Businesses are rethinking or in some cases suspending their political contributions after the deadly Capitol siege last week by supporters of President Trump.
Citigroup confirmed Sunday that it is pausing all federal political donations for the first three months of the year. Others, such as hotel chain Marriott, are stopping donations only to the 147 Republicans who opposed certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s election.
In a memo to employees Friday, Citi’s head of global government affairs, Candi Wolff, said that “we want you to be assured that we will not support candidates who do not respect the rule of law.”
“We support engaging with our political leaders even when we disagree, and our PAC is an important tool for that engagement,” Wolff wrote, referring to the company’s political action committee.
Wolff noted that Citi donated $1,000 in 2019 to the campaign of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who represents a state in which Citi has a lot of employees. Hawley led the drive in the Senate to block confirmation of Biden’s victory in key states.
In all, Citi’s PAC donated $742,000 to federal candidates in 2019-2020, according to OpenSecrets, a group that tracks political donations. Of this, $413,500 — or about 56% — went to Republicans and the rest to Democrats.
Unlike other companies, Citi says it is pausing all federal contributions. Boston Scientific, a maker of medical devices, said Sunday that it is doing the same while it reviews its approach to political contributions. The company said it believes in “respecting the integrity of the democratic process, the election outcome and the peaceful transition of power.”
Marriott said Sunday that it is considering “the destructive events at the Capitol to undermine a legitimate and fair election” and will pause political donations to those who voted against Biden’s certification as president-elect.
The hotel giant’s PAC has donated $108,500 to Democrats and $89,500 to Republicans in the 2019-2020 federal election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
Like Marriott, 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 the electoral college results that cemented Biden’s win over Trump.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Assn. represents 36 regional and local insurers who use the brand. Together, the insurers covering about 1 in 3 Americans.
In a statement, Kim Keck, the group’s CEO and president, said it would continue to support lawmakers and candidates of both political parties who “will work with us to build a stronger, healthier nation.”