Following the events of January 6 when rioters entered the Capitol and 147 elected Republicans voted against the certification of Electoral College votes, several major companies announced changes in their political donations. This included pauses in spending and statements that the company would not give money to those who had objected to Biden’s win.
However, some of the corporate PACs of high profile companies that paused donations have begun donating to Republican objectors again, either through direct donations to the Republicans’ campaigns committees and leadership PACs or by donating to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which provide support for the objectors.
Those companies, according to reports from the Washington Post, Daily Beast and Bloomberg, include: American Airlines, health insurance firm Cigna, insurance company Aflac, UPS, defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, Boeing, General Motors, Ford, JetBlue, and Southern Co. a gas an electric company based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit, reported in June that more than $5 million in corporate or industry money had been donated to Republican objectors.
CREW cited more companies that had resumed donations despite having “originally committed to ceasing contributions benefiting members who voted not to certify the election.”
Walmart issued a statement to Newsweek on Friday, saying: “As we have for the past 10 years on a bipartisan basis, we have given equally to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.”
AT&T told Newsweek: “Our employee PACs continue to adhere to the position taken on January 11 of suspending contributions to the re-election campaigns of individual members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes.”
However, AT&T did donate $5,000 to the House Conservatives Fund, a leadership PAC affiliated with Representative Mike Johnson, after Johnson voted to object on January 6.
General Electric told Newsweek in a statement: “GEPAC’s decision to suspend certain donations was based on specific votes taken after the unprecedented attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, not as a statement against any one political party.
“As a large manufacturing company with work across a diverse set of industries, we support elected officials of both parties based on a wide range of issues. We will continue to ensure that GEPAC’s donations reflect our company’s values and commitment to democracy.”
GEPAC is the fund run voluntarily by GE employees that makes political contributions. It suspended donations to individual lawmakers who voted against certifying the election in January.
“As it has for the past 15 years, GEPAC contributed $15,000 each to the DSCC [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], NRSC and NRCC,” GE said.
Japanese car manufacturer Toyota said it had halted donations to Republican objectors last week after it emerged in June that it had given $56,000 to 38 Republicans who voted to object on January 6.
“Toyota is committed to supporting and promoting actions that further our democracy,” the company said in a statement.
“We are actively listening to our stakeholders and, at this time, we have decided to stop contributing to those Members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election,” the statement went on.
It has been common practice for companies to donate to both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill but following the events on January 6, major donors were quick to announce spending pauses. However, many have now resumed donations that will benefit Republican objectors either directly or indirectly.
Greeting card company Hallmark has not donated to any Republican objectors or the NRCC and NRSC in 2021, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.
Newsweek has asked the companies that have resumed donations for comment.
Update 7/16/21, 10:00 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a statement from Walmart.
Update 7/16/21, 10:35 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a statement from AT&T.
Update 7/16/21, 11:10 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include a statement from General Electric.