The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has said corporations should be willing to donate to Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying the Electoral College victory of President Joe Biden on January 6.
In the wake of the Capitol right, some large corporations reconsidered donations to Republicans who had supported decertifying the votes that confirmed Biden as president. Companies that suspended political donations to objectors indefinitely included AT&T, Comcast, Amazon and Home Depot, according to a CNN report on February 21.
Other firms, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon Technologies, suspended donations to all federal candidates. Details about the companies’ plans were vague, however, and likely subject to change.
A handful of Republican senators and more than 100 Republican representatives voted against certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. The most prominent of these are Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas.
In a memo to member companies attributed to senior political strategist Ashlee Rich Stephenson, the chamber drew a distinction between vote to reject the election results and involvement in the deadly Capitol riot.
Eight senators and 139 members of the House of Representatives voted to object to the Electoral College votes from Arizona, Pennsylvania, or both in what was widely seen as a symbolic, wholesale rejection of Biden’s victory in November.
“The erosion and breakdown in democratic norms that has occurred over many years is a point of concern for the Chamber,” the memo said.
“Our nation and our free enterprise system depend on the rule of law and a well-functioning democracy.”
“Going forward, the Chamber will evaluate our support for candidates – Republicans and Democrats – based on their position on issues important to the Chamber, as well as their demonstrated commitment to governing and rebuilding our democratic institutions,” the Chamber’s memo went on.
“We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification. There is a meaningful difference between a member of Congress who voted no on the question of certifying the votes of certain states and those who engaged and continue to engage in repeated actions that undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions.”
“For example, casting a vote is different than organizing the rally of January 6th or continuing to push debunked conspiracy theories. We will take into consideration actions such as these and future conduct that erodes our democratic institutions.”
A number of major U.S. firms belong to the Chamber of Commerce, including ExxonMobil, Facebook and the Coca-Cola Company.
The Chamber of Commerce has previously supported all eight senators who voted to object to Biden’s win, according to Axios.
While no member of Congress has been directly linked to the January 6 riot, some Democrats and critics outside Congress have suggested those objecting to the Electoral College results were complicit with the rioters or at least encouraged the unfounded idea that the election was stolen—a major motivating factor in the storming of the Capitol.
Five people died, including police officer Brian Sicknick, in the disorder.