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Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden's transition team said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the Office of Management and Budget has been limiting support to the incoming administration, accusing the agency of "intentionally generated opacity."

Why it matters: Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden Transition, told reporters "there’s no question" that a lack of analytical support to the transition team will delay Biden's budget planning, and that it has "real-world implications" for national security.

The big picture: The news comes days after Biden said his team has "encountered obstruction" and "roadblocks" from political leadership at the Defense Department, including a lack of briefings.

  • Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller pushed back on the claims, saying that "DoD political and career officials have been working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities in a compressed time schedule and they will continue to do so."
  • OMB's role is to assist in the development and implementation of the federal budget. A delay in budget planning could have ramifications for the U.S. economy, including as it relates to COVID-19.

The other side: OMB director Russ Vought on Thursday rebuked Biden's claims in a letter to former Sen. Ted Kaufman, who's leading Biden's transition team.

  • Vought said OMB has "provided factual information about ongoing programs" to the Biden transition team" and taken more than 45 meetings with transition staff.
  • But Vought noted that "OMB staff are working on [the Trump] Administration's policies and will do so until [the Trump] Administration's final day in office."

Editor's note: This story has been updated with OMB director Russ Vought's letter.

Go deeper

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

Jan 21, 2021 - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Jen Psaki: "With that I’d love to take your questions”

In her inaugural briefing as White House press secretary, Jen Psaki said she has a “deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy,” and pledged to hold daily briefings.

Why it matters: Conferences with the press secretary in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room became almost non-existent under the Trump administration. By sending Psaki to the podium hours after President Biden took the oath of office, the White House signaled a return to pre-Trump norms.