* President-elect picks former Fed chair, Yellen as Treasury Secretary
Oluchi Chibuzor with agency report
The General Services Administration (GSA) has informed President-elect, Mr. Joe Biden that the United States President, Mr. Donald Trump’s administration is ready to begin the formal transition process, according to a letter from Administrator Emily Murphy sent yesterday afternoon and obtained by CNN.
Biden has also nominated a former Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary.
The letter is the first step the administration has taken to acknowledge Trump’s defeat, more than two weeks after Biden was declared the winner in the election.
Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision “out of fear or favouritism.”
“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts,” Murphy wrote. “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official — including those who work at the White House or GSA — with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
The letter signals that Murphy has formally signed off on Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. The move will allow the transition to officially begin, permitting current administration agency officials to coordinate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.
The move toward ascertainment comes after Michigan formally certified its election results on Monday and Georgia certified its razor-thin presidential results on Friday. Pennsylvania is nearing certification of its election results, too.
Meanwhile, Biden has nominated former Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary.
If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to lead the department, according to CNBC.
Yellen was the first woman to serve as Federal Reserve’s chair after her Senate confirmation in 2014.
CNBC described the appointment as a historic decision.
Yellen, 74, is widely seen as a politically “safe” pick for the role, likely to garner support from Senate Republicans as someone capable of pursing bipartisan compromise during an otherwise fragile time for the economy.