Capito joins GOP legislators in urging transition; GSA makes resources available to Biden

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., is among a growing group of Republicans that support starting the presidential transition process.

Capito on Monday issued a statement on the Nov. 3 election, noting President Donald Trump has been unsuccessful in changing the projected results and has few opportunities remaining to challenge vote tallies.

“I have been clear that President Trump — like any candidate for office — has the right to request recounts and to raise legal claims before our courts. However, at some point, the 2020 election must end,” Capito said.

“The window for legal challenges and recounts is rapidly closing as states certify their results in the coming days. If states certify the results as they currently stand, Vice President Joe Biden will be our next president and Senator Kamala Harris will be our next vice president.”

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (File)

Capito’s statement came hours before the head of the U.S. General Services Administration contacted Biden regarding resources related to the transition. Both announcements were issued more than two weeks after multiple news outlets projected Biden as the winner.

President Donald Trump did not concede to Biden on Monday, but the president tweeted he ordered the act in the best interest of the country. Administrator Emily Murphy told Biden the decision was her own.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. 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,” she wrote. “To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

Capito, who won a second term earlier this month, said she is proud to have supported Trump and pleased with the work of congressional Republicans.

“Working together with President Trump and his administration, we lowered taxes, confirmed three outstanding Supreme Court Justices and hundreds of well-qualified judges, improved our trade policies to favor American workers, strengthened our border security, and reversed the Obama Administration’s job killing regulations,” she said. “Those are significant achievements, and they underscore what our state’s voters clearly conveyed on November 3rd.”

Trump and his allies have argued against the projected outcome and asserted unsupported claims of voter fraud. Trump’s legal team has been unsuccessful in trying to overturn the election results.

“While some irregularities and fraud have been found and should be punished, there is no indication that these are widespread enough to call into question the outcome of the election,” Capito said. “I firmly believe in our electoral system and in the power of the voice of the people.”

Capito noted Biden and Harris should receive briefings on national security and the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a smooth transfer of power on Jan. 20.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., extended his congratulations to the Biden campaign on Nov. 7. Gov. Jim Justice refused to acknowledge Biden as president-elect during a Nov. 11 coronavirus briefing, and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey signed onto a U.S. Supreme Court brief about Pennsylvania accepting absentee ballots after Election Day.

Republican Reps. David McKinley and Carol Miller have been quiet about the presidential election. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., rejected Biden as president-elect on a Nov. 12 episode of “MetroNews Talkline.”

Three of Capito’s Republican colleagues — Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Rob Portman of Ohio and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana — also on Monday called for the transition to begin.

Joe Biden (Gage Skidmore)

“I voted for President Trump, was a co-chair of his campaign in Ohio, and I believe his policies would be better for Ohio and the country,” Portman wrote in a Cincinnati Enquirer op-ed.

“But I also believe that there is no more sacred constitutional process in our great democracy than the orderly transfer of power after a presidential election. It is now time to expeditiously resolve any outstanding questions and move forward.”

Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, urged support over the weekend.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers voted Monday to certify the election results, moving Biden a step closer toward receiving the state’s electoral votes.

Election officials in Georgia will begin a recount this week following a Trump request. Leaders on Friday certified the results showing Biden as the winner.

The Biden-Harris Transition Team spent Monday announcing nominees for various positions, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state and former Secretary of State John Kerry as a representative on climate change.

The Wall Street Journal reported Biden will nominate former Federal Reserve Secretary Janet Yellen to led the Treasury Department.





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