JPMorgan Chase freezes donations to Republicans running in elections | Wall Street Journal Banking News

According to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Friday, JP Morgan Chase will resume political donations to U.S. lawmakers, but will not provide political donations to Republican congressmen who voted to overthrow Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.

After the fatal riots in the Capitol on January 6, supporters of former President Donald Trump tried to prevent Congressional certification elections. The bank is one of many companies that suspended political donations.

Just a few hours later, 147 Republicans, the vast majority of whom were in the House of Representatives, voted to overturn the electoral college results that Trump falsely claimed to be contaminated by fraud.

The bank said that after review, the country’s largest bank will resume donations through its Political Action Committee (PAC) this month, but will continue to freeze donations to the “small number” of 147 lawmakers it previously supported.

The suspension will last until the election cycle from 2021 to 2022, including the midterm elections in November, after which JPMorgan Chase will review whether to resume donations to relevant legislators based on individual circumstances.

“This is a unique historic moment, and we believe that the country needs our elected officials to put aside their strong differences and show unity,” the bank wrote in reference to the vote that proved Biden’s victory on January 6.

JPMorgan Chase pointed out that its PAC is an important tool for participating in the political process of the United States. A PAC is a political committee organized to raise cash to support or in some cases oppose election candidates.

“By its very nature, democracy requires active participation, compromise, and contact with people who hold the opposite view. This is why the government and business must cooperate,” JPMorgan Chase wrote.

As part of its improved spending strategy, the bank will also expand donations from legislators overseeing financial affairs to those who are actively involved in issues that the bank considers “the moral and economic imperative of our country”, such as addressing the racial gap between rich and poor, Education and criminal justice reform.

Since the initial rebound in January, companies have been trying to figure out how to recover PAC spending, which lobbyists believe is important for reaching policymakers without alienating other stakeholders, including employees who fund PACs.

Federal records show that the American Bankers Association PAC, one of the largest banks in the United States, began donating again in March.

Although JP Morgan Chase did not mention any legislators in its memo, the bank’s new policy may alienate Republicans’ influence on bank policies, some of whom have already felt their positive stance on issues such as climate change and racial equality. anger.

According to data from the Center for Response Politics (CRP), out of 147 lawmakers, JPMorgan Chase provided $10,000 to members of the House Finance Committee Blaine Luetkemeyer and Lee Zeldin and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy during the 2019-2020 election cycle. Representatives of the lawmakers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to CRP, all in all, JPMorgan Chase’s PAC provided nearly $1 million to federal candidates and committees supporting candidates in the 2019-2020 election cycle.

According to CRP data, of the $600,300 it provided to federal candidates, nearly 60% went to Republicans, and the rest went to Democrats. As the bank supports broader social and economic issues, this combination may Tilt further to the left.

Data shows that commercial banks have generally increased political spending in recent years, providing federal candidates with $14.6 million in the 2020 cycle, which is the second highest amount since 1990.

After the 2008 financial crisis, this combination benefited Republicans, but in recent years banks have increased spending on Democrats because they want to rebuild bipartisan support in Congress.

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About the Author: Agnes Zang