JPMorgan Chase freezes donations to Republicans election candidates
According to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday, JP Morgan Chase will resume political donations from U.S. lawmakers, but will not provide political donations to Republican members of Congress who voted to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
After the deadly riots on Capitol Hill on January 6, supporters of former President Donald Trump tried to block Congressional certification elections. The bank is one of many companies that have suspended political donations.
Hours later, 147 Republicans, the vast majority of whom were in the House of Representatives, voted to overturn the electoral college results that Trump falsely claimed to be tainted with fraud.
The bank said after review, the country’s largest bank will resume giving through its Political Action Committee (PAC) this month, but will continue to freeze donations to the “small number” of 147 lawmakers it previously supported.
The suspension will last until the 2021-2022 election cycle, including the midterm elections in November, after which JPMorgan Chase will consider whether to resume donations to affected lawmakers based on individual circumstances.
“This is a unique historic moment, and we believe the country needs our elected officials to put aside their strong differences and show unity,” the bank wrote in reference to the vote that proved Biden’s victory January 6th.
JPMorgan Chase stressed that his PAC is an important tool for participating in the US political process. A PAC is a political committee organized to raise funds to support or, in some cases, oppose election candidates.
“By its very nature, democracy requires active participation, compromise and contact with people who have the opposite point of view. This is why government and business must cooperate, ”wrote JPMorgan Chase.
As part of its enhanced spending strategy, the bank will also extend donations from lawmakers overseeing financial affairs to those actively involved in issues the bank sees as “our country’s moral and economic imperative,” such as tackling the racial divide between rich and poor, reforming education and criminal justice.
Since the initial rebound in January, companies have been trying to find a way to recoup PAC spending, which lobbyists believe is important for reaching policy makers without alienating other stakeholders, including the employees who fund PACs.
Federal records show that the American Bankers Association PAC, one of the largest banks in the United States, resumed donating in March.
Although JP Morgan Chase did not mention any lawmakers in his memo, the bank’s new policy could alienate Republicans’ influence over banking policies, some of whom have already felt their positive stance on issues such as climate change and racial equality. anger.
According to data from the Center for Response Politics (CRP), out of 147 lawmakers, JPMorgan Chase provided $ 10,000 to House finance committee members Blaine Luetkemeyer and Lee Zeldin and to Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy during the election cycle 2019-2020. Lawmakers’ representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Overall, JPMorgan Chase’s PAC provided nearly $ 1 million to federal candidates and committees supporting candidates during the 2019-20 election cycle, according to the CRP.
According to CRP data, of the $ 600,300 it provided to federal candidates, nearly 60% went to Republicans and the rest to Democrats. As the bank supports broader social and economic issues, this combination may tilt more to the left.
Data shows that commercial banks have generally increased their political spending in recent years, offering federal candidates $ 14.6 million in the 2020 cycle, which is the second highest amount since 1990.
After the 2008 financial crisis, this combination benefited Republicans, but in recent years, banks have increased spending on Democrats because they want to regain bipartisan support in Congress.