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


#Office of #Management and #Budget (OMB) #Acting #Director #Russell #Vought speaks with reporters during a press briefing at the #White #House in #Washington, U.S., #March 11, 2019.

#Jonathan #Ernst | #Reuters

The head of the #White #House budget office on #Thursday refused to direct staff and resources to help with the incoming #Biden administration’s spending plans, in an escalating dispute over what the office’s responsibilities are during the transition process.

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#Office of #Management and #Budget #Director #Russ #Vought pushed back on accusations of obstruction raised by #President-elect #Joe #Biden’s transition team, adding that his agency will not cooperate with alleged efforts to “dismantle” #Trump administration policies.

“#Our system of government has one #President and one #Administration at a time,” #Vought said in a letter to #Biden’s transition chief, #Ted #Kaufman.

The letter from #Vought, shared publicly on his #Twitter account, turns up the heat in the simmering dispute between #President #Donald #Trump’s administration and the incoming #Biden team.

#Biden transition members did not immediately provide comment on #Vought’s letter. #But #Andrew #Bates, a spokesman for #Biden, retweeted a critical message noting that #Vought, “#While calling the accusations false … in fact confirms that he’s preventing OMB career staff from working on next year’s budget request.”

#Biden in a speech #Monday singled out the political leaders of the OMB and the #Department of #Defense for setting up “roadblocks” that hinder his efforts to prepare 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 said at the time. “#It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”

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#Acting #Defense chief #Christopher #Miller responded later that day, saying in a statement that the #Pentagon’s efforts “already surpass those of recent administrations with over three weeks to go.”

#In a virtual briefing #Wednesday, incoming #White #House press secretary #Jen #Psaki and #Biden advisor #Yohannes #Abraham again criticized those agencies.

“There’s no question that the process will be delayed by what we’ve encountered by the outgoing OMB,” #Abraham said. “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 provides economic and budget-related information to incoming administrations well before inauguration day in order to prepare them to quickly submit the new president’s budget. The document is technically due the first #Monday in #February, but has been delayed in the past.

#Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported earlier #Thursday that #Vought is blocking #Biden team members from meeting with budget officials as he aims to finalize and publish new regulations before the #Trump administration comes to an end.

#In his letter to #Kaufman, #Vought said the record shows “OMB has fully participated in appropriate transition efforts.”

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#Vought said that the budget agency has held more than 45 meetings with #Biden staff and has “provided all information requested” about ongoing programs. #He also said that #Biden’s team has been briefed on the #Trump administration’s coronavirus relief efforts, including #Operation #Warp #Speed, the #White #House’s vaccine development 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 said.

“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.”



[ source link ]
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/31/trump-budget-chief-refuses-to-direct-staff-to-help-with-biden-spending-plans.html

##Trump #budget #chief #refuses #direct #staff ##Biden #spending #plans

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