Washington, DC – Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) today announced that the Senate last night unanimously approved his legislation, the Presidential Transition Act, to improve the Presidential transition process and help new administrations hit the ground running. The bill now goes to the President for his signature.
“The Presidential Transition Act will improve the ability of the President-elect to switch effectively from campaigning to governing,” Senator Thompson said. “The President-elect must have the ability to immediately put a new team in place and that team must have access to the critical information it needs to be ready to hit the ground running on inauguration day.”
The Presidential Transitions Act:
1) Provides for briefings and orientations of those individuals the President-elect intends to nominate to senior executive branch positions.
2) Requires the compilation of a “transitions directory” to provide senior White House staff and prospective appointees with key agency and administrative information, and;
3) Requires the Office of Government Ethics to prepare a report identifying unnecessary reporting and disclosure requirements placed on Executive Branch nominees.
The Treasury/Postal appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2001 includes $1 million for the implementation of this legislation.
The Presidential Transitions Act, passed as H.R. 4931, is identical to S. 2705, legislation introduced by Thompson and Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and approved by the Governmental Affairs Committee on June 8, 2000. That measure built on legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Horn (R-CA-38).
The need for an effective presidential transition and the recognized problems with past transitions have led a number of private sector organizations to focus on the transition process. Several programs, including the Presidential Appointee Initiative of the Brookings Institution, Transition to Governing Project of the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings, and the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership 2000, have contributed to consideration of this problem. These groups and others are independently preparing a body of information that will assist new administrations to get an effective, timely start.
# # #