JPMorgan stops donations to Republicans who voted to overturn election

‘ A handful’ of politicians who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s win were previously receiving support from the bank

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
@GustafKilander
Friday 04 June 2021 20:33
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JPMorgan will resume political donations but won’t give to Republicans who voted to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

According to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday, a “handful” of the 147 Republicans who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s win were previously receiving support from JPMorgan’s political action committee. Those donations will continue to be frozen.

Many corporations halted their political donations following the deadly Capitol riot on 6 January when Trump supporters attempted to stop Congress from formally certifying Mr Biden’s victory.

After hours of hand to hand combat, law enforcement managed to clear the Capitol building and lawmakers could get back to work. Most of the 147 Republicans who despite the riot voted against the certification were members of the House.

The largest lender in the US will start donating to politicans once again this month. JPMorgan will review whether to start giving to the Republicans who voted to overturn the election after the 2022 midterms.

“This was a unique and historic moment when we believe the country needed our elected officials to put aside strongly held differences and demonstrate unity,” the bank wrote.

It added: “Democracy, by its nature, requires active participation, compromise, and engaging with people with opposing views. That is why government and business must work together.”

JPMorgan said its political action committee (PAC) was an important instrument through which it takes part in the political process. PACs raise money to support and sometimes oppose political candidates.

The bank will also expand the pool of politicians to whom it donates beyond officeholders who have power over financial regulations to lawmakers who have influence over issues the bank considers “moral and economic imperatives for our country”.

JPMorgan didn’t mention any specific lawmakers in its memo but still risks aggravating Republicans with influence over banking regulations. Some GOP members have already been displeased with the bank's stances on the climate crisis and racial equity.

According to the Centre for Responsive Politics, JPMorgan gave almost $1m to federal candidates and committees working in support of candidates during the 2019-2020 election cycle.

Almost 60 per cent of the $600,300 that the bank donated to federal candidates went to Republicans, with the rest going to Democrats.

Commercial banks overall donated $14.6m to federal candidates in the 2020 election cycle, which is the second-highest amount since 1990.

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