Several of the U.S.’s largest telecommunications companies have vowed to halt donations to the Republican lawmakers who sought to delay the certification of the 2020 election results, joining a growing list of businesses pledging to reevaluate their political contributions in 2021.
In light of an insurrectionist mob that descended on the Capitol just moments after key Republican lawmakers took to the House floor to further baseless claims of an election that had been “stolen” from outgoing president Donald Trump, calls have mounted in recent days for companies to rethink where they allocate their political dollars.
Thus far, those calls have been answered by nearly all of the big U.S. telecoms companies, with Comcast, AT&T and Verizon all vowing to suspend contributions to any member of U.S. Congress who voted to object to the election results.
On Monday, Verizon spokesman Rich Young told Bloomberg in an interview that executives, “watched last week’s events and were saddened,” adding that the company will suspend contributions to any member of Congress who voted to object to the election results. Comcast also vowed to halt all political contributions to elected officials who voted against certification, saying that the decision “will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices,” in light of “the appalling violence we witnessed at the U.S. Capitol last week.”
And citing a call with its Federal PAC board on Monday, an AT&T spokesperson said that the company would also commit to withholding contributions to “members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.”
In a statement to Gizmodo, a T-Mobile spokesperson said that the company planned to “reevaluate” its giving strategy, but declined to offer specifics on which elected officials could expect to see reduced contributions.
“The assault on the U.S. Capitol and on democracy was unacceptable,” the spokesperson said. “T-Mobile has supported many elected officials in a bipartisan approach to advancing a policy agenda that keeps the U.S. on the forefront of wireless technology. In light of recent events, we intend to reevaluate our PAC giving, and we look forward to working with the incoming Administration.”
The decisions by telecoms companies follows a flurry of similar activity by some of the largest businesses in the U.S. On Monday alone, it was confirmed that Airbnb, Dow, Morgan Stanley and American Express had all pledged to specifically halt contributions to the group of 147 conservative lawmakers who had voted to overturn election results, which includes U.S. Senators Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and other senators, along with more than 100 members of the House of Representatives.
After crunching the numbers, the amount of money the telecoms companies are pledging to withhold promises to be substantial in its own right. According to a brief analysis of Verizon’s 2019-2020 donation data conducted by Gizmodo, the company made sizable contributions to 63 of the lawmakers who voted to overturn election results, most notably giving $US10,000 ($12,999) apiece to Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.