Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, went on Tuesday with other major corporations to indefinitely suspend donations to U.S. lawmakers who voted against President-elect Joe Biden’s election certification as corporate America began to distance itself from President Donald Trump and his Republican ally after last week’s deadly siege. Trump supporters in the US capital.
The Arkansas-based retail giant announced that after the attack on the US capital, its “Political Trade Committee will indefinitely suspend contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the legal certification of the state vote for universities.”
Twitter has ousted the president from the platform he trusted to market himself, Shopify has shut down e-commerce sites that sell its articles and payment platform Stripe says it will no longer handle transactions from the Trump campaign.
Days after Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet Inc-owned Google, Apple Inc and Amazon Inc. took their strongest measures to date to limit Trump’s reach, the US president beat US Big Tech companies and blamed them for the country’s divisions.
“I think Big Tech is doing a terrible thing for our country and for our country, and I think it’s going to be a catastrophic mistake for them. They share and share,” Trump told reporters at the beginning of a trip to Texas.
Following the deadly attack on the US capital on January 6, a number of companies said this week that they would suspend campaign contributions to those who voted last week to challenge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
Visa Inc. said on Tuesday that its Political Trade Committee had temporarily suspended all donations last week as it reviewed its guidelines for candidate grants.
Visa does not tolerate the use of our network and products for illegal activity. “We are vigilant in our efforts to discourage illegal activity in our network and we demand that our affiliated banks review their merchants’ compliance with our standards,” Visa said in an email.
The announcement came hours after Deutsche Bank announced it would not do business with Trump or his company in the future, the New York Times reported.
Deutsche Bank is Trump’s largest lender, with about $ 340 million in outstanding loans to the Trump Organization, the president’s umbrella group currently overseen by his two sons, according to Trump’s information with the US Office of Government Ethics dated July 31 last year plus bank sources.
Other companies have turned their attention to the country’s tough two-party policies, with Microsoft, Facebook and Google all announcing breaks in donations to both Republican and Democratic candidates.
Hallmark Cards Inc. – based in Kansas City, Missouri and a major employer – said in a statement that its Political Trade Committee asked Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Kansas Senator Roger Marshall, who both opposed Biden’s certification, to return all campaign entries.
It said the actions of the two senators “do not reflect the values of our company”. It also condemned the storm of the Capitol by protesters who intended to disrupt certification. “The peaceful transfer of power is part of the foundation of our democratic system, and we abhor violence of any kind.”
Announcements from Dow Inc., American Express and Marriott International, among others, threaten to disrupt fundraising resources for Republicans who will soon be out of power in the White House and both chambers of Congress.
“Wild of GOP”
“This is spreading like wildfire,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at Yale University’s School of Management who consults with the CEO, Associated Press.
“The American business community has interests that are fully in line with the American public and not with Trump’s autocratic big wing of the GOP.”
At least five people died last Wednesday when Trump supporters invaded the US capital in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from certifying Biden’s victory, forcing members of Congress to hide from the mob for several hours.
When they reconvened, 139 Republicans voted in the House of Representatives to challenge Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania or Arizona, although both states have already formally confirmed the results and election officials say there were no significant problems with the vote.
Seven Republicans in the Senate also voted to challenge the Arizona results.
Those who voted yes included the two best House Republicans, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise, and Senator Rick Scott, who as incumbent head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee will lead the effort to win back the Senate in the 2022 election.
All their jobs require extensive fundraising.
Collection period makes it possible to reconsider
But the large scale of the Republican opposition will make it difficult for companies to simply cut off those who voted against certifying Biden’s victory, according to business strategists.
Several companies made it clear that they were just taking a break from the world of political finance.
Google said its contribution was frozen “as we review and reconsider its policy following last week’s deeply worrying events”, and Microsoft noted that it “regularly pauses its donations during the first quarter of a new congress”.
Business groups will look closely in the coming weeks to see if these Republicans are gesturing to restore a sense of normality, such as attending the Biden inauguration, according to experts.
The fundraiser is currently in silence after the election in Washington, giving companies and trade groups some time to find out their strategy.
Trade groups in particular are likely to need time to take the temperature of their members.
The National Association of Beer Wholesalers said last week’s action “requires us all to pause and reflect on that support”.
The trade group gave a total of $ 768,500 during the last election cycle to Republicans who voted to challenge Biden’s victory, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.
Other top donors, including the National Association of Homebuilders and the National Association of Realtors, have not yet made a decision, spokesmen said.
‘Memory is short’
An analyst said the boycott may not be permanent, as companies want to ensure that their phone calls are returned by legislators from both parties.
“Memory is short and the company’s assets are long lasting,” said Kevin Book, CEO of ClearView Energy Partners.
“I’m not sure we can conclude anything definitive based on statements and patterns this week.”
It seems inevitable that larger companies will re-enter congressional lobbies, especially with Biden promising reforms such as higher corporate taxes and a $ 15 federal minimum wage that could hurt bottom lines.
Also threatening is the 2022 law election that could put the House and Senate back in the hands of Republicans, whose policies are often seen as friendlier to businesses.
( Jowharwith AFP, AP and REUTERS)