Here’s What Could Happen to the $240 Million Biden Has Raised if He Drops Out of the Race Now

Here’s What Could Happen to the $240 Million Biden Has Raised if He Drops Out of the Race Now
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla

If President Joe Biden steps down from the 2024 race, he will leave behind hundreds of millions in campaign funds. Currently, his ticket, i.e. he and Vice President Kamala Harris together have $240 million distributed across multiple fundraising committees, which his campaign collectively calls Team Biden-Harris. This amount far exceeds what any other potential Democratic nominee has in their war chest, USA TODAY reports. The fate of this substantial sum remains uncertain, as nothing like this has happened before.



 

 

Biden for President is the primary campaign committee for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, holding $91.6 million in the bank. It is commonly believed that Harris would inherit this money if she became the nominee, given her name on the campaign's formation documents. Federal law suggests that a presidential campaign's funds also belong to the vice-presidential nominee.



 

 

However, Dan Weiner, director of the Brennan Center for Justice's Elections & Government Program, notes that "it’s not crystal clear" because the drafters of the Federal Election Campaign Act couldn't have "anticipated this situation." If Harris receives these funds, it would be her only current funding source, as her previous campaign accounts from her 2020 presidential bid and 2016 Senate run have been exhausted and closed.



 

 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had $65.2 million in its campaign war chest at the end of May. Although this money is closely linked to Biden's presidential campaign, political parties generally use their funds to support whoever their nominee is. Therefore, if Biden exits the campaign, this money would likely be redirected to support the nominee selected at the August convention.



 

"The DNC keeps that money and would presumably use it for the Democratic nominee, whether it’s President Biden or someone else," Weiner said. "And I want to emphasize right now that all signs point to — it’s going to be President Biden." Biden himself appeared on Morning Joe earlier this week and reaffirmed that he intends to keep running. "I wanted to make sure I was right that the average voter out there still wanted Joe Biden," Biden said, per Axios. "And I'm confident they do."

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker

 

Biden has three joint fundraising committees that collect donations through a single account and distribute them among various PACs. By the end of March, the Biden Victory Fund had $41.1 million, the Biden Action Fund had $19.4 million, and the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund had $1.6 million. These committees are formed with proper written agreements and are free to file new paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to reallocate funds if Biden drops out.



 

 

Since super PACs are legally required to operate independently from candidates, Biden would have no official say in how this money is spent. The main super PAC supporting Biden is Future Forward, which ended May with $92.4 million in cash. The leaders of Future Forward or any other super PACs supporting Biden might choose to spend the money aiding the new Democratic candidate for president, transferring the funds to another super PAC, or refunding the money to donors.

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