The bank announced last week that it was going to be freezing support funds for a “handful” of the 147 Republicans who voted against confirming Joe Biden as president on January 6.
- JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States based on the total number of assets (or money) it has and its political action committee (or PAC) has recently taken a firm position on who won the 2020 US presidential election.
- The bank announced last week that it was going to be freezing support funds for a “handful” of the 147 Republicans who voted against confirming Joe Biden as president on January 6.
- It’s important to point out that this PAC, like basically every PAC, is organized to elect and defeat political candidates, so what the bank’s saying is that its PAC will no longer be supporting these specific candidates.
What’s a PAC?
- In the US, an individual’s only allowed to give a maximum of US$2,900 to any candidate running for office. This limit’s there to make sure that candidates can’t be funded by only one mega-wealthy donor.
- PACs, such as JP Morgan’s, can receive funding and donate an additional US$5,000 to individual candidates.
- Businesses can establish a PAC to give their employees an opportunity to contribute more funds to their preferred candidate. It’s like an extra benefit for employees working at the company.
- JPMorgan’s website says that “The JPMorgan Chase & Co. Political Action Committees (PACs) are funded entirely by voluntary contributions from eligible employees. They support candidates, parties and committees whose views on specific issues are consistent with the Firm’s priorities …”
Why is JPMorgan freezing funding for some Republican candidates?
- Along with many other big banks that have PACs, JPMorgan decided to freeze funding for all political candidates back in January after the Capitol insurrection.
- JPMorgan decided to freeze these funds to reevaluate the bank’s standards and see if certain candidates failed to meet them.
- The bank’s website says that “No single criterion or policy determines a candidates’ eligibility for PAC contribution; however, candidates who advance positions or exhibit behaviors that are in conflict with the Firm’s ethos may be ineligible for PAC donations.”
- JPMorgan chose to unfreeze funding for most candidates, but decided to prevent a “handful” of the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election from receiving funding.
How will this affect the Republican Party?
- JPMorgan’s the largest bank in America with assets worth over US$3 billion and its PAC has provided more money to Republican candidates than Democratic candidates in every election cycle since 2002.
- In fact, in 2016, Republican candidates received nearly twice the amount from the bank than Democratic candidates did.
- In 2016, for example, Republican candidates received over US$614,000 worth of funding while Democractic candidates only received US$311,000 of funding.
- In 2020, commercial banks like JPMorgan gave even more to candidates, a total of US$14.6 million to be exact.
What’s next for JPMorgan?
- Like other major corporations in the US, JPMorgan has been taking a more active position on social issues as well as political issues.
- The bank has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 in response to climate change concerns and has also committed to spending US$30 billion to promote racial equity.
- JPMorgan hasn’t named the specific representatives and lawmakers among those 147 Republicans the bank says it will no longer be funding, but it has offered a public statement on its position.
- Criticizing the division during the congressional vote to certify Biden’s win, the bank said, “This was a unique and historic moment when we believe the country needed our elected officials to put aside strongly held differences and demonstrate unity.”
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