JP Morgan resumes political contributions... except for certain politicians

(Paul Morigi/AP Images for JPMorgan Chase)

After the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, many corporations chose to make grand announcements that they would no longer send political contributions to any politician who supported the attempt to overturn the presidential election results. The woke virtue-signaling was strong. Financial organizations joined in. Some of them chose to limit contributions to politicians who didn’t support overturning the election results while others paused all political contributions. Some organizations are quietly starting up.

For example, Citigroup suspended all political contributions through its PAC for the first quarter of 2021 while Morgan Stanley singled out politicians who opposed the election results. JP Morgan Chase chose a six-month timeline on its pause in donations and included both parties in its action. Politically speaking, JP Morgan aligned itself more with the Republican Party through the years. That was especially true during the Trump years. Its CEO Jamie Dimon was a member of President Trump’s Business Council. Dimon also donated at least $500,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. Other employees at JP Morgan supported Trump’s campaign and presidency. JP Morgan’s PAC donations also trend Republican.

The progressive left was not impressed.

Today it is being reported that JP Morgan Chase will begin making political contributions this month but will not do so for Republican members who voted against the election results. That number is 147 Republicans, most of whom are in the House of Representatives. The organization states it will freeze donations to “a handful” of Republicans it previously supported in that group of 147.

The pause will last through the 2021-2022 election cycle, which includes November’s midterm elections, after which JPMorgan will review whether to resume contributions to the lawmakers concerned on an individual basis, it 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,” the bank wrote of the Jan. 6 vote to certify Biden’s win.

JPMorgan noted that its PAC is an important tool for engaging in the political process in the United States. PACs are political committees organized for the purpose of raising cash to support or in some cases oppose election candidates.

“Democracy, by its nature, requires active participation, compromise, and engaging with people with opposing views. That is why government and business must work together,” JPMorgan wrote.

The firm will continue on in its newly woke journey and branch out from donations to lawmakers who oversee financial matters to those involved in issues that are “moral and economic imperatives for our country.” This includes criminal justice reform, education, and the racial wealth gap. JP Morgan didn’t name any of the lawmakers who will continue to be penalized. Look for its political contributions to lean more to the Democrats now than keeping with favoring Republicans.

JPMorgan’s PAC gave nearly $1 million to federal candidates and committees backing candidates during the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).

Of the $600,300 it gave to federal candidates, nearly 60% went to Republicans and the rest to Democrats, according to the CRP data, a mix that is likely to swing further to the left as the bank supports a broader range of social and economic issues.

In February, Morgan Stanley’s PAC began political contributions again. The American Bankers Association PAC has also started contributing again – just in time for the 2022 mid-term elections. The big money organizations were never really going to step back and become outsiders.