JPMorgan Chase & Co will continue to make political donations to U.S. lawmakers but will not be given to Republican members of Congress who voted to overthrow President Joe Biden’s election victory, according to an internal memo on Friday seen by Reuters agency.
The bank along with several corporations stopped giving politics after the deadly Capitol riots on Jan. 6 when supporters of former president Donald Trump backed to prevent Congress from ratifying the election.
Over the course of hours, 147 Republicans, most of them in the House of Representatives, voted to shift the results to the Electoral College that Trump said was falsely tainted with fraud.
Following a review, the country’s largest lender this month will continue to donate through the Political Action Committee (PAC) but will continue to freeze donations to the “small” of the 147 legislators they previously supported, according to in the bank.
The suspension will last until the 2021-2022 election cycle, which includes midterm elections in November, after which JPMorgan will examine whether to continue the contributions of relevant legislators on an individual basis, it said.
“This is a unique and historic moment when we believe the country needs our elected officials to reject differences and show unity,” the bank wrote in a vote on Jan. 6 to confirm victory. by Biden.
JPMorgan reports that its PAC is an important tool for participating in the U.S. political process. PACs are a political committee organized for the purpose of raising money to support or in some cases oppose electoral candidates.
“Democracy, by nature, requires active participation, compromise, and engagement with people with opposing views. That is why government and business must work together,” JPMorgan wrote.
As part of the revised spending strategy, the bank will also expand donations beyond the legislators who handle financial issues to those who are active on issues that the bank considers “moral and economic requirements for our country, ”such as addressing racial wealth, education and criminal justice shortages. reform.
Since the initial reaction in January, corporations have once again looked at how to keep PAC spending, which lobbyists see important for access to policymakers, without alienating other stakeholders, including their staff funding PACs.
The American Bankers Association PAC, one of the largest in the country, also began issuing in March, federal records show.
While JPMorgan did not name any legislators in its memo, the new banking policy risks alienating Republicans from managing bank policy, some of whom are already angry at its active stance on issues such as on climate change and racial equality.
Of the 147 legislators, JPMorgan gave each $ 10,000 to finance committee members Blaine Luetkemeyer and Lee Zeldin, and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, among others, in the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Representatives for lawmakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
All told, JPMorgan’s PAC has provided nearly $ 1m to federal candidates and committees supporting candidates in the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to the CRP.
Of the $ 600,300 given by federal candidates, nearly 60 percent went to Republicans and the rest to Democrats, according to CRP data, a mix that is likely to move further left as the bank supports the more social and economic issues.
Overall commercial banks have picked up on political spending in recent years, pouring $ 14.6m into federal candidates in the 2020 cycle, the second highest amount since 1990, data showed. .
After the 2008 financial crisis, the mix was favored by Republicans but in recent years banks have increased spending on Democrats as they look to build two congressional support as well.