© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: United States President-elect Joe Biden announces nominees to the economy and employment team at Transitional Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
By Jeff Mason WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden will appoint acting heads of agencies to lead agencies and Cabinet departments while their nominees await confirmation, a necessary move due to delays in the transition process. a Biden transition official said Tuesday. Biden, a Democrat, will take office on January 20, replacing Republican President Donald Trump, who is leaving amid impeachment proceedings related to the deadly riot on Capitol Hill last week. The Trump administration delayed the power transfer process while falsely claiming that the election results were fraudulent. The transition official said the delay had delayed the process enough that Biden had to make temporary appointments to lead key government agencies, while political appointees such as chiefs of staff can begin to enact his agenda. The official said Biden’s team had identified career officials, including some from the Trump administration, whom he described as people of integrity that Biden would put in place until the confirmation process was completed. The Wall Street Journal first reported that the president-elect planned to make appointments to most cabinet positions and some sub-cabinets. The US federal agency that approves the presidential transition process told Biden on November 23 that he could formally begin the transfer process. The election took place on November 3 and Biden was declared the winner on November 7. Biden, a former vice president, has said some Trump agencies were slow to share information. The impeachment process adds an additional wrinkle. If the US Senate finds itself in the middle of an impeachment trial against Trump at the beginning of the new president’s term, that would almost certainly lead to further delays in shaping votes for Biden’s nominees.