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No One Knows How Much ‘Bidenbucks’ Is Costing Taxpayers, Not Even Congress

Student voter registration drive on Connecticut college campus
Image CreditFox 61 / Youtube 

House Administration Committee Chairman Rep. Bryan Steil tells The Federalist the Biden Administration has failed to meet a subpoena deadline.


While Bidenomics is devouring a bigger share of Americans’ income, “Bidenbucks” is chewing up more of their federal tax dollars. But at least the rising cost of everything from gas to groceries is clear — all too clear — to the U.S. consumer. The price tag for the federally funded get-out-the-vote campaign to elect Democrats remains unknown to the electorate. 

And it appears President Joe Biden’s administration plans to keep it that way, congressional subpoenas be damned. 

On June 13, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, chairman of the Committee on House Administration, issued subpoenas to 15 administration cabinet members seeking documents related to Biden’s executive order sold as “Promoting Access to Voting.” He gave the agency chiefs until Wednesday, June 26 to comply. They haven’t. 

“Not a single agency has responded with their strategic plan or with any details about the implementation of the EO,” the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement to The Federalist. “Additionally, we know that as many as 40 outside groups assisted and advised the agencies on implementation – we have received nothing on the role these groups played in the design of the strategic plans.” 

In an interview late last month on NewsRadio 1040 WHO in Des Moines, Steil told me that “there is absolutely no excuse” for the agencies not to turn over the documents. He said the American people have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent.  

‘No One Knows’

But the Biden administration has never been much for transparency and open government. Executive branch officials have stonewalled government watchdogs at every turn in their Freedom of Information Act requests for the documents. 

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) in July 2021 filed multiple FOIA requests seeking information on Bidenbucks to “help determine whether or not the Biden administration is engaging in unethical and potentially criminal behavior related to benefits provided to third-party organizations.” Nearly three years later, the agencies have yet to move anywhere near compliance, even after a federal judge ordered the government to release the records. 

Stewart Whitson, FGA’s senior director of federal affairs, said the cost of the voter registration and mobilization effort this election year remains hidden from public inspection, including from the rightful interests of the First Branch.  

“Coming up with estimates would be nearly impossible. That’s the problem: no one knows, not even Congress,” Whitson told The Federalist. 

‘Unimaginable Scale’

Whitson testified early last month before the House’s Small Business Committee at a hearing titled, “Weaponizing Federal Resources: Exposing the SBA’s [Small Business Administration] Voter Registration Efforts.” He compared “Bidenbucks” to “Zuckbucks,” the hundreds of millions of dollars in election administration grants from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Much of the money went to Democrat strongholds in the critical swing states that determined the outcome of the 2020 election. Portions of the so-called “safe” elections grants rolled out during Covid went to GOTV efforts targeting left-leaning voters. 

“Unfortunately, the Biden administration has doubled down on a new, similar scheme that is using the same strategy pioneered through Zuckerbucks — targeted voter registration and mobilization — but on a new, unimaginable scale. And as we learned in recent months, the Small Business Bureau (SBA) is playing a critical role in helping to carry out this new scheme,” Whitson told the committee. 

As The Federalist reported in March, the Michigan Department of State signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the SBA “to promote civic engagement and voter registration in Michigan,” a battleground state. The agreement, according to far-left Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, is a “first-in-the-nation effort connecting Michigan’s small business community with the tools and information they need to play an even greater active role in our democracy.”

At the same time, congressional Republicans are seeking SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman’s travel records after a video alleged she was the “most traveled member of the president’s cabinet and participated in trips to indirectly campaign for the president,” according to Fox News. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced it would employ Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds in the voter registration and mobilization drive on college campuses, a ripe and dependable source of Democrat votes. The FWS money traditionally has been devoted to paying students to work part-time campus jobs, helping offset the cost of tuition. Biden’s Department of Education, under the cover of the executive order, now justifies the use of taxpayer dollars to do the work of political parties.

Congress, Steil says, did not allocate any federal funds for the GOTV effort. 

“What law does the administration believe they’re following to do this? They’re using taxpayer dollars for a partisan effort,” the congressman said. “These are agencies like the Department of Transportation. They’re utilizing federal taxpayer dollars for a partisan GOTV effort; it’s not them using money for roads and bridges and things the DOT should actually be doing.” 

The executive order extends to federal agencies across the board. 

‘No Substantial Evidence’

While much remains unknown about the inner workings of Bidenbucks, we do know that some of the more radical and powerful organizations in the country are involved. Records obtained by the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project show left-wing policy activist group Demos working with the Department of Agriculture in August 2021. New York-based Demos reportedly “helped draft Biden’s Executive Order 14019.” The GOTV effort was being carried out by Susan Rice, Biden’s former domestic policy adviser who also served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations. 

To hear the Biden administration tell it, “democracy” is under attack by Republicans who want answers about the implementation and funding of the executive order. They’ve got their mouthpieces at taxpayer-funded NPR springing to their defense. 

“Backed with no substantial evidence, GOP lawmakers and state election officials, along with right-wing activists, have launched a barrage of claims that the Biden administration is using this order to overstep the federal government’s role in elections, garner more Democratic voters and register non-U.S. citizens, who cannot legally vote in federal elections,” NPR gassed in a piece published on Sunday. 

No substantial evidence?  

As Steil noted, if the Biden administration didn’t have anything to hide, it would simply turn over the documents that government watchdogs — and Congress — are seeking. 

Double Standard

It is worth noting that conservative firebrand Steve Bannon, former top aide to President Donald Trump, is expected to report to jail today for “defying a subpoena” issued by the political witch hunt House committee “investigating” the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots. Former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro has also been in jail since March for ignoring a congressional subpoena. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear either man’s emergency appeal. 

Biden administration officials, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, have snubbed their noses at congressional subpoenas. Will there be consequences for these lawbreakers? 

Steil said there needs to be accountability for the 15 federal cabinet secretaries who have refused to comply. 

“I’m continuing to work to hold these agencies accountable on this partisan voter registration scheme,” he said in the statement to The Federalist. 

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