Following the Jan. 6 insurrection in which supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify the election, the tech giant halted all political contributions, pending review. Now, the company has determined it will only suspend contributions to federal legislators who opposed certifying President Joe Biden’s win, as well as state officials and organizations that supported overturning the vote.
“We believe these steps are appropriate given the importance of these issues for the stability and future of American democracy,” Fred Humphries, vice president of US government affairs, wrote in an email to the company’s PAC community.
Microsoft also changed the name of its PAC to the Microsoft Corporation Stakeholders Voluntary PAC in order to indicate stakeholder contributions are voluntary. The company’s PAC came under fire last month by employees who criticized it for donating to Republicans who supported unfounded claims of election fraud. Insider reported that President Brad Smith told employees the PAC allowed the company to gain access to legislators who could advocate for corporate interests.
As part of its renamed PAC, Microsoft said it would create a new initiative to promote public transparency, campaign finance reform, and voting rights, and would work with other companies in its efforts to “strengthen democracy.” Companies, such as Google, Amazon, Marriott, and many others, similarly decided to halt contributions to Republicans who opposed the 2020 election results, following the deadly Capitol riots.