Diehard Trump Republicans on Collision Course with US Business
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, James Politi, and Courtney Weaver; Financial Times
Despite its statement decrying efforts to overturn the election result, the US Chamber of Commerce declined to say whether it would make vote certification a litmus test for its future Congressional endorsements.
“That means there are no consequences to a representative or senator who does not heed the chamber’s [request],” said Bruce Freed, president of the Center for Political Accountability, which tracks corporate contributions. Even so, Mr Freed said that companies faced “a moment of truth” with regard to their political spending. “They’re signing up to Business Roundtable statements . . . but their political dollars haven’t changed,” he said, predicting that investors would ask tougher questions about the issue at upcoming annual meetings.
Daniella Ballou-Aares, chief executive of the Leadership Now Project, agreed that there had been “a step change” in the concerns of chief executives, following the senators’ announcement and the disclosure of Mr Trump’s call pressing Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” extra votes to overturn his election loss in the state. Companies were interested in solving problems and many were now questioning the return on their investment in politicians showing little interest in finding bipartisan agreement, Ms Ballou-Aares added. “If I were a government affairs office now I’d kind of want to ask for a refund if I’d supported those candidates,” Ms Ballou-Aares said of the Republicans who planned to defy the election result. “Whatever one thinks about corporate investment in politics, I think few companies thought when they were writing their cheques that they were giving license for undermining democracy.”