Republicans who voted to block Joe Biden’s confirmation as president have been deserted by some of the biggest corporations in the US, as some leading rightwing politicians begin to face potential consequences for the Capitol riot on Wednesday.
A slew of companies, including Citigroup, one of the biggest banks in the US, and the Marriott hotel chain, said they would halt donations to Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election.
The desertion comes after riots at the Capitol on Wednesday. Despite mobs storming the building, egged on by Donald Trump’s spurious claims of voter fraud, 147 Republicans voted to reject Joe Biden’s electoral victory later that same day. Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley were among those to dissent, along with scores of House representatives.
“At the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, we continuously evaluate our political contributions to ensure that those we support share our values and goals,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield, a sprawling healthcare company.
“In light of this week’s violent, shocking assault on the United States Capitol, and the votes of some members of Congress to subvert the results of November’s election by challenging Electoral College results, BCBSA will suspend contributions to those lawmakers who voted to undermine our democracy.”
The companies’ donations amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and could have a lasting impact on future elections. The political committee arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bluepac, alone donated $246,750 to Republican officials during the 2020 elections, according to Opensecrets.org.
In a memo to staff, Citigroup said it had donated $1,000 to Hawley’s campaign – citing a “significant employee presence” in the senator’s state of Missouri, the Wall Street Journal reported. Hawley, with Cruz, has become one of the highest-profile objectors to the certification of Biden’s win, and has perpetuated hoaxes about voter fraud. There are growing calls for both men to resign.
‘We want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law,’ wrote Candi Wolff, head of Citi’s global government affairs.
‘We intend to pause our contributions during the quarter as the country goes through the presidential transition and hopefully emerges from these events stronger and more united.’
The Marriott hotel chain said it would also suspend donations from its political action campaign to lawmakers who opposed the presidential election results. Marriott gave $1,000 to Hawley’s election campaign and $1,000 to his leadership committee, Mother Jones reported.
“We have taken the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election into consideration and will be pausing political giving from our Political Action Committee to those who voted against certification of the election,” the company said in a statement.
Boston Scientific, a medical device company, and the parent company of Commerce Bank also said they would not donate to the Republicans who attempted to overturn the election result. “At this time, we have suspended all support for officials who have impeded the peaceful transfer of power,” a spokesperson for Commerce Bancshares told the Popular Information newsletter.
CVS, Exxon Mobil, FedEx and Target all said they were reviewing future political donations, according to multiple reports, as were Bank of America, Ford and AT&T.
In a further blow to Donald Trump and the Republican party, the digital payment company Stripe said it would stop processing payments for Trump’s campaign website, company sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Trump has raised more than $200m since the election, as his team has appealed for donations based on Trump’s false claims of election fraud.