August 1, 2021

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Joe Biden transition team on track to raise more money than expected

Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater on November 05, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Joe Biden’s transition team will have several million dollars to work with as it puts together the foundation of a potential Biden administration, including Cabinet members.

NBC News has not made a call in the presidential race.

Biden’s transition team, according to people briefed on the matter, is on track to far exceed its original fundraising goal of at least $7 million. These people declined to be named in order to speak freely.

News of the financial haul comes as President Donald Trump continues to fight to win the election, although Biden has more paths to victory.

The transition team is responsible for helping choose and confirm the president-elect’s nominees to leadership positions within the government, such as the secretary of Treasury and the attorney general. The money raised for the transition fund often goes to salaries and other needs.

Some of the Biden transition fundraising has been done by Penny Pritzker, a former Commerce secretary under President Barack Obama and a Biden supporter, according to these people. She has a net worth of over $2 billion, according to Forbes, and is part of the wealthy Pritzker family that also includes Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Penny Pritzker is also listed as one of Biden’s top bundlers who helped raise over $100,000 for the campaign. The transition team has been raising money since late summer.

Others helping raise money include lobbyists, media and public relations executives, and Wall Street financiers, these people added.

The Biden campaign itself has not taken money from lobbyists since the former vice president jumped into the race last year. However, those from the influence industry have been in touch with some of the campaign’s business advisors to prepare for a possible Biden presidency.

The successful fundraising has allowed the team to hire a legislative affairs group, which will help guide any Biden nominee through the Senate, one of the people explained. They have separately been holding calls with their allies about how the nomination process might go, depending on who controls the Senate.

They also have picked up a string of legal consultants that could advise Biden’s nominees.

A Biden transition spokesman declined to comment.

If Biden wins, his picks for certain posts could have an impact on the markets and the business community at large. That’s especially true for his selections to lead Treasury and the National Economic Council.

A GOP-controlled Senate could be a possible hurdle for Biden’s nominees. It could dissuade Biden’s team from vetting and selecting progressive leaders for key roles. Republicans currently have a 53-47 edge in the Senate. After Election Day, Democrats and the GOP are projected to hold at least 48 seats each in the next Congress. Four races remain undecided, including two in Georgia, one in North Carolina and one in Alaska.

Though it seems unlikely, progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren doesn’t appear to necessarily be totally out of contention to be chosen for Treasury.

Biden “likes her,” a person close to the former vice president said when asked whether Warren was still being considered to possibly lead Treasury.

This person, though, added that people around Biden are keeping an eye on the remaining Senate races, including at least one in Georgia projected to be heading to a runoff.

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