Congress has discreetly drained hundreds of millions of dollars from a predominantly unused fund for the presidential campaign. Raw Story has confirmed that the intention behind the move has been to bolster the election security grants and the United States Secret Service.

Fund Incorporated Into Congress’ Government Funding Package

This massive transfer from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund has already been incorporated into Congress’ most recent government funding package, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden last week.

Source: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Raw Story couldn’t verify which Congress member or members are responsible for inserting language into the hefty 1,012-page bill that has so far tapped into around $375 million from the fund.

Ramifications of the Fund Transfer

The ramifications of this fund reallocation is more than evident. The Presidential Election Campaign Fund that was publicly funding the campaigns of White House aspirants from the 1970s to the late 2000s will now be allocating $55 million for election security grants and $320 million to the Secret Service.

Source: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

According to the Raw Story’s review of legislation, the fund allocations listed above are part of the $1.2 trillion funding package that has prevented a partial government shutdown.

Funds Being Allocated for “Operations and Support”

The legislation specifies that $320 million is going to be allocated for “operations and support” of the U.S. Secret Service.

Source: Pexels

This funding, which was provided at the eleventh hour, aims to extend funds to the major departments of government until September.

The Secret Service Can Utilize the Funds in Multiple Ways

The Secret Service which is responsible for providing security to the President, Vice President, and other foreign dignitaries will have the flexibility to use the funds for a host of different purposes.


The Secret Service may use funds for purposes like purchasing new vehicles, covering overtime pay, and paying for travel expenses.

Trump Didn’t Want to Pay Local Law Enforcement

Former President Donald Trump refused to issue any reimbursement to local law enforcement for the security services provided at his presidential campaign rallies.

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Vadon

The Secret Service, on the other hand, cited lack of funding from the Congress as the reason why the organization cannot issue reimbursements to municipal governments for their security services.

The Raw Story Sent Questions to The Secret Service

The Secret Service has acknowledged receiving the questions sent by The Secret Service including those regarding its plans for utilizing the newly acquired funding.

Source: Pexels

However, The Secret Service hasn’t provided any response until the time of publication.

Allocation for “Election Security Grants”

According to the bill, the $55 million that has to be allocated to “election security grants” will get disbursed to the various U.S. states within a period of 45 days. The Election Assistance Commission is responsible for the disbursement.

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The allocated funds are intended to further enhance the administration of elections for the Federal office. This includes enhancing election technology and implementing improved election security measures.

Reduction in Funding for the Election Assistance Commission

Votebeat has reported that the Election Assistance Commission, a small federal agency, has been facing serious reductions in federal funding since the year 2018. The very existence of the agency has bene threatened by Congressional Republicans.

Source: Pexels

The Election Assistance Commission was the first to report on how the Presidential Election Campaign Fund for Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) grants that had been given to states were being used.

The Election Assistance Commission Received $380 Million in 2018

The Election Assistance Commission chairman, Benjamin Hovland, informed Raw Story that Help America Vote Act (HAVA) received $380 million in grants from the federal government in 2018.

Source: Pexels

In the 2020 fiscal year, HAVA received $425 million. In fiscal years 2022 and 2023 respectively, HAVA received $75 million. For fiscal year 2024, the received amount has been around $55 million.

The Federal Government Continues to Invest in Election Administration and Election Security

During a phone interview with Raw Story, Hovland said, “When you look at that number, that’s less than we’ve seen in recent years, but I think that one of the things that is important about it is that it shows continued federal investment into election security and election administration.”

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Hovland added, “We regularly hear from election administrators about the need for additional federal funds and then we hear about the need for consistent federal funds.”

How the States Have Been Utilizing the Funding

During the interview, Hovland said that states have been utilizing the grant money to modernize the voting equipment that is being used. They have also introduced new cyber security training initiatives.

Source: Pexels

Hovland also confirmed that states have been utilizing the money to bolster the physical security they are providing “to protect our election officials from physical threats.”

Presidential Election Campaign Fund Has Around $404 Million

According to the data shared by the U.S. Treasury Department, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund has a balance of $404 million (as of February 28,2024).

Source: Pexels

According to the Federal Election Commission spokesperson, Myles Martin, The Federal Election Commission has not yet granted matching funds to any of the 2024 presidential candidates.

The Commission Will Keep Evaluating Submissions

Martin said, “The Commission will continue to evaluate submissions for either primary matching funds or general election funding for candidates who choose to apply for them, as well as continue to provide updates on the balance of the fund, which are received on a monthly basis from the Department of the Treasury.”

Source: Pexels/Engin Akyurt

Raw Story contacted the U.S. Treasury Department for comments but didn’t receive any response.

Obama Didn’t Utilize the Presidential Election Campaign Fund in 2008

Credit goes to Barack Obama for making the Presidential Election Campaign Fund pretty much irrelevant when he made the conscious choice to opt out of it during the 2008 election.

Source: The White House

While the fund provided public money to the candidates, it also imposed restrictions on how much total funds the presidential candidates could raise. Obama initially agreed to adhere to the restrictions but later on he changed his mind.