Congressional fundraisers foyer firms that suspended donations after Capitol riot
The supporters of US President Donald Trump gather in front of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Probal Rashid | LightRocket | Getty Images
Fundraisers for congressional candidates and party campaign groups are campaigning for companies to resume political donations after many have suspended their contributions, according to those familiar with the matter.
Dozens of companies have at least temporarily suspended donations from their political action committees following the January 6 uprising in the Capitol that resulted in at least five deaths. That day, more than 145 Republican lawmakers – encouraged by then-President Donald Trump – voted to contest the results of the electoral college that certifies Joe Biden as the next president.
Most companies have since stated that they are reviewing the policies of their PACs that they will be giving money to in the future. Some companies decided to pause indefinitely posts for GOP lawmakers who questioned election results. Other companies chose to suspend donations to candidates across the political spectrum.
These corporate PACs can typically give up to $ 5,000 to a candidate and around $ 15,000 to a national party committee.
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Fundraisers for individual candidates running for reelection in Senate and House races – along with fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Senatorial Democratic Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congress Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee – have turned to corporations encouraging them to resolve their restrictions to pick up and make contributions again, people said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak freely about ongoing private conversations.
The NRCC recently put together a list of corporate donation guidelines that fundraisers are expected to use as a tool to persuade companies to donate again, one respondent said.
People and groups with ties to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell have actively reached out to companies to get them to donate again, another person said.
Representatives of the congressional committees did not return a request for comment. Some companies did not deny being contacted by political fundraisers.
However, computer giant Dell Technologies said it has no plans to change its mind.
“We have no intention of re-examining the decision to suspend contributions to members of Congress whose statements and activities during the post-election period did not comply with Dell Technologies principles,” a company spokesman told CNBC. “Our employee-run PAC Board meets regularly to review current events and vote on important decisions such as changes to PAC submissions. All PAC submissions are publicly known so you can stay informed of future updates.”
JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup officials said they are continuing to review their policies and refuse to comment. Both banks took a break and began reevaluating their PACs’ contributions.
A Goldman Sachs spokesman said the bank hadn’t heard from anyone when they could make contributions again. A UPS spokeswoman said the company’s stance on post interruption was unchanged and, to the best of her knowledge, the company had not heard from anyone on the matter.
Some other companies, including Amazon, Facebook, AT&T, and Marriott, haven’t returned requests for comments.
The candidates are preparing for the 2022 mid-term elections, in which a third of the Senate and all of the House’s seats will be up for grabs. The elections are expected to be expensive, and fundraisers believe they will need corporate money to replenish the campaign fund.
The Democrats, who have the smallest majority in the Senate, have 14 seats for re-election in that chamber. Republicans have 20 Senate seats up for re-election, including Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, who questioned the 2020 election results. Cook Political Report rates its seat as a “solid Republican”. Sens. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Ted Cruz, R-Texas and other Senators who pushed back the 2020 election results will not stand for re-election next year.
Axios reported on March 7th that the NRSC had the greatest success in collecting digital donations using Hawley’s name compared to any other Senator except the chairman of the committee, Senator Rick Scott of Florida.
Democratic fundraisers are urging companies to resume donations, citing their determination to oust Republican lawmakers who encouraged and advocated the false election narrative that sparked the uprising.
Republican fundraisers, on the other hand, have warned donors of the Democrats’ intent to raise the corporate tax rate.
Since the January uprising, some companies and groups of companies have announced their plans for the interim campaign.
Microsoft announced last month that its PAC will “suspend contributions for the duration of the 2022 election cycle to all members of Congress who have voted against the certification of voters.” The company added that the PAC would “suspend contributions for the same period of time to government officials and organizations that supported such objections or suggested that the election be overturned”.
The Chamber of Commerce said in a March memo it would not continue its ban on contributions to lawmakers who questioned election results. The Business Advocacy Group said it would “evaluate our support for candidates – Republicans and Democrats – based on their position on issues of concern to the Chamber and their demonstrated commitment to government and the rebuilding of our democratic institutions.”
“We do not believe that it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely by their votes on the election certificate,” said the chamber.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect a UPS spokeswoman said the company’s stance on political contributions was unchanged. In a previous version, the company name was incorrectly specified.