Biden inaugural committee raised $62M with big sums from billionaires, corporations

Greg Nash

President Biden’s inaugural committee raked in millions of dollars from some of the nation’s largest companies and wealthiest individuals, according to new filings published Tuesday by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Nearly $62 million flooded into the committee between Nov. 25 and April 19. While millions of dollars came from individuals giving small amounts to help fund Biden’s largely-virtual inauguration festivities in January, corporations and wealthy donors financed the bulk of the undertaking. 

Lockheed Martin and Boeing, two of the nation’s largest defense contractors, gave $1 million apiece to the inaugural committee, FEC filings show. So did the ride-sharing behemoth Uber and telecom giants Comcast and AT&T. Other major corporate donors included Pfizer, Bank of America, Qualcomm and PepsiCo. 

Google contributed more than $337,000 to the committee, while Amazon chipped in about $276,000. 

Unlike campaign committees, which are prohibited from accepting contributions directly from corporations, inaugural committees can take in unlimited amounts of money from virtually anyone, including companies. 

Biden pledged that his inaugural committee wouldn’t take donations from foreign agents or the fossil fuel industry. But he made no such promise about corporations. 

A handful of wealthy individuals also chipped in. Bill and Melinda Gates, the billionaire philanthropist couple, each wrote Biden’s inaugural committee checks for $250,000. 

Laura Ricketts, a member of the wealthy Ricketts family that includes Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts and GOP mega-donor Todd Ricketts, also gave Biden’s inaugural committee $250,000. Laura Ricketts is a well-known Democratic fundraiser and donor. 

Other notable contributors to the committee include the National Football League, which gave $100,000, the American Federation of Teachers, which gave $250,000, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which gave Biden’s inaugural committee $1 million. 

The roughly $61.8 million raised by Biden’s inaugural committee exceeds the amount raised by former President Obama for his inaugurations. In 2009, Obama’s inaugural committee brought in roughly $53 million. In 2013, he raised about $43 million for his second inauguration. 

But Biden’s committee falls well behind that of former President Trump, who pulled in more than $100 million for his 2017 inauguration. Much of that money came from billionaire mega-donors, including the late Sheldon Adelson, who poured $5 million into Trump’s inaugural committee. 

Tags 2020 election Barack Obama Donald Trump donors FEC Federal Election Commission Fundraising inaugural committee Inauguration Joe Biden Pete Ricketts

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