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Feds Will Pay Students Your Tax Dollars To Help Reelect Biden, In Latest ‘Bidenbucks’ Scheme

The plan would use work-study funds to pay students for ‘get-out-the-vote activities, voter registration … or serving as a poll worker.’


The Biden administration is hellbent on pushing its partisan get-out-the-vote campaign ahead of the November election, and it’s more than willing to crush the Constitution to do it. 

Vice President Kamala Harris this week laid out Democrats’ “four-part strategy” to use the full force of the federal government to drive more votes for Biden — a plan election integrity experts say defies federal law.  

“Today, we gather to lay out a four-part strategy to protect the freedom to vote. The first part is the work that the president and I have done to charge every federal agency to do all they can to make sure that every American has the information that they need to know how they can vote when they are eligible,” Harris said Tuesday before convening a “closed-door meeting” at the White House with leftist voting activists.

Tuesday’s announcement and recent guidance by the U.S. Department of Education point to an urgency on the part of the administration to activate the full machinery of what has been described as “Bidenbucks” — the use of federal agencies and resources to target likely left-leaning voters to turn out for November’s pivotal presidential election. It appears federal agencies are carrying out with greater zeal President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14019. Signed shortly after the Democrat took office, the order deputizes federal agencies to expand voter registration and turnout — using White House “approved” third-party organizations to help get the GOTV job done. 

That’s not the domain of the executive branch, but team Biden doesn’t care about such extraneous details.  

Your Tax Dollars at Work?

Under said four-point strategy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will “email information on how to register to vote to everyone who enrolls” in the Affordable Care Act. That’s a target market of 21 million people, Harris excitedly noted. The operation is already underway, Harris added, with the first emails going out last Friday. 

All of the Social Security Administration’s approximately 1,200 offices nationwide will display signs from, the U.S. voter information site. information also will displayed at all national parks.

The action plan also pushes electoral participation for high school and college students. Students will be paid through the Federal Work-Study plan to register voters and serve as “nonpartisan poll workers,” Harris said. 

“As we know this is important for a number of reasons. One, to engage our young leaders in this process and activate them in terms of their ability to strengthen our communities. But also this is the work that we need to do knowing that so many poll workers have left this work for a variety of reasons,” the vice president said, hinting at the bogus narrative that election workers across the nation are under constant threat by the left’s great bogeyman, “election deniers.” 

The Department of Education this week issued a memo, as a follow-up to a 2022 “Dear Colleague” letter, clarifying that Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds may be used to support “broad-based get-out-the-vote activities, voter registration, providing voter assistance at a polling place or through a voter hotline, or serving as a poll worker.” 

The work-study program, which coincidentally is on the chopping block in a languishing House appropriations bill, is part of the suite of financial aid offered to college students, who can earn paychecks in “work-study” jobs. Those positions, generally on campus, haven’t included get-out-the-vote efforts — that is, until the implementation of the Bidenbucks initiative.  

DOE argues that under the Higher Education Act of 1965, eligible postsecondary institutions are required to “make a good faith effort to distribute a mail voter registration form, requested and received from the State, to each student enrolled in a degree or certificate program and physically in attendance at the institution, and to make such forms widely available to students at the institution.” 

In the 2022 letter, the Office of Postsecondary Education wrote: 

FWS funds cannot be used for employment by a Federal, State, or local public agency, or a private nonprofit organization, other than the institution, for work involving partisan or nonpartisan political activity, including party-affiliated voter registration activities, as this is expressly prohibited under 34 CFR 675.22(b)(5).

But suddenly, the Department of Education has a different reading. The agency now insists it’s just fine to use Federal Work-Study funds for get-out-the-vote efforts if you squint hard enough.

“The Department is today clarifying that FWS funds may be used for employment by a Federal, State, local, or Tribal public agency for civic engagement work” including GOTV and voter registration efforts and serving as poll workers, the memo says. “We believe this reading is supported by the language of 34 CFR § 675.22(b)(5) and adheres to the meaning of the regulation when read as a whole, namely promoting student employment in the public interest while ensuring that such work is neither associated with any faction in election for public or party office, nor constitutes political activity.”

‘Foot Soldiers Into Democrat Strongholds’

If you want to know just how partisan such “employment in the public interest” is, just count the number of conservatives involved in the federally-funded voter registration effort. Spoiler alert: Left-wingers dominate the process. 

“The goal of this latest guidance from the Department of Education is to provide legal top cover to education bureaucrats, enabling them to hire an army of college students using taxpayer dollars,” said Sofia De Vito, legal fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability. “If this is allowed to continue, we’ll see campuses across the country deploy these foot soldiers into Democrat strongholds to get-out-the-vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2024.” 

In October 2021, FGA sent the Department of Education a Freedom of Information Act request seeking communications and documents related to Biden’s executive order. As I reported this week, the Department of Justice has been stonewalling the release of records, condescendingly claiming that doing so would only “confuse the public.”

In the meantime, the Department of Education (DOE) recently released a “toolkit” for team Biden’s get-out-the-vote campaign. As my Federalist colleague Brianna Lyman reported earlier this week, the Education Department guidance suggests colleges and universities provide drop box locations and early-voting sites for students, a significant majority of whom vote for Democrats. 

‘Clearly Breaking the Law’

Constitutional law expert Hans von Spakovsky says the Biden administration’s latest scheme fails the legal test. 

“Congress has never appropriated any money for the executive branch to do that, so the administration is clearly breaking the law,” said von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and a former member of the Federal Election Commission. 

“There’s no way that Congress appropriated money that could be used to interfere with the election process,” von Spakovsky said. 

The legal expert said the Biden administration’s redirected use of work-study dollars is a violation of the Antideficiency Act, which bars federal agencies from “obligating or expending federal funds in advance or in excess of an appropriation.”

But don’t expect much in the way of accountability, von Spakovsky said. The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for enforcement of the Antideficiency Act, and Attorney General Merrick Garland “is not going to do anything to enforce the act in this administration.” 

With more than half of the states banning or limiting the use of private funds in elections, Democrats and their allies need another, more dependable way to interfere with the elections process. In 2020, the leftist Center for Tech and Civic Life handed out hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called “safe elections” grants funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The brunt of the money went to Democrat-heavy areas in battleground states, and much of it was spent on efforts to drive likely-Democrat voter turnout. 

“It was an outrageous abuse not only of the rules governing charitable money, but I believe it was interference in the elections process,” von Spakovsky said. “Now [the Biden administration] says, ‘We’re going to use the federal government to do that.’” 

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