By LIBBY CATHEY and ADIA ROBINSON, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump is slated to hand over control of the White House to President-elect Joe Biden in 47 days.
Here is how the transition is unfolding. All times Eastern:
Dec 04, 1:30 pm
Biden speaks of ‘grim’ November jobs report but says he’s ‘encouraged’ by bipartisan COVID-19 package
In a lengthy paper statement released Friday ahead of his afternoon speech, Biden lamented the “grim” November jobs report, saying it shows an economy “stalling” and confirms that the nation remains in “one of the worst economic and jobs crises in modern history.”
Biden also cautioned that this report is just a snapshot of the economy prior to the deadly surge in cases the nation is seeing now, adding that the economic situation will get worse if Congress and Trump do not act in the coming weeks.
A $908 billion COVID-19 relief proposal advanced by a bipartisan group of Senators has gained momentum on Capitol Hill with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking over the phone Thursday to discuss pandemic relief for the first time since the November election — but the deal is not yet done as lawmakers work to craft the bill’s final language.
Biden said in Friday’s statement that while he is “encouraged” by the bipartisan $908 billion relief bill working its way through Congress, it is not nearly enough to stem the negative effects the pandemic has had on the American economy, calling it “just the start.”
He reiterated that he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are working on a plan they hope to get passed when they take office in January, encouraging the country to come together to beat back the virus.
-ABC News’ John Verhovek
Dec 04, 12:52 pm
Biden pledges to bring ‘most pro-equality’ admin in history
Biden appeared before the 2020 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference Friday morning and in brief pre-recorded remarks to kick off the event pledged to bring the most “pro-equality” administration in history.
“A historic number of LGBTQ people ran for office this year, and they won, many of them. It’s an honor to be an ally and have been on the ballot with all of you,” Biden said. “Vice President-elect Harris and I are committed to being the most pro-equality administration in history. But we can’t do it without you.”
Biden also congratulated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her receiving the Victory Institute’s History Maker Award, which recognizes “change-makers” who have led the LGBTQ community as elected officials or other public servants.
“You’re an American treasure. And I can’t wait to work together again with you to continue to fight for full equality and to usher in a new era of LGBTQ rights and the entire movement,” he said.
To fulfill this promise, Biden has vowed to eliminate executive orders deemed discriminatory to LGBTQ Americans and enacted under the Trump administration, including a current ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military, and to bring back an Obama-era protection that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms based on their gender identity.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Dec 04, 11:04 am
Trump pushes dozens of ‘midnight regulations’
As Trump keeps a lower profile during his final weeks in office, behind the scenes the administration is racing to solidify his legacy, fulfill campaign promises and overhaul federal regulations that could take Biden years to undo.
From immigration to environmental protections, the Trump administration is quietly pushing to finalize more than three-dozen rule changes that could have significant impact for years.
“We call them ‘midnight regulations.’ It’s the last chance to put these rules on the books before the Trump administration changes to the Biden administration,” said ProPublica investigative reporter Isaac Arnsdorf, who has created an online database tracking the pending regulations for the nonprofit news site. “They can be reversed, but not easily.”
They include religious exemptions for federal contractors under employment discrimination laws; looser water efficiency standards for shower heads and washing machines; and stricter eligibility for food stamps, even as millions out of work in the pandemic look to the government for help.
Many of the most significant last-minute regulations are focused on environmental and scientific policy, including a controversial effort to ban EPA use of any scientific study that doesn’t fully disclose all of the underlying raw data. Its defenders call it a step toward transparency, while critics call it censorship.
Some of Trump’s final acts face challenges in court, and if Democrats win control of the Senate, there could be fast-track repeals of recently finalized regulations. But experts say most of the policy changes won’t be easily undone.
-ABC News’ Devin Dwyer and Jon Schlosberg
Dec 04, 10:13 am
Overview: Trump behind closed doors, Biden pitches 100-day mask campaign
As the pandemic reaches its worst point yet, with the U.S. reporting its highest case count and death toll on Thursday, the president has said few words on COVD-19 since the election, focusing his energy instead on his own political fate.
Ahead of Trump holding his first rally since losing the election to campaign for GOP senators in Georgia on Saturday, some Republicans have expressed concerns that his rhetoric claiming the presidential election was “rigged” could suppress turnout for the January runoff election in races that will determine which party controls Congress’ upper chamber.
The president has no public events on his schedule Friday. Vice President Mike Pence is headed to Georgia ahead of Trump’s weekend rally there, while former President Barack Obama joins a virtual rally for the Democratic contenders Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
Biden, meanwhile, is slated to deliver afternoon remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, on the final jobs report of 2020 out Friday morning.
Following remarks, the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will meet virtually with the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. Biden will also appear at the 2020 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference at 12 p.m., according to a release from the organization.
The president-elect is reinforcing his message that “help is on the way” with a new campaign. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday, Biden said that on Inauguration Day, he’s likely to ask members of the public to wear a mask for 100 days in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. He also said he’ll keep Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, in his administration and elevate his title to chief medical adviser.
This all comes as a coronavirus model from the University of Washington used by the White House has projected nearly 540,000 deaths by April 1.
Dec 04, 8:17 am
Trump deepens GOP rifts as Georgia races heat up: Analysis
If the Republican Party is at risk of a civil war, it’s not clear what side Trump is on.
More specifically, he will be on his own side — wherever that leaves his party. With action heating up in Georgia’s run-off races Friday and through the weekend, the contradictions the president is leaving Republicans to sort out will be more urgent than ever.
Vice President Mike Pence will campaign in Georgia on Friday, while former President Barack Obama appears at a “virtual rally” with his party’s Senate candidates and other prominent Democrats. Then, on Saturday, the president himself will be at his first major rally since the election, where he will make remarks his own allies can’t guarantee will align with the GOP’s broader goals.
About that election, the president has officially lost Georgia — after his campaign requested another recount and despite Trump’s efforts to rally his base against his own supporters who hold top offices in state government.
The president is now making noises about ousting his attorney general, William Barr, in his final weeks in office, after Barr said his office has not found evidence of criminal voter fraud. Some of those final weeks are being consumed by confrontations Trump is starting with his fellow Republicans on the annual defense bill and other year-ending legislation.
The private frustrations with the president are as real as they are predictable, particularly with control of the Senate on the line in Georgia.
Party leaders have long known their loyalty to Trump won’t necessarily be rewarded. What’s different now is that they know Trump won’t be in office in a few weeks to deal with the consequences of his political actions.
-ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein
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