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In Depth with Francis Rose features daily interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 4 to 7 p.m. or download his archived interviews on our daily show blogs.
Senator Ted Kaufman's goal: doing better transitions
Monday - 4/26/2010, 3:23pm EDT
"[This] week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will take up legislation designed to streamline the next Presidential transition. The bill will be based, in part, on testimony provided at a hearing on the subject of transition held yesterday.
"Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka (D.), chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management (part of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel), says that all told, the transition from Bush 43 to Obama 44 went about as well as anyone expected.
"But some lawmakers feel that they can make future presidential transitions even better. One is Deleware Senator Ted Kaufman, who has introduced S. 3196: 'The Pre-election Presidential Transition Act', co-sponsored by Chairman Akaka; Ohio Republican George Voinovich, ranking member of the subcommittee; and Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman, chairman of the full Homeland Security Committee.
"Kaufman...says his bill will mandate a process for outgoing administrations modeled upon the actions of the Bush 43 administration.
"Thursday's hearing addressed a number of issues surrounding the transition, among them, the cost of the transition; federal budget issues, and the transfer of power during times of economic upheaval and security threats. Also: identifying the most important members of the President-elect's team, and having them cleared and confirmed by Inauguration Day.
"Senator Kaufman comes to this discussion with a unique perspective. Before he was appointed to fill out the remainder of now-Vice President Biden's senate term, he was an advisor on the Obama transition team. Kaufman notes that White House officials cling to the notion of needing more -- not less -- political appointees who need the blessing of the Senate."
I played highlights of the hearing on the show today; you can click the link below to watch the entire hearing.