Biden’s Transition and Cabinet Picks: What Happens Next
The General Services Administration has ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden was the apparent winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election, marking the start of the formal transition process.
总务署(General Services Administration)已经确定，当选总统乔·拜登(Joe Biden)在11月3日的总统选举中明显获胜，标志着正式过渡进程的开始。
The impact will be felt immediately: Mr. Biden’s team now has access to the resources of the federal government, including cybersecurity assistance, FBI background checks for prospective nominees, access to departments and agencies and the ability to see classified information, and more intelligence sharing.
Here’s what is expected to happen next as Mr. Biden inches closer to taking the oath of office on Jan. 20.
The GSA’s announcement allows the Biden team access to all the federal government’s departments and agencies. Mr. Biden has teams of people, divided by policy area, who will meet with designated agency and departmental officials to get them up to speed.
The work is particularly important in areas where the Biden administration can’t afford to miss a beat once it takes over, such as the coronavirus-vaccine development and distribution effort. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday he would be sharing materials with the Biden team immediately.
A smooth transition depends in part on how much an outgoing administration decides to cooperate with the incoming team. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in a memo Monday, warned staff not to speak with the Biden team unless they have been explicitly designated as a point of contact, but he said the White House would “ensure a smooth transfer of power.”
The transition’s policy-area teams are vetting possible nominees for cabinet posts that require Senate confirmation as well as other appointments that don’t require lawmakers’ support. A good deal of backchanneling and lobbying typically goes on now, when potential nominees leverage their experience and networks to get face time with the transition team and advocate for themselves or others.
In his early picks, Mr. Biden is leaning on people who have extensive government experience and, in many cases, a history of working with him. But for lower-level jobs, applicants are invited to submit applications and resumes on the transition team’s website, buildbackbetter.gov. That was a dot-com address until Monday, when the GSA granted Mr. Biden access to the dot-gov web domain.
His selections include nominating Alejandro Mayorkas as homeland security secretary, Antony Blinken as secretary of state and Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. He plans to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary.
他的人选包括提名亚历杭德罗·马约卡斯(Alejandro Mayorkas)担任国土安全部部长，安东尼·布林肯(Antony Blinken)担任国务卿，艾薇儿·海恩斯(Avril Haines)担任国家情报总监。他计划提名珍妮特·耶伦(Janet Yellen)担任财政部长。
Not all of President Trump’s political appointees will be out the door on Jan. 20. Political appointees at executive departments—such as State, Treasury and Defense—typically depart, but appointees at regulatory agencies are more insulated and can stay in office for the duration of the term designated by the Senate when they were confirmed.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton will be stepping down at the end of this year to make way for a Biden appointee. But other Senate-confirmed members of the SEC and other agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Federal Election Commission are under no obligation to leave office, especially because many agencies are set up as commissions split between Democratic and Republican members.
美国证券交易委员会(Securities and Exchange Commission，简称SEC)主席杰伊·克莱顿(Jay Clayton)将于今年年底卸任，为拜登任命的人让路。但SEC的其他参议院确认成员以及联邦能源管理委员会(Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)或联邦选举委员会(Federal Options Commission)等其他机构没有离职的义务，特别是因为许多机构的成立是由民主党和共和党成员组成的委员会。
Some of the confirmation hearings are expected to begin while Mr. Trump is still president, allowing Mr. Biden to start with some of his team installed on his first day in office. Most recent presidents began their terms with at least a couple of confirmed cabinet members. Mr. Trump began his term with confirmed defense and homeland security secretaries, both approved with votes on Inauguration Day.
President Barack Obama had six cabinet members approved on Inauguration Day, while President George W. Bush had seven. It can take months for the full cabinet to be filled, however: Mr. Trump didn’t have his full initial cabinet approved until April 2017.
美国总统巴拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)在就职日当天批准了6名内阁成员，而乔治·W·布什(George W.Bush)总统有7名。然而，可能需要几个月的时间才能组成完整的内阁：特朗普直到2017年4月才批准了他的整个初始内阁。
Rocky confirmation hearings or scandals can also delay the process. Mr. Obama needed to nominate three different commerce secretaries before one was confirmed, while Mr. Trump had his first pick for labor secretary drop out.
Many of Mr. Trump’s most important hires are unaffected by the transition to a new administration. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell can be fired only for cause and is virtually guaranteed to stay on until at least the end of his term in 2022. Federal Bureau of Investigation directors are appointed to 10-year terms to distance them from political winds, but Mr. Trump’s firing of then-Director James Comey in May 2017 broke with that precedent. Mr. Biden hasn’t said whether he wants to keep current Director Christopher Wrayin the post.
特朗普的许多最重要的人事不受新政府过渡的影响。美联储(Fed)主席杰罗姆·鲍威尔(Jerome Powell)只有在有理由的情况下才能被解雇，而且几乎可以保证他至少会留任到2022年任期结束。联邦调查局(FBI)局长的任期为10年，以使他们与政治风向保持距离，但特朗普在2017年5月解雇时任局长詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)打破了这一先例。拜登还没有说他是否想让现任董事克里斯托弗·莱恩(Christopher Wrain)留任。
Federal judges, perhaps Mr. Trump’s most lasting legacy, are appointed for life in most cases.
The many minor boards and commissions that make up far-flung reaches of the federal government also will retain their current makeup in most cases, and Mr. Biden will fill those positions as they become vacant.