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White House budget director accuses Biden team of ‘false statements’ about transition


The director of the #White #House #Office of #Management and #Budget is accusing #President-elect #Joe #Biden and his aides of lying about obstruction during the presidential transition — saying that, in fact, there have been 45 meetings since late #November.

#Biden on #Monday accused the budget office of putting up “roadblocks” to the transition, but outgoing OMB #Director #Russ #Vought says in a #Thursday letter to #Biden transition co-chairman #Ted #Kaufman that the claim is untrue.

“I am writing to correct several false statements that members of the #Biden #Transition #Team (BTT) are continuing to make regarding the #Office of #Management and #Budget’s (OMB) cooperation with your team,” #Vought writes in a letter seen exclusively by The #Post.

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“We have taken more than 45 meetings with your staff to discuss specific issues, operational questions, and more. #It is appropriate for OMB to share information about ongoing programs so the BTT can use it to develop its own policies. #We have provided all information requested from OMB about ongoing programs.”

#Sources tell The #Post that they surmise the #Biden transition office wants to begin calling the shots before #Biden takes office on #Jan. 20, and that they believe #Biden may be accusing OMB of obstruction to lay the groundwork to blame the officials for any bumps after taking office, including with the COVID-19 pandemic.

#Biden and his aides also say #Defense #Department officials are not cooperating fully.

“We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership in the #Department of #Defense and the #Office of #Management and #Budget. #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 a #Monday press conference in #Wilmington, #Delaware.

“It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” #Biden said.

Outgoing OMB Director Russ Vought
#Outgoing OMB #Director #Russ #Vought
AP

#On #Wednesday, #Johannes #Abraham, the transition’s executive director, echoed #Biden, telling reporters, “OMB leadership’s refusal to fully cooperate impairs our ability to identify opportunities to maximize the relief going out to #Americans during the pandemic, and it leaves us in the dark as it relates to COVID-related expenditures and critical gaps.”

#But #Vought said the budget office, which controls spending across the federal government, has been giving full access to necessary information.

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“To your specific criticisms with respect to COVID, as you are aware, your team has
been briefed by OMB, as well as the relevant agencies, on #Operation #Warp #Speed and other COVID-relief efforts, including the various funding streams in use for these efforts,” #Vought writes.

“Furthermore, there is record of your team accessing these critical documents just last week.”

#Bloomberg #News reported #Thursday that #Biden transition officials are particularly perturbed that career budget office staff are unable to assist in preparing #Biden’s first budget proposal to #Congress, due in #February.

#But #Vought added: “As the record shows, OMB has fully participated in appropriate transition efforts. #What we have not done and will not do is use current OMB staff to write the BTT’s legislative policy proposals to dismantle this #Administration’s work. 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 wrote that his office signed off on use of $9.9 million in federal transition funds on #Nov. 23 after the #General #Services #Administration ascertained that #Biden was the president-elect.

#Vought writes to #Kaufman, “Our system of government has one #President and one #Administration at a time. 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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The #Biden transition office did not immediately respond to The #Post’s request for comment.



[ source link ]
https://nypost.com/2020/12/31/white-house-budget-director-accuses-biden-team-of-lying-about-transition/

##White ##House #budget #director #accuses ##Biden #team #false #statements #transition

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