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GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Joe Biden's transition team is warning that it may take "legal action" if the General Services Administration fails to make an official determination that Biden has won the election.

Driving the news: GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, a Trump political appointee, has not made the declaration — a so-called "ascertainment" — that would allow officials from Biden’s agency review teams access to the information they need in order to get to work.

  • "There's a number of levers on the table and all options are certainly available," a Biden transition official told reporters.
  • "It's a changing situation and certainly rather fluid."

The big picture: The Presidential Transition Act governs how the outgoing administration is required to cooperate with the incoming one, smoothing the way for a peaceful transfer for power.

  • Most official GSA ascertainments have been made within 24 hours of the election, with the exception of the 2000 contest, when the outcome in Florida was down to some 500 votes, the officials said.

Why it matters: Absent a GSA declaration, the incoming administration doesn’t have access to agencies to look at the non-public books, slowing their ability to change policy direction. They also don’t have access to:

  • Office space, computers and mobile phones.
  • The $6.3 million in appropriated funds.
  • Classified information or secured facilities to review it.
  • The ability to request security clearances or background checks for potential cabinet nominees.

Go deeper

Biden to propose pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

One his first day in office, President-elect Biden will propose legislation that would give an eight-year path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Why it matters: The proposal — the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 — is a stark shift away from former President Trump's harsh policies and rhetoric on immigration and fulfills a campaign promise of Biden's.

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."