The liberal billionaire George Soros quietly revived his lobbying efforts to boost President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, providing a much-needed boost for the Democrat as he launches his 2024 campaign.
Soros’s Open Society Policy Center spent $1.6 million lobbying the White House and Congress to support the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, according to lobbying disclosures filed this month. It marks a return to K Street for Soros’s group, which hasn't lobbied since 2020.
"George Soros’s Open Societies Network has exercised enormous influence over this administration since day one, particularly in support of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act," said Parker Thayer, an investigative researcher at the Capital Research Center, which monitors Democratic advocacy groups.
"The reopening of the Open Societies lobbying shop, which was once the second largest lobbying group in the nation, indicates that the Open Societies network plans to continue doing what it does best: accumulating power," Thayer told the Washington Free Beacon.
The lobbying provides support for Biden as some of his landmark legislation faces bipartisan opposition. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.V.) recently said he may vote for a GOP-backed measure to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides $1.7 trillion to fund various green energy initiatives. Biden is likely to tout his passage of that bill and others in his 2024 campaign, which he launched Tuesday with the slogan "Finish the Job."
Soros could stand to gain financially from many of Biden’s green initiatives, the Capital Research Center reported. Soros’s hedge funds have invested billions in companies like Rivian Automotive, a California electric car maker that, in an ironic twist, laid off 6 percent of its workforce last year due to high inflation.
Lobbying is only one way Soros wields influence over Democrats. The billionaire is one of the party’s biggest campaign donors, and funnels tens of millions of dollars each year to advocacy groups that advance progressive causes.
Open Society’s lobbyists have maintained access to the White House throughout Biden’s first term. Micaela Fernandez Allen, a former aide to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi who leads Open Society’s lobbying arm, met on Dec. 15 with Rachel Chiu, an official at the White House office of political strategy and outreach, according to White House visitor logs.
According to lobbying disclosures, Allen has lobbied the White House on implementation of the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPs Act. She also met with the White House regarding bills to rescind the Inflation Reduction Act.
Allen has also lobbied Congress on national security bills, including the proposal to repeal the authorization for use of military force in Iraq.
Open Society did not respond to a request for comment.
Published under: Democratic Donors , Feature , George Soros , Joe Biden , Lobbyists , Open Society Foundations