A group of President Biden’s allies are planning to launch a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting key policies of the new administration, including efforts to combat COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the plans Wednesday, adding that senior Biden officials have been involved in discussions with the group, whose working name is “Building Back Together.”
White House officials said they will not directly oversee the organization, though they have been involved in selecting a group made up of former members of the Biden campaign and other allies to establish the nonprofit.
White House senior adviser and top campaign aide Anita Dunn told the Journal that the new organization will not “replicate” or “duplicate” existing advocacy organizations, but seek to build larger coalitions to promote Biden’s policies addressing issues like the pandemic, climate change and the economy.
White House deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon said the nonprofit will not be involved in any election efforts, adding, “It has a very specific lane and a very specific role and cannot do the work that the state parties do and can’t coordinate with the state parties.”
Top officials told the Journal that Danielle Melfi, who was the Biden campaign’s state director for Wisconsin, is expected to lead the nonprofit once it is established.
The Journal reported that the organization will be registered as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which would not require it to disclose its donors, though administration officials told the news outlet that a final decision has not been made yet on whether the group will voluntarily disclose its funding.
The Hill has reached out to the White House for further information on the nonprofit plans.
The group follows in the path of similar ones established at the start of the administrations of former presidents Obama and Trump.
Following Obama’s 2009 inauguration, allies established Organizing for America, which was later renamed Organizing for Action, to promote Obama’s legislative agenda, particularly on health care reform. The group faced pushback from some, who argued it was pulling donations away from the Democratic National Committee.
In the first month of Trump’s presidency, a team of political strategists launched America First Policies, which developed an affiliated super PAC and launched ads promoting Republican policy proposals.
Biden’s nonprofit is expected to focus on several key policy goals related to the pandemic, including the president’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, dubbed the American Rescue Plan.
The administration is currently engaged in negotiations with Congress, and Democratic congressional leaders have said that they are prepared to pass a relief bill with or without support from Republicans in the coming weeks.