JPMorgan Chase & Co according to an internal memo seen by Reuters news agency on Friday is set to resume making political donations to United States lawmakers but will not disburse funds to Republican members of Congress who voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The international bank was one amongst many other top corporations that paused political funding following the deadly January 6 Capitol riots when supporters of former president Donald Trump tried to stop Congress from certifying the election.
Just hours later, 147 Republicans, the vast majority of them in the House of Representatives, voted to overturn the Electoral College results which Trump falsely claimed were tainted by fraud.
Following a review, JPMorgan Chase – the country’s largest lender will this month resume giving through its Political Action Committee (PAC) but will continue its freeze on donations to a “handful” of the 147 lawmakers whom it had previously supported, reports reveal.
The pause will last through the 2021-2022 election cycle, which includes November’s midterm elections, after which JPMorgan will review whether to resume contributions to the lawmakers concerned on an individual basis, it said.
“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 of the January 6 vote to certify Biden’s win.
JPMorgan noted that its PAC is an important tool for engaging in the political process in the United States. PACs are political committees organized for the purpose of raising cash to support or in some cases oppose election candidates.
“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 wrote.
As part of its revamped spending strategy, the bank will also expand donations beyond lawmakers who oversee financial matters to those active on issues the bank considers “moral and economic imperatives for our country,” such as addressing the racial wealth gap, education and criminal justice reform.
Since the initial January backlash, corporations have been grappling with how to resume PAC spending, seen by lobbyists as important for gaining access to policymakers, without alienating other stakeholders, including their employees who fund the PACs.
The American Bankers Association PAC, one of the biggest in the country, started giving again in March, federal records has shown.
Source : Aljazeera