, other vehicles in the neighborhood were stolen. Their case should not be specifically for military uniforms. But for security reasons, they have warned Washington to pay attention to this matter.

Biden’s inauguration ceremony will begin on the morning of the 20th. About 25,000 US National Guard soldiers have been stationed in Washington to take charge of security work during the ceremony. Core areas such as the National Mall in Washington have been blocked, and the number of tickets for the inauguration ceremony has also been drastically reduced, from 200,000 tickets to more than 1,000 tickets. Members of Congress and government officials will mainly be invited to attend.

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Biden pushed for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would allow individuals to receive $1,400 in cash

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According to the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and many other foreign media reports, US President-elect Biden announced the details of the large-scale stimulus plan, the American Rescue Plan, with a total scale of US$1.9 trillion.

The program includes:

  • Direct payment of US$1,400 per person to most Americans. Together with US$600 in December 2020, the total amount of relief will reach US$2,000;
  • Increase the federal weekly unemployment benefit to $400 and extend it to the end of September;
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to US$15 per hour and allocate US$350 billion for state and local government assistance;
  • Appropriate USD 170 billion for K-12 schools (kindergarten to grade 12) and higher education institutions;
  • Allocate US$50 billion for new coronavirus testing;
  • $20 billion was allocated for the national vaccine program.

In addition, the program will increase the annual refundable amount of the child tax credit to US$3,000 per child, and each child under the age of 6 can receive a refund of US$3,600.

According to senior officials of Biden’s team, the “U.S. Rescue Plan” will be one of the two most important expenditures in Biden’s first few months. The second bill is expected to be introduced in February. The main goal is to solve long-term employment, infrastructure, climate change, and racial equality issues.

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Senior leaders of the US military rarely make joint voices: Capitol riots are illegal, and Biden will become commander-in-chief

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On January 12, the senior leaders of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff broke the silence for nearly a week and issued a joint statement on the US Congressional riots on the 6th. They condemned the demonstrators participating in the riots for violating American laws and challenging the procedures established by the U.S. Constitution and emphasized that Biden has won the U.S. election and will soon become the new commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.

Reuters pointed out in the report that senior US military leaders usually do not make statements involving political issues. It is very rare for them to make such a joint statement this time.

The aforementioned joint statement first repeated the duties of the U.S. military, stating that the U.S. military has always obeyed the legal orders of civilian leaders, ensured public safety in accordance with the law, and is committed to “protecting the U.S. constitutional government from damage by enemies at home and abroad.”

The statement then condemned the riots in the U.S. Congress on the 6th, saying that the demonstrators directly attacked the U.S. Congress and the statutory procedures established by the Constitution, but the U.S. law did not grant them such rights, and the U.S. military would resolutely “defend the Constitution.”

“We have witnessed violations of the law in the Capitol. Free speech and freedom of assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and rebellion. As soldiers, we must embody the values and ideals of the country, and we support and defend the United States. The Constitution, any action that violates the procedures prescribed by the Constitution not only violates traditions, values, and oaths but also violates the law.” The statement reads.

At the end of the statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized that in accordance with the US Constitution, after confirmation by states and courts and certification by Congress, Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, becoming the 46th commander-in-chief of the US military. They also reminded U.S. soldiers across the country to be vigilant and ready to perform their duties at any time.

According to the final signature of the document, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milly, Vice Chairman John Hayteng, and the leaders of the various services of the US military signed this statement.

CBS said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff is responsible for the work of the chief military adviser to the President of the United States and usually does not involve political matters. Although this statement did not issue any political declaration, it clearly shows that senior US military officials believe it is necessary to reiterate the responsibilities of the US military before the inauguration of the new president. Reuters also pointed out that such joint statements by senior US military officials are very rare.

The report pointed out that the statement made by the US military this time is in sharp contrast with what they did in June last year. At that time, during the protests after the black man Freud was “kneeled and killed,” Milly, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied Trump to the church to take pictures. On the way, the National Guard used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Milli later apologized to the American people for this matter.

Since the U.S. military is mainly composed of white men, the “extremism” in the U.S. military has also received close attention after the Congressional riots. The US Army said on the 12th that they will cooperate with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate whether any US military personnel have also participated in the demonstration. “There is no place for extremism in the military. We will review every report and take appropriate action,” said a US Army spokesperson.

The US Department of Defense has announced that it may deploy up to 15,000 National Guard soldiers to be responsible for security during Biden’s inauguration. The U.S. military and the U.S. Secret Service will also conduct investigations on these National Guard personnel and decide whether it is necessary to conduct an in-depth background investigation on some of them as appropriate.

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