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After a pause, Biden and Harris accelerate campaign cash dash

The president will be hitting the trail — and donors’ wallets — harder over the next couple of weeks, according to a schedule of upcoming fundraising events.
US Vice President Kamala Harris and US President Joe Biden hold hands at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) 2023 Winter meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 3, 2023. - The DNC on February 4, 2023, is expected to approve a new lineup for the partys presidential primaries.
Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden hold hands in Philadelphia, on Feb. 3.Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is raising money again.

The commander in chief plans to accelerate his campaign cash dash after the White House paused overt political activity during debt-limit negotiations with Congress. That put his fledgling re-election campaign and the party a little bit behind the eight ball with the end of the second fundraising quarter coming June 30.

In recent weeks, Republicans have dominated 2024 election news — from former President Donald Trump turning indictments in New York and Miami into a rallying point for his base to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touring early states.

But Biden will be hitting the hustings — and donors' wallets — harder over the next couple of weeks, according to a schedule of upcoming fundraising events provided to NBC News by a Democratic fundraising operative.

The Biden re-election calendar has 20 fundraisers planned in the last half of June, most of which will be headlined by Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris.

"The plan has always been to really push an aggressive fundraising blitz toward the end of the quarter," said a campaign official.

The still-skeletal Biden campaign apparatus has a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC and all of the state parties that are allowed to tap donors for more than the $3,300 contribution limit that governs the president's principal campaign committee.

On June 26, for example, top donors will be asked to pay $100,000 to sponsor the Harris-headlined DNC LGBTQ gala on Park Avenue in New York — a price that brings with it two "platinum" tables, passes to a VIP reception and an invitation to the photo line. A single seat at the dinner costs $1,500, and there are several giving thresholds between the top and bottom levels that are accompanied by various levels of access.

The ramp up is certain to haul in millions of dollars to support Biden and fellow Democrats, but it may not entirely put to bed the concerns of allies who worry that the debt-limit freeze on political events caused harm and that too much emphasis has been put on filling the DNC's coffers.

Some Biden loyalists have been particularly concerned about the absence of fundraising infrastructure for his official campaign treasury. There is no finance director in place. And even though Biden convened top donors in Washington when he announced his campaign in April, one longtime Democratic donor said he was "surprised" Biden has not put together a finance committee of heavyweight money-bundlers.

This donor pointed out that contributors can give hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC and its state affiliates while just $3,300 per donor per election — primary and general — can go to Biden under federal campaign finance limits. That is, big-dollar joint fundraising events benefiting the DNC and Biden's campaign are orders of magnitude more lucrative for the party than the candidate.

At the same time, Biden has put an emphasis on rebuilding the party infrastructure, and the DNC and its state counterparts can take on many of the tasks that have traditionally been handled by a campaign operation.

Biden was set to headline a fundraiser in Greenwich, Conn., on Friday, before taking a buck-mining swing through California on June 19 and 20th that will feature a reception with Gov. Gavin Newsom in Marin County, according to the schedule provided to NBC News. Later in the month — on June 28 — he is slated to appear with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker in Chicago.

In addition to New York, Harris plans to make stops in Potomac, Md., New Orleans, Dallas and Denver over the next couple of weeks. First Lady Jill Biden and presidential sister Valerie Biden Owens are also signed up to raise money this month. Jill Biden travels to Nashville and Minneapolis for events on June 24, and Owens is on the marquee for a June 28 fundraising event in Wilmington, Del.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is also slated to raise money, but details of his travel were not immediately available.

Biden's return to the campaign trail isn't limited to collecting checks. He plans to attend a rally Saturday in Philadelphia with labor unions, several of which announced their endorsements of him Friday.