January 21, 2021
Breaking breaking-news Business Election 2020

Major Companies Begin Suspending Donations To Republicans Involved In Biden Certification Challenge

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In the wake of the U.S. Capitol attacks, four major corporations said they are suspending contributions through their corporate PACs to Republican lawmakers they’ve previously backed who challenged the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

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U.S. Sen. Joshua Hawley (R-MO) was one of eight senators who objected to Congress’ certification of … [+] President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

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Key Facts

Hotel giant Marriott International, the health insurance network Blue Cross Blue Shield, bank holding company Commerce Bancshares and Citibank, all told Popular Information, a political newsletter run by ThinkProgress founder and editor Judd Legum, that they will stop donating to any member of Congress who objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote. 

Popular Information surveyed 144 corporations that had, through their corporate PACs, donated to one or more of the eight senators who opposed the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. 

In addition to the vows to indefinitely suspend donations, Bank of America, Ford Motor Co. and AT&T all said they will take recent events into consideration before making future donations, while CVS Health Corp., Exxon Mobil, FexEx and Target said they are reviewing their political giving. 

Marriott’s PAC donated $1,000 to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) during the 2020 cycle and another $1,000 to Hawley’s leadership PAC, but the company told Forbes it will “pause” donations to those who voted against certification, including House members.

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s PAC, known as BLUEPAC, donated nearly $12,000 in total to Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Hawley in the 2020 cycle, but told Popular Information it is suspending support to all 147 Republicans who voted “to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results.”

Commerce Bancshares donated $2,500 to Marshall during the 2020 cycle, but told Popular Information it has “suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power.”

Citibank’s PAC donated $1,000 to Hawley during the 2020 cycle, but said in an internal memo obtained by several news outlets on Sunday that it will “not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law” and will “pause contributions” from its PAC for the rest of the quarter.

A spokesperson for JP Morgan Chase & Co told Forbes it plans to suspend donations to both parties from its political action committee for six months, with executive Peter Scher arguing in a statement “the focus of business leaders… should be on governing,” and adding, “There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”

Chief Critic 

“We continuously evaluate our political contributions to ensure that those we support share our values and goals,” wrote the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in a statement to Popular Information. “In light of this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results, BCBSA will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”

Crucial Quote 

“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” Marriott spokesperson Julie Rollend said in a statement to Forbes.

Key Background 

These donation suspensions come amid mounting criticism—and calls for repercussions—for members of the GOP who chose to vote against Biden’s win even after enraged supporters of President Trump, echoing his claims of voter fraud, stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to halt the process. Hawley has been disavowed by a former mentor, dropped from a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster and asked to resign by the two largest newspapers in Missouri. Other senators have faced calls for resignation from their Senate colleagues and major newspapers.

Further Reading 

“‘Poster Boy Of The Radical Right’: Missouri’s Two Biggest Newspapers Call For Sen. Josh Hawley’s Resignation” (Forbes)

“‘I Don’t Know How You Can Live With Yourself’: Hawley, Cruz Increasingly Shunned After Capitol Attack” (Forbes)

“Three major corporations say they will stop donating to members of Congress who tried to overturn the election” (Popular Information)