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senate Bill S. 1172

Streamlining the Presidential Transition Process

Argument in favor

Anything to make the presidential transition process smoother should be done. The federal government is enormously complex, and this is a nonpartisan issue.

Buster's Opinion
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08/27/2015
Hope anything helps to get rid of current traitor in the White House
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Deborah's Opinion
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02/15/2016
My understanding is that prior to President Bush, there was no transition at all. Even PTA presidents get a book to help transition them to their new duties, why don't we streamline things for the most important elected official we have?
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Tim's Opinion
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02/16/2016
It's just common sense that there should be coordination of major changes in leadership in all areas of the federal government when a new President comes in.
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Argument opposed

Recent presidential transitions haven’t gone that badly without these councils and working groups -- is this really necessary?

Steven's Opinion
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02/29/2016
Can anyone name a bad transition off the top of their head? Neither can I, this is a non issue.
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chrisagiddings's Opinion
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02/15/2016
Adding layers of formality and oversight to a process which has historically been smooth and lacking animosity… would I think complicate the following of many unwritten rules whereby previous commanders in chief offer solicited council to the sitting commander in chief without raucous clambering from their respective party leaders.
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Adam's Opinion
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02/15/2016
The previous transitions of power, despite the incoming presidents policies and views, have all been smooth. Adding new systems to a proven process can add unintended layers of procedures and complications
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bill Progress


  • EnactedMarch 18th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed February 29th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Oversight, Management, and Accountability
      Committee on Homeland Security
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
  • The senate Passed July 30th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    IntroducedApril 30th, 2015

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What is Senate Bill S. 1172?

This bill seeks to streamline the Presidential transition process by ensuring that a senior-level, White House-led interagency transition council is in place at least six months before Election Day. It also requires a working-level interagency group to develop an integrated transition strategy.

A career employee at the General Services Administration (GSA) would serve as a Federal Transition Coordinator, and the GSA would continue to provide office space and support to the major presidential candidates.

Federal agencies would be required designate employees to serve in an “acting” capacity in senior political positions during a transition before September 15 in a presidential election year.

Incoming presidential appointees would have expanded training made available to them.

Impact

Federal employees involved in the presidential transition process, presidential campaigns, the interagency transition council and working group, and voters.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1172

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: A study done by the Partnership for Public Service found that preparing for the presidential transition needs to begin well before Election Day. It also suggested that a new President should have nominees for national security and economic positions vetted and ready for confirmation immediately after the election, and that political appointees need additional training.

Sponsoring Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) points out that after an election “the new administration must be as prepared as possible to hit the ground running from day one,” and that Congress can help in that role. A cosponsor of this bill, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) echoed this concern, saying: 

“handing over the keys to the entire $3.5 trillion federal government is a colossal undertaking.”

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user FDR Presidential Library & Museum)

AKA

Edward "Ted" Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to improve the process of presidential transition.

    Hope anything helps to get rid of current traitor in the White House
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    Can anyone name a bad transition off the top of their head? Neither can I, this is a non issue.
    Like (13)
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    Adding layers of formality and oversight to a process which has historically been smooth and lacking animosity… would I think complicate the following of many unwritten rules whereby previous commanders in chief offer solicited council to the sitting commander in chief without raucous clambering from their respective party leaders.
    Like (10)
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    The previous transitions of power, despite the incoming presidents policies and views, have all been smooth. Adding new systems to a proven process can add unintended layers of procedures and complications
    Like (8)
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    Seems unnecessary and expensive.
    Like (7)
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    Completely unnecessary and would make this process partisan at some point.
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    Donald trump should be in jail not in the White House to begin with.
    Like (3)
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    Why do we try to over complicate things? There are so many existing employees of the government that could be utilized to assist in the transition. We don't need to create more committees or more departments and spending more money for transitional presidency. Let's use what we have and be efficient and cost conscious.
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    This bill seems unneeded.
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    It's just common sense that there should be coordination of major changes in leadership in all areas of the federal government when a new President comes in.
    Like (2)
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    My understanding is that prior to President Bush, there was no transition at all. Even PTA presidents get a book to help transition them to their new duties, why don't we streamline things for the most important elected official we have?
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    Good past examples are not the ultimate guide in this very complex process. Normally I'm loath to create new bureaucracies but being the leader of the free world is in itself a complex assignment. I support this legislation, albeit with reservations as to the ever-increasing size of government.
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    We have never had an issue with the changing of presidents. Why should we create a committee which will cost money to fund something that has never been an issue. Waste of taxpayers money.
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    There have been no major problems. These are supposedly adults who should be able to work it out. We don't need to spend millions on one more federal agency
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    Without a cost estimate this seems meaningless to even consider
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    This formalizes a process that doesn't need to be formalized. It also gives power to agency officials before their time in office. There are inauguration dates for a reason, and that reason is for the transition of power.
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    Federal hiring creep. More big shots to hire, more office space and ancillary employees. Then there is all that set uptime. The only thing I see as a positive would be more witnesses to prevent the outgoing presidential staff from sabotaging the computers or stealing WH China.
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    Perhaps additional training will foster responsible governance. Or at least allow us to get our cabinet members early.
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    Stifling!!!
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    I feel that many of the presidential candidates, though some more than others, lack the knowledge and experience to really have a smooth transition without this bill.
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