Summary List Placement
Visa’s political action committee has resumed its political giving after a much-publicized halt following the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol, donating $139,000 to members of Congress and other political committees on both sides of the aisle, federal records show.
On March 24, Visa’s PAC donated to the campaign committees for Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York.
Republicans such as Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, and freshman Rep. Young Kim of California also benefitted from Visa’s donations.
Visa also filled coffers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, giving each one $15,000.
Notably, Visa contributed to the coffers of three Republican congressmen who voted to impeach Trump: including Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, and Rep. John Katko of New York.
Visa did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
“It shows what these companies are all about,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for stronger campaign finance regulations. “The corporations seem to feel so pressured to contribute to sitting members that they can’t even adhere to the symbolic messages they made” in January.
Noti added that he expects other companies will follow Visa’s lead and resume political giving sooner rather than later.
“If their competitor starts engaging in pay-to-play, they’re of course going to do it, too,” he said.
None of Visa’s 38 PAC transactions in March appear to have gone to lawmakers who voted to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election. It did contribute $5,000 to Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee who did not vote on January 6 because he tested positive for COVID-19.
A total of 147 Republicans from the House and the Senate supported at least one objection during the formal certification of electoral college results on January 6, following weeks of President Donald Trump’s inaccurate accusations that the election had been stolen from him.
Several other Republicans rescinded their intention to object to the election results after an armed and violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol that day, sending lawmakers into hiding and leaving five people dead.
On January 12, less than a week after the attack, Visa’s PAC “temporarily suspended all political donations as we review our candidate contribution guidelines,” the company told the Washington Post.
In a separate statement to Reuters at the time, Visa said it does not “tolerate the use of our network and products for illegal activity. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter illegal activity on our network, and we require our affiliate banks to review their merchants’ compliance with our standards.”
Visa wasn’t alone in stopping its PAC contributions.
Several dozen corporate PACs either suspended making contributions to lawmakers who opposed the 2020 election certification or, like Visa, paused making political donations altogether.