New York/ Washington, January 13
Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, joined other major companies in indefinitely suspending donations to U.S. lawmakers who voted against President-elect Joe Biden’s election certification.
The Arkansas-based company said on Tuesday that in light of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, its “political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes.”
A spokesman for the retailer had said on Sunday that it conducts a review of its political giving after every election cycle and that last week’s events would be factored into the company’s process. The issue will remain under review over the next few months, the spokesman added.
Other blue-chip companies including AT&T Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Mastercard Inc announced similar moves in the past several days.
General Motors Co said on Tuesday it had paused all political contributions after the Capitol events. The automaker said that last year it “enhanced the character and public integrity criteria for making contributions and that will help to guide our decisions moving forward.”
It joined other firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Union Pacific Corp in withholding contributions from all members of Congress, rather than targeting those who opposed Biden’s certification.
The announcements indicate that some corporate donors, which usually give money to Republicans and Democrats alike, are reassessing their strategy after supporters of outgoing Republican President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol last week, aiming to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s win.
Five people died, including a police officer.
Before the assault on the seat of Congress, Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the Nov. 3 election results, which he has falsely claimed were “rigged.” When lawmakers reconvened after the incident, 147 Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate voted to challenge the Democratic president-elect’s victory in Pennsylvania or Arizona, even though both states already formally certified the results and election officials say there were no significant problems with the vote.
It is unclear whether the companies’ decisions will have a lasting impact. The time period immediately after an election is typically a lull for fundraising activity.—Reuters