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Firms scrap political donations over Capitol riots

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image captionRioter in the capitol rotunda with Trump flag

Republicans in the US Congress are facing a backlash from businesses over last week’s violence in Washington.

At least a dozen major US companies have said they would cut off campaign contributions to those who voted to challenge Joe Biden’s victory.

They join a growing list including hotel giant Marriott, Citibank and major technology firms like Google.

Other donors are rethinking their strategies after Trump supporters forced their way into the Capitol.

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At least five people died in the attack, which was an attempt to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden.

Corporate donors often spread their money widely around Washington, donating to both parties.

However, many now appear to be reconsidering donations after the public backlash over the attacks.

Accounting giant Deloitte, telecom firm AT&T and credit card companies American Express and Mastercard have all said they would withhold donations.

“We will continue to uphold our community policies by banning violent hate group members when we learn of such memberships," said property rental company Airbnb.

The company pledged to "update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results”.

media captionPhone footage reveals chaotic scenes inside US Capitol

Greetings card manufacturer Hallmark, which is a major employer in Kansas, has even demanded refunds from two Republican senators - Roger Marshall in Kansas and Josh Hawley in neighbouring Missouri - who objected to the election results.

Growing list

Chemical giant Dow went further than many companies, announcing it would withhold donations for the Republican lawmakers’ entire terms in office - up to six years for those in the Senate.

General Electric's suspension will last until the end of 2022. After that, an employee board that oversees its political action committee will consider requests for support for those lawmakers who opposed certification “on a case-by-case basis.”

Tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Verizon joined banks JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs in temporarily suspending all political giving.

So too did the Hilton Hotels chain, financial services firm Charles Schwab and manufacturing conglomerate 3M.

It is unclear what impact the decisions will have.

Fundraising activity is currently at a post-election lull in Washington, giving businesses and trade groups time to figure out their approach.

On Monday, Twitter saw its shares drop by around 6% wiping $2bn (£1.5bn) off the company's value on the first day of trading after banning Donald Trump from the messaging platform.

Related Topics

  • General Electric
  • Republican Party
  • Joe Biden
  • Donald Trump
  • Deloitte

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