JPMorgan Chase & Co. chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said his company’s decision to suspend political contributions was “just a pause” as he repeated his criticism of the riots last week at the United States Capitol.
The bank is one of a series of large corporations that have announced changes in their political activities after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress in an attempt to prevent it from certifying the victory of President-elect Joe Biden. JPMorgan Chase has also joined with other companies in issuing statements calling for a peaceful transfer to the new administration.
“Our elected leaders have a responsibility to call for an end to violence, to accept the results and, as our democracy has done for hundreds of years, to support the peaceful transition of power,” Dimon wrote in a communicated on January 6.
Speaking in an introductory interview at NRF 2021: Retail’s Big Show, a conference hosted by the National Retail Federation, Dimon again condemned the violence and the refusal by many voters and politicians to recognize the election’s legitimacy.
“We had an election. It went through the courts. People raised issues. State governments, courts certified it. We have a new president. Maybe people like him or not. “, did he declare. “But under no circumstances should we tolerate such violence. It is incumbent on everyone, including Republicans and Democrats, to say very publicly: it’s okay to protest. No violence. No attack on them. government buildings, etc. “
Dimon also championed the virtues of political participation and described a pragmatic approach to corporate political giving.
Regarding JPMorgan Chase’s decision to temporarily halt donations, he said: “We are talking about [political action committees] here. They are only a very small part of the political process. “
“It’s just a break,” he added. “Our PAC gives people money. Of course, no one who was given money expected people to do seditious acts with them. When you give money, a lot of politicians take a lot of views, and you might not agree with all of them, but you can still help a politician somehow … Take a break, take a little deep breathing, figuring out what we should change and how we should change and what other people might change, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and that’s what we’re going to do. “
Dimon said he was optimistic and hoped last week’s attack, which put Democratic and Republican lawmakers at risk, could be a catalyst for a return to “more civil discourse.”
Dimon also expressed support for the $ 900 billion pandemic rescue package adopted in December 2020 and said he was in favor of further relief. President-elect Biden called the December legislation a “down payment.”
“The best way to deal with future problems is to minimize the damage [the pandemic] done over the next six months, ”he said. “There will probably be another package. I support this. “
He noted that the economic damage has focused on those with low incomes and that high savings among financially healthy households could help fuel an economic rebound once the pandemic is under control.
“You and I can debate the size of the checks and the limit,” Dimon said. “But I’m glad they are [working on another package], and we really need to focus on helping those who need it most. “