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Biden Grants Waiver to Lobbyists on Transition Team

Approximately 500 experts are expected to serve as advisors during the transition

Roughly 40 people serving on President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team are or were formerly registered lobbyists, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Thus, 60 percent are comprised of individuals from different industries. 

Despite the Trump administration blocking access to federal agencies, the Biden team announced a list of 500 experts on federal policy that will help the president-elect prepare to lead the government in January.

The Biden team has not imposed a blanket ban on lobbyists as was the case in the Obama-era transition, but they have required anyone who is a registered lobbyist or was registered within the past year to get approval from the transition’s general counsel to serve on the team. A Biden transition official confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that a limited number of transition team members have been granted waivers to serve on the team. Some haven’t lobbied for a decade or longer but at least five are currently registered or were registered in the last year.

“Agency review team members are well-respected in their fields and for their extensive experience in the federal agencies they review,” the official said. “We have granted a limited number of authorizations, including for individuals working on behalf of labor.”

The Biden team will not make formal contact with Trump appointees and career staff at this point because the White House has not yet released transition resources or allowed access to agencies. Transition officials told reporters this week that the team will work through informal channels to learn what’s going on in the agencies, talking with think tanks, labor and nonprofit groups and those who previously served at federal agencies.

This article was provided to OSAE by ASAE's Power of A and Inroads.

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