Pro-Biden groups shelling out big bucks to push massive spending bills
Among the groups launching campaign is pro-Biden Build Back Together, nonprofit that doesn't have to disclose donors
A coalition of progressive organizations and pro-White House groups says it will spend nearly $100 million to launch a campaign this month to promote President Biden's domestic agenda.
The aim of the new push, first reported by the Associated Press and confirmed by Fox News, is to secure passage of two massive government spending bills the president is aiming to push through Congress: a $1 trillion bipartisan Senate bill for traditional infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and transit as well as broadband and clean water, in addition to the $3.5 billion measure the Democrats aim to pass along party lines using a legislative process known as reconciliation.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE SENATE'S BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE
As the two bills make their way through Congress over the next month and a half, the groups plan to launch TV and digital ads as well as hold events to keep pressure on lawmakers to back the measures and to build up support among Americans.
The infrastructure package, which was negotiated by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House, passed some key hurdles late last week but faces many more crucial votes in the days ahead.
The separate massive budget resolution bill introduced a couple of weeks ago by Senate Democrats includes nearly all key elements of the president’s American Families Plan, including the creation of a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, funding for free universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and free community college for all students. And it expands the number and amounts of Pell Grants, extending the child tax credits that were included in the COVID relief package, and funding for numerous clean energy programs.
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The measure also includes expanding Medicare coverage for hearing, vision and dental, which Budget Committee chair Sen. Bernie Sanders has long championed. To pay for their plan, Democrats are calling for tax hikes on corporations and the wealthiest earners as well as beefing up the IRS in order to generate more revenue by cracking down on people who cheat or underpay on their taxes.
The package – which is being steered through the Senate by Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont and two-time Democratic presidential candidate - would become the biggest expansion of the federal government’s social safety net in many decades.
Among the organizations taking part in the new campaign to support the measures is Build Back Together, an outside group that backs the president.
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"Building Back Together and a coalition of progressive organizations will spend $100 million this August recess to promote @POTUS’ #BuildBackBetter agenda. Jobs, climate, immigration, care, infrastructure, voting rights — Let’s get it done," the group tweeted on Monday morning.
Build Back Together, which was formed earlier this year, was set up as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which by law allows it to operate without disclosing its donors.
MAJOR CONSERVATIVE GROUP TAKES AIM AT BIDEN SPENDING PLANS
The new campaign comes as Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the politically powerful fiscally conservative and libertarian political advocacy group, says its major grassroots and paid media campaign to derail the government spending packages is in full swing.
AFP launched its seven-figure "End Washington Waste: Stop the Spending Spree" campaign in May. The push includes paid media efforts as well as what it describes as "aggressive direct outreach to Hill offices." The group says its activists have so far sent more than 1 million letters to lawmakers urging them to oppose the infrastructure proposals.