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Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding

CRS report via LC – Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding, November 13, 2020: “The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA) authorizes funding for the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide suitable office space, staff compensation, and other services associated with the presidential transition process (3 U.S.C. §102 note). The act has since been amended in response to evolving understandings of the role of the government in the transition process. From enactment of the PTA in 1964 through the presidential transition of 2008-2009, most PTA-authorized support was provided after the election of the incoming President and Vice President. In the years since, Congress has expanded support for the presidential transition process to include authorization and funding for pre-election activities and support. Most recently, the act was amended by the Presidential Transition Enhancement Act of 2019 (P.L. 116-121), enacted on March 3, 2020. As amended, the PTA directs the President and the incumbent Administration to establish a specified transition-related infrastructure, with some features ongoing and others active during a presidential election year only. It also authorizes the provision by the incumbent Administration of certain pre-election transition support for eligible candidates. In addition, the PTA authorizes eligible candidates to fund pre-election transition activities through their campaigns. The statute also directs agencies to establish transition period succession plans for senior political positions and to ensure career officials are prepared to lead federal agencies on an interim basis during the transition process. It further provides for the negotiation, before the election, of memoranda of understanding (MOU) between the incumbent President and eligible candidates that specify the terms of access by transition staff to executive branch employees, facilities, and documents…”

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