Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. plan to pause all political contributions, joining the growing list of companies changing or reviewing their donation policies in the aftermath of riots at the Capitol in the past week.
Citigroup said it intends to pause all political contributions in the current quarter. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, plans a six-month suspension to both Republicans and Democrats, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an interview with Peter Scher, its head of corporate responsibility.
“We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,” Candi Wolff, Citi’s head of global government affairs, said in a memo to employees.
The action from the banks followed an earlier announcement from Marriott International Inc., which said it will suspend donations to Republican senators who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden, after considering the “destructive events” on Wednesday.
The hotel giant was among the first corporate donors to announce the severing of financial ties with the lawmakers following the Capitol Hill riot by supporters of President Donald Trump. While much of corporate America swiftly condemned the violence, few companies have publicly vowed to cut off financial support to the elected officials that backed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.
“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,” a Marriott spokesperson said.
The decision was first reported by Popular Information, a political newsletter that surveyed 144 corporate donors about their future donation plans to the eight GOP senators who objected to election certification.
The event in the past week has triggered a backlash on politicians including Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who supported the fraud claims and was seen saluting protesters with a fist pump before they stormed the Capitol. Citi’s Wolff said the bank gave $1,000 to his 2019 campaign, adding he represents a state where it has a sizable employee presence.
JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon joined other heads of Wall Street’s biggest firms calling for violence to cease at the Capitol in the past week.
“I strongly condemn the violence in our nation’s capital,” Dimon said in an emailed statement at the time. “This is not who we are as a people or a country. We are better than this. Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to the violence, accept the results and, as our democracy has for hundreds of years, support the peaceful transition of power.”
Marriott is closely tied to Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a former board member who is vocal critic of Trump. Romney’s connection to Marriott predates his service on the board: His given name, Willard, was in honor of J. Willard Marriott, a friend of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee’s father and founder of the hotel company.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a network of insurers, and Commerce Bank owner Commerce Bancshares Inc. also told Popular Information that they are suspending all support to lawmakers who challenged the Electoral College results.
Stopping short of vowing to suspend donations, Bank of America Corp., Ford Motor Co. and AT&T Inc. said they will take recent events into consideration before any future donations. CVS Health Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. and some other donors said they are reviewing their polices on political giving.
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