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CRS — Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding

January 30, 2013

Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA), as amended, authorizes funding for the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide suitable office space, staff compensation, and other services associated with the presidential transition process (3 U.S.C. § 102 note). Section 6 of the PTA directs the President to include in his budget request, for each fiscal year in which his regular term of office will expire, “a proposed appropriation for carrying out the purposes of this Act.” The President’s FY2013 budget proposal included $8.95 million in funding for the 2012-2013 presidential transition. Of this sum, not more than $1 million was to be used for training and orientation activities under specified provisions of the PTA. These recommendations were endorsed by Congress and included in the Continuing Appropriations Resolution of September 28, 2012 (P.L. 112-175).

In the event the President-elect is the incumbent President, or the Vice President-elect is the incumbent Vice President, no funds may be spent on the provision of services and facilities to this incumbent. Any funds appropriated for such purposes are to be returned to the Treasury.

From enactment of the PTA in 1964 (P.L. 88-277) through the presidential transition of 2008- 2009, most PTA-authorized appropriations were provided after the election of the incoming President and Vice President. The Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-283) amended the PTA and included several other provisions to provide additional support to eligible candidates for pre-election transition planning. These provisions had effect for the first time during the 2012 presidential election.

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