Walmart, Amazon, and other US corporate giants cut off donations to Republican lawmakers who opposed Biden's certification as president

Walmart, Amazon, and other US corporate giants cut off donations to Republican lawmakers who opposed Biden's certification as president
Supporters of US President Donald Trump enter the US Capitol's Rotunda on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
  • Walmart will halt political donations to lawmakers that opposed certifying president-elect Joe Biden's victory.
  • It joins Amazon, Morgan Stanley, Dow, and AT&T in deciding to cut funding to specific Republicans.
  • Separately, JP Morgan, Citibank, Microsoft, and Facebook said they will temporarily pause all political donations to both Republicans and Democrats.
  • Last week, 147 Republican lawmakers voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election win.
  • On the same day, pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol. Five people died during the violent siege.

Walmart and Amazon became the latest US corporate giants to say they would pull political donations to Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden's electoral victory.

Walmart will indefinitely suspend political donations to Congressional lawmakers who "voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes," a spokesperson for the world's largest retailer told The New York Times. Tuesday, the day after fellow retail giant Amazon said it will halt donations to the lawmakers

The two followed similar announcements from Marriott International, Morgan Stanley, Dow, Airbnb, and AT&T. Some companies, including JP Morgan, Facebook, and Google, said they will pause all political donations - including those to both Republicans and Democrats.
Popular Information first reported on the news of companies halting donations.

Congress met on Wednesday to certify the result of the US presidential election. Fueled by months of conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of election fraud pushed by President Donald Trump and his backers, rioters stormed the Capitol. Five people died during the siege.

Congress ultimately voted to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win, but eight Republican senators and 139 representatives voted against this, including Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Several other GOP lawmakers who had said they would join dropped out following the riots.

Read more: Lawmakers, Hill staffers, and reporters recount the harrowing experience as a violent pro-Trump mob broke into the Capitol to protest the electoral-vote count

In response, companies including Amazon, Marriott, Morgan Stanley, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Dow, AT&T, Boston Scientific, Disney, and Commerce Bank said they would stop political donations to those Republicans who backed Trump's election challenge. Goldman Sachs is likely to follow suit, the Wall Street Journal reported. And financial giants including JP Morgan and Citibank alongside tech firms Google, Microsoft, and Facebook have said they will temporarily pause all political donations to both the Republicans and Democrats.

Other companies are currently reviewing their positions on political contributions, including FedEx, Target, and CVS Health, Popular Information reported. Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Ford, and Bank of American told the publication they would review donations on an individual basis.

"Just coming out with another public letter isn't going to do much," Thomas Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, said last Tuesday following a meeting of top CEOs where they discussed the impact of pulling political donations.

"Money is the key way," he added.

Employees are able to donate to political parties through Political Action Committees (PACs), which pool donations from members.

Amazon: Lawmakers tried to "undermine a legitimate democratic process"

"Given the unacceptable attempt to undermine a legitimate democratic process, the Amazon PAC has suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to override the results of the US presidential election," a spokesperson told Reuters.

Marriott, the world's largest hotel chain, was one of the first large companies to make the move. It told Insider it made the decision to pull funding following the siege.
"We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election," a spokeswoman said in an email.

Some financial giants have also made the move. Morgan Stanley would also halt donations to the GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying Biden's win, a spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg, and Commerce Bank is similarly halting PAC contributions to officials who "have impeded the peaceful transfer of power."

Chemical giant Dow told Insider on Monday that it would suspend funding to these Republicans for a period of one election cycle, including contributions to the candidates' reelection committee and their affiliated PACs. The company added that it is "committed to the principles of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power," and said its values guide its political contributions.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which provides healthcare coverage to around 100 million Americans, said it will suspend contributions "to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy."

Verizon, Boston Scientific, Disney, American Express, Mastercard, and Comcast are similarly halting payments to these Republicans. "At this crucial time, our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation," Comcast hold Insider.

Read More: The right-wing conspiracy theories that fueled the Capitol siege are going to instigate more violence

A number of corporations have condemned the insurrection as an assault on US democracy. Apple, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Facebook have all condemned the attack. Leaders in the auto industry, including General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Farley, have also issued statements denouncing the rioters. Ice-cream band Ben & Jerry's called for the impeachment of Trump and Coca-Cola called the riots "an offense to the ideals of American democracy."

Some of Trump's staunchest supporters also distanced themselves following the riots. Blackstone chairman, CEO, and co-founder Stephen Schwarzman - a longtime Trump ally who previously defended the president's election lawsuits during a call with top American CEOs - said he was "shocked and horrified."

Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster, one of the "Big Five" publishing houses, canceled the scheduled publication of Hawley's upcoming book "The Tyranny of Big Tech."

Hawley responded that "Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition."

The publishing house said it did not come to the decision lightly.
"As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom."