Some of America’s biggest companies are suspending donations to Republican Congress members who objected to the Electoral College’s votes.
The growing list of those corporations, including American Express (AXP), BlueCross BlueShield, Commerce Bank, Dow and Marriott (MAR), comes after a pro-Trump mob breached the US Capitol last Wednesday to fight against the ceremonial counting of electoral votes that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
147 Republicans voted against certification of the electoral votes in a joint session of Congress last Wednesday evening. They included Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, among hundreds of other Congress members.
Companies cutting off 147 Republicans
Airbnb: The home-rental company is “withholding” its PAC donations to all of the legislators involved in contesting certification of the electoral results.
“Airbnb strongly condemns last week’s attack on the US Capitol and the efforts to undermine our democratic process,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to uphold our community policies by banning violent hate group members when we learn of such memberships, and the Airbnb PAC will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.”
“The Amazon PAC gives to congressional candidates on a bipartisan basis based upon the interest of our customers and our employees,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any Member of Congress who voted to override the results of the US Presidential election. We intend to discuss our concerns directly with those Members we have previously supported and will evaluate their responses as we consider future PAC contributions.”
“Last week’s attempts by some congressional members to subvert the presidential election results and disrupt the peaceful transition of power do not align with our American Express Blue Box values; therefore, the AXP PAC will not support them,” the company said in a statement.
AT&T (T): AT&T (T) released a statement Monday afternoon via its Public Policy Twitter account: “Employees on our Federal PAC Board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.”
CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is owned by AT&T.
Blue Cross Blue Shield: “At the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, we continuously evaluate our political contributions to ensure that those we support share our values and goals,” said Kim Keck, BlueCross BlueShield’s president and CEO, in a statement. “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.”
The health insurance company’s BLUEPAC political action committee – supported only by employee contributions – donated $246,750 to Republican lawmakers during the 2020 cycle. That included $10,000 to Sen. Tuberville, $1,000 to Sen. Marshall and $500 to Sen. Hawley.
BlueCross BlueShield said it’s stopping donations to all Republicans who challenged the Electoral College results.
Comcast (CCZ): Comcast (CCZ) says it is suspending all of its political contributions “to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”
The telecommunications company called the rioting at the US Capitol “appalling,” adding that the transition of power this year “will take place among some of the most challenging conditions in modern history.” Comcast said its “focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation.”
Commerce Bank: Commerce Bank said it, too, is halting its PAC contributions to officials it says “have impeded the peaceful transfer of power.” The bank donated a total of $49,750 to Republicans during the 2020 cycle, which included $2,500 to Sen. Marshall.
“Commerce Bank condemns violence in any form and believes the actions witnessed this week are abhorrent, anti-democratic and entirely contrary to supporting goodwill for Americans and businesses.
Disney: A spokesperson for The Walt Disney Company (DIS) said it “will not make political contributions in 2021 to lawmakers who voted to reject the certification of the Electoral College votes.”
Dow Chemical: Dow said in an emailed statement that it is immediately suspending all corporate and employee political action committee contributions to any member of Congress who voted to object to the certification of the presidential election.
Dow (DOW) said its suspension will last for one election cycle – two years for House members and up to six years for Senators — which specifically includes donations to candidates’ re-election committees and affiliated PACs.
Marriott: Marriott (MAR)is following suit by suspending its PAC donations to lawmakers who opposed election results.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Mastercard: The credit card company is doing the same while it reviews its contributions criteria.
“We will continue to review the criteria that inform our political contributions to ensure they reflect our values. We remain hopeful about the future, one in which people of differences come together to address our common challenges with decency,” Mastercard (MA) said in a statement.
Verizon: “We will be suspending contributions to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results,” Verizon spokesman Rich Young said in a statement.
Verizon (VZ) donated more than $60,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee during the 2020 presidential cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
Walmart: The big-box retailer said its “suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes.”
Walmart (WMT)donated $2,500 to Kansas Sen. Marshall and $2,500 to Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis during the 2020 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
“We examine and adjust our political giving strategy at the end of every election cycle, and that review will continue over the coming months. However, in light of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, Walmart’s political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes.”
Suspending all PAC donations
Some companies have opted to suspend donations to all politicians, regardless of whether or not they voted against upholding the Electoral College results.
Bank of America: In a statement, Bank of America (BAC)noted it will halt PAC contributions for the “immediate future.”
“For upcoming elections, we will take into account the appalling events of January 6 before making any PAC decisions regarding those members,” said a memo to the bank’s PAC contributors. “We also will halt all PAC funding decisions for the immediate future while the new Congress and incoming Administration establish their priorities and help the country unite and move forward from the lows we all experienced on January 6.”
Charles Schwab (SCHW): Schwab is discontinuing its financial contributions from its PAC to all lawmakers for the remainder of the year.
“This pause will give the firm an opportunity to evaluate the best path forward to fulfill our long-standing commitment to advocate on behalf of individual investors and those who serve them,” said the company in statement.
“We intend to pause our contributions during the quarter as the country goes through the Presidential transition and hopefully emerges from these events stronger and more united,” said Candi Wolff, managing director and head of global government affairs, in a memo.
Coca-Cola: The beverage company has “suspended political giving.”
“We were all stunned by the unlawful and violent events that unfolded in our nation’s capital on Jan. 6, and we are grateful that Democracy prevailed with the subsequent certification of the election results,” Coca-Cola (KO) said in a statement. “The current events will long be remembered and will factor into our future contribution decisions.”
Deloitte: The consulting firm noted it “condemns the abhorrent attack on our democracy that took place last week,” and said it has suspended political contributions.
“Now is the time for the country to come together and facilitate a smooth transition to the Biden/Harris administration,” the company said in a statement. “We have suspended political contributions, we are evaluating all aspects of our political engagement strategy, and we will not support those who work to undermine the rule of law.”
“Following last week’s awful violence in DC, we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told CNN in a statement.
Ford: Ford said it would suspend new contributions from its employee PAC “for now.”
“As we have said, events over the past year have underscored the need for a broader, ongoing discussion about other relevant considerations when it comes to our employee PAC,” the company said in a statement. “In order to give these important discussions the time and reflection they deserve, the Ford PAC will be suspending new contributions for now.”
Goldman Sachs: The bank suspended its political donations last week after the riots in the US Capitol.
“We will be evaluating future contributions based in part on what we have seen since the election,” a Goldman Sachs (GS) spokesperson told CNN.
“We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week’s deeply troubling events,” Google spokesperson Julie McAlister said in a statement.
Hallmark: Hallmark, the greeting card maker which is based in Kansas City, Missouri, has requested that Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall return campaign contributions to its PAC, according to Hallmark spokesperson JiaoJiao Shen. The company’s political action committee, HALLPAC, donated $7,000 to Sen. Hawley and $5,000 to Sen. Marshall over the last two years, Shen told CNN Business. HALLPAC is requesting all contributions be returned.
HALLPAC “supports elected leaders from a wide variety of viewpoints—including Democrats, Republicans and Independents,” the company said. “Hallmark believes the peaceful transition of power is part of the bedrock of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind. The recent actions of Senators Josh Hawley and Roger Marshall do not reflect our company’s values.”
The company says it’s planning not to make any contributions until it has completed “evaluating its contribution policies.”
“As a direct result of recent events, Hilton will not be making political donations and will keep its PAC suspended indefinitely. We commit to any future donations being shared equally across the major parties and only after careful assessment of the recipient’s voting record.”
“The country is facing unprecedented health, economic and political crises,” said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility for JPMorgan. “The focus of business leaders, political leaders, civic leaders right now should be on governing and getting help to those who desperately need it most right now. There will be plenty of time for campaigning later.”
The decision was reached on Friday, the company said in a statement.
“The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress,” Microsoft said, “but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees.”
Salesforce: Salesforce has paused all political contributions, according to a company spokesperson.
“We are all deeply troubled by the terrible events of January 6,” Salesforce said in a statement. “And while we all hope that they are never repeated, sadly there remains a risk of politically-incited violence across the country.”
Target: The retail giant is also temporarily suspending its political donations “given the political volatility of the past year, including last week’s events.”
“We know that there isn’t a single candidate who aligns completely with Target (TGT) or our team members on every issue, which is why we rely on established criteria like a candidate’s impact on our business, committee assignments, and more when we make contributions,” Target (TGT) said in a statement.
UPS: The shipping giant says it has suspended all campaign contributions “for now.”
Last week, UPS (UPS) addressed the violence at the Capitol. CEO Carole Tomé said in a statement that the company was “appalled by the lawlessness and violence that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol and strongly condemn[s] the actions of those individuals who participated in the illegal activities that destroyed property and cost lives.”
UPS, along with AT&T and Comcast, is listed among the top PAC donors during the 2020 election cycle to the 147 GOP lawmakers who objected the Electoral College results, according to OpenSecrets.
Visa: The credit card company has temporarily suspended all of its PAC contributions as it reviews its “candidate contribution guidelines.”
Reviewing their donations
Many other companies noted they would “review” their contributions in light of recent events but lacked the stronger stances taken by their corporate peers in committing to suspend all political donations or those to the Republicans who objected to the electoral vote count.
Since the Capitol riots, a large number of companies and business leaders have come forward to condemn the violence that ensued in Washington, with some calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment. Social media platforms such as Facebook (FB) and Instagram have banned President Trump from posting to his accounts for at least the remainder of his term in office — or indefinitely. Twitter has permanently banned Trump from from its platform.
CNN’s Richard Davis, Brian Fung, Alison Kosik, Annalyn Kurtz and Vanessa Yurkevich contributed to this report.