Introduction

In the wake of the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, nearly two hundred corporations and industry groups said they would pause or altogether stop making political contributions to the 147 members of Congress who voted against certifying the election and continue to propagate the Big Lie that led to the attack. In the months since, corporate and industry interests have had to choose whether to do their part to uphold our democracy by turning off the flow of corporate donations to these members, also known as the Sedition Caucus, or to continue to support them and the main Republican party committees in order to seek political influence.

Many have failed this test, some reneging on a promise to change their giving while others made no commitment and are giving like nothing ever happened. By continuing to fund members of Congress who would undermine American democracy, these corporations and industry groups are sacrificing democratic government for access and influence. These members of Congress should renounce their votes against certifying the election and commit to respecting the 2020 election, future elections, and our democratic system, and corporations and industry groups should demand that they do so.

(NOTE: the data on this page will update daily, so please check back often for new totals)

Business groups were eager to start giving to Sedition Caucus members in the wake of the January 6th

The flow of money from corporate PACs and industry groups to political committees allied with the Sedition Caucus started just days after the insurrection, and within the first few months after the deadly attack, their total contributions had already climbed into the millions of dollars.

These totals include contributions from PACs that are tied to either a corporation or a business group that represents an industry or profession. The recipients in these tallies include the campaigns and leadership PACs of the 147 members of Congress who voted not to certify the 2020 election results, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the two main Republican party committees supporting these members.

While some of the companies that show up in the data aren’t familiar to most Americans — like CSX Corporation and BWX Technologies — a number of the companies, listed in the chart below, are household names that most Americans will recognize and probably do business with. Several of them initially committed to ceasing contributions to members who voted not to certify the election results, before deciding to start giving again.

* Indicates a company that originally committed to ceasing contributions benefiting members who voted not to certify the election.

Totals given to individual members

The numbers here include all contributions to either the campaign or leadership PAC of a member of Congress who voted not to certify the election. While every member has a campaign committee, not all members have a leadership PAC, which is a type of political committee established by a candidate or a federal officeholder to raise money that’s supposed to be used to support allies. In practice, however, leadership PACs are often little more than slush funds for politicians to pay for luxury resort stays, golf club memberships, and private jet travel, thanks to the FEC’s loose interpretation of the statutes that govern them.

Here are the top 10 recipients of funds from business and industry PACs:

Corporate PACs that have given the most

While corporations cannot give directly to traditional political committees like campaigns and party committees, they can form PACs that give generously to these groups in the name of the company. The sponsor company can also cover most of its PAC’s administrative expenses and use corporate funds to create incentives — such as charitable “matching” programs — to entice employees to contribute to the PAC. The PAC’s contributions can serve as a way for corporations and their lobbyists to get access to lawmakers in order to talk about legislation and regulations that are important to them.

As Microsoft CEO Brad Smith explained to employees in January, “Politicians in the United States have events, they have weekend retreats, you have to write a check and then you’re invited and participate… [T]he reason you go is because the PAC writes a check.”

Here are the overall top 10 corporate PACs that have given the most to the Sedition Caucus:

Totals given to party committees that back Sedition Caucus members

The corporations that pledged to stop or pause donations to the 147 members who voted against certifying the election did not specifically pledge not to donate to the NRSC and NRCC. CREW has nonetheless determined that for corporations to live up to a commitment to preserve democracy, they must also avoid giving to these two committees. On March 2, 2022, CREW sent letters to the NRCC and NRSC requesting that the committees commit to not providing direct or indirect campaign support to Sedition Caucus members. To date, CREW has received no response.

The NRSC itself is currently headed by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who was one of eight senators who voted not to certify the results of the election—a decision he stuck with even after seeing the violence and destruction caused by believers of the Big Lie. In 2020, the NRSC supported Senators who would go on to vote against certifying the election — Roger Marshall and Cindy Hyde-Smith. And as of January 2022, the NRSC continues to use one of the most notorious members of the Sedition Caucus, Josh Hawley, to bring in donations.

On the House side, nearly 70% of Republican members voted not to certify the results of the election. It is relevant that the NRCC’s 2020 giving includes 39 members who went on to vote against certifying the election, among them prominent advocates of overturning the election Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Dan Bishop. While this giving came before their votes against certifying the election, it is indicative of the members the NRCC supports.

Moreover, none of these members has faced censure or accountability, and indeed some have sought to whitewash the attack. Until Republicans in Congress condemn the lies about the election that led to the insurrection, contributions to these party committees should be counted as support for the anti-democratic actions taken by the members of Congress they exist to defend.

Industry groups that have given the most

Trade associations – industry groups that represent major companies or professionals in a particular field take advantage of many of the same benefits that corporate PACs do, and to the same end: To get in the room with powerful lawmakers to talk about policies that would benefit the businesses and industries they represent. Even companies that have stuck to their commitments not to support seditionists may be backing them by paying dues to a trade association, which can use those funds to support an affiliated PAC that makes contributions to insurrectionist members of Congress and Republican party committees.

Companies that have kept their commitments

While a number of corporations and industry groups have broken their promises and resumed giving to the Sedition Caucus or the Republican party committees, more have held to their commitments to pause or reevaluate their giving. Of the hundreds of companies and industry groups that CREW is tracking, here are those that have kept to their original pledge to pause contributions either to all members of Congress or the 147 members of the Sedition Caucus, and who also have not donated since to the NRSC and NRCC:

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