Companies rethink political donations after Capitol siege

Companies are rethinking their political contributions following the deadly siege of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Citigroup confirmed Sunday that it was suspending all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Others, like Marriott, are simply stopping donations to the 147 Republicans who opposed certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election.

In a memo to employees on Friday, Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said, “We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who violate the rule of law.”

“We support engagement with our political leaders even when we disagree, and our PAC is an important tool for that engagement,” Wolff wrote, adding that in 2019 the company donated $1. $000 to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who represents a state in which Citi has many employees.

In total, Citi’s political action committee donated $742,000 to federal candidates in 2019-20, according to OpenSecrets, a group that tracks political donations. Of that amount, $413,500 — or about 56% — went to Republicans and the rest to Democrats.

Unlike other companies, Citi says it is suspending all federal contributions. Medical device maker Boston Scientific said Sunday it was doing the same, as it reviewed its approach to political donations. The company said it believed in “respect for the integrity of the democratic process, the outcome of elections and the peaceful transition of power”.

The trade group representing one of the nation’s best-known health insurance brands, said it was suspending political contributions to lawmakers who voted last week to reject Electoral College results that cemented the Democrat’s victory Joe Biden on President Donald Trump in the November election.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association represents 36 regional and local insurers that use the mark, together covering about 1 in 3 Americans.

In a statement, Kim Keck, the group’s CEO and chairman, said he would continue to support lawmakers and candidates from both political parties who “will work with us to build a stronger, healthier nation.”

Hotel giant Marriott said Sunday it took “the destructive events on Capitol Hill to undermine a legitimate and fair election” and would suspend political donations to those who voted against certification of the election.

The company’s PAC donated $108,500 to Democrats and $89,500 to Republicans during the 2019-20 federal election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.

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