Soros Group Pledges $20M to Boost Biden Plan Financier and philanthropist George Soros attends the official opening of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) at the German Foreign Ministry on June 8, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
By Brian Freeman | Monday, 05 April 2021 11:13 AM
The George Soros-founded Open Society Foundations are pledging $20 million for a campaign to rally progressives to support President Joe Biden's infrastructure proposal, Axios reported on Monday.
Financial support from the group could help spur a vital call to action for Democrat donors and activists who back Biden's initial $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan but are determined to see the president do more.
Biden is considering revealing later this month a second part of his overall proposal, which would have a broader focus on social welfare proposals — such as health care, the care-giving economy, climate, and community colleges.
The idea of the $20 million pledge is to help jumpstart as much as $100 million in funding to help encourage support for Biden’s overall agenda.
The money is expected to help activate many of the grassroots progressive groups that led the fierce opposition to the agenda of former President Donald Trump.
The $20 million is expected to be funneled to such grassroots organizing — and not be used for paid advertising.
"We hope this effort on the part of organizers and donors will give the Biden administration and Congress the assurance that they need to go as big, bold and fast as possible,” said Leah Hunt-Hendrix, who co-founded Way to Win, a progressive donor network.
Tom Perriello, the executive director of Open Society-U.S., said that "Every initiative proposed by President Biden has broad public support. But we’ve seen popular reforms get demonized before by partisans and special interests, and we are not going to let that happen."
Perriello added that "Facts don’t always win without some real muscle put behind getting those facts in front of the American people."
The funding for the campaign comes as progressives are walking a fine line between encouraging and antagonizing the White House, accordinig to Axios.
Some progressive insist that Biden is not going nearly far enough in his proposals with, for example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demanding $10 trillion in spending.
However, any such ultimatums that jack up the price tag and lead to more significant increases in taxes more could alienate moderate Democrat votes that Biden cannot afford to lose in his political battles.
Already, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed that his party will do all it can to oppose Biden's plans in their current form "every step of the way."
This, however, has not deterred Biden officials, who have said they are determined not to moderate their ambitions too much.
Those officials are strident in their belief that the Obama administration did not exert enough energy in battling for a larger stimulus package back in 2009, and they do not intend to repeat that move this time around.
The funding effort also comes as Republican congressmen are criticizing both the size of Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan and the fact that its funding is based on an increase in the corporate tax rate, while Democrats are touting it as a way to generate long-term job growth, The Hill reported.