Trump budget chief refuses to direct staff to help with Biden spending plans

The head of the White House budget workplace on Thursday refused to direct staff and assets to help with the incoming Biden administration's spending plans, in an escalating dispute over what the workplace's tasks are in the course of the transition course of.

Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought pushed again on accusations of obstruction raised by President-elect Joe Biden's transition crew, including that his company is not going to cooperate with alleged efforts to "dismantle" Trump administration insurance policies.

"Our system of government has one President and one Administration at a time," Vought mentioned in a letter to Biden's transition chief, Ted Kaufman.

The letter from Vought, shared publicly on his Twitter account, turns up the warmth within the simmering dispute between President Donald Trump's administration and the incoming Biden crew.

Biden spokesman Andrew Bates in an announcement referred to as it "indefensible," within the midst of a time of financial hardship, "to hamstring the United States government's ability to prepare a budget and efficiently deliver help to those who need it most, particularly out of explicit, declared partisanship."

"The final two paragraphs of this letter both affirm exactly what the transition said yesterday, while contradicting the letter's opening with an overtly political admission of what is truly taking place — which flies in the face of how OMB has operated during every presidential transition for decades," Bates mentioned. "The President-elect will continue to work in good faith to lift our country out of this emergency as quickly as possible. There is one responsible course of action."

Biden in a speech Monday singled out the political leaders of the OMB and the Department of Defense for organising "roadblocks" that hinder his efforts to put together for the presidency.

"Right now, we just aren't getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas," Biden mentioned on the time. "It's nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility."

Acting Defense chief Christopher Miller responded later that day, saying in an announcement that the Pentagon's efforts "already surpass those of recent administrations with over three weeks to go."

In a digital briefing Wednesday, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Biden advisor Yohannes Abraham once more criticized these companies.

"There's no question that the process will be delayed by what we've encountered by the outgoing OMB," Abraham mentioned. "The production of the budget takes many person hours, and it takes the analytical support that has been a part of OMB's engagement with prior transitions that we have not been in receipt of."

Historically, the OMB offers financial and budget-related info to incoming administrations effectively earlier than inauguration day so as to put together them to rapidly submit the brand new president's budget. The doc is technically due the primary Monday in February, however has been delayed previously.

Bloomberg, citing individuals acquainted with the matter, reported earlier Thursday that Vought is obstructing Biden crew members from assembly with budget officers as he goals to finalize and publish new rules earlier than the Trump administration comes to an finish.

In his letter to Kaufman, Vought mentioned the report exhibits "OMB has fully participated in appropriate transition efforts."

Vought mentioned that the budget company has held greater than 45 conferences with Biden staff and has "provided all information requested" about ongoing packages. He additionally mentioned that Biden's crew has been briefed on the Trump administration's coronavirus reduction efforts, together with Operation Warp Speed, the White House's vaccine growth and distribution plan.

"What we have not done and will not do is use current OMB staff to write the [Biden transition team's] legislative policy proposals to dismantle this Administration's work," Vought's letter mentioned.

"OMB staff are working on this Administration's policies and will do so until this Administration's final day in office. Redirecting staff and resources to draft your team's budget proposals is not an OMB transition responsibility."

Vought added: "OMB will not participate in developing policies that will weaken border security, dismantle the President's deregulatory successes, and draft budgets that will bankrupt America."

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