Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others pause political contributions after U.S. Capitol riot


Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, October 23, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Tech companies including Facebook, Google and Microsoft announced Monday they are pausing contributions from their political action committees in the wake of the invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday by insurgents incited by President Donald Trump. Companies from other industries have taken a similar stand.

Here are the tech and media companies that have announced plans to pause PACs so far.


“Following last week’s awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of our PAC contributions for at least the current quarter, while we review our policies,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. Facebook did not appear to donate to either candidate in the past few election cycles.

Axios first reported Facebook’s plans to halt political donations.


Google also said it would halt contributions from its PAC in light of the recent events. “We have frozen all NetPAC political contributions while we review and reassess its policies following last week’s deeply troubling events,” a Google spokesperson said.

Google’s PAC donated to Cruz’s Senate campaign in 2017 and 2018.


Microsoft said it had decided last Friday to assess “the implications of last week’s events” before making additional contributions from its PAC. “The PAC regularly pauses its donations in the first quarter of a new Congress, but it will take additional steps this year to consider these recent events and consult with employees,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Federal Election Commission data shows Microsoft’s PAC donated in 2018 to the senate campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the lawmakers who sought to object to President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral votes, and the 2016 Missouri attorney general campaign for Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who joined Cruz in the effort.


While Microsoft, Google and Facebook are taking a broad approach to halting contributions, others have been more targeted. Airbnb said on Monday its PAC will “withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results.” Airbnb did not appear to donate to either candidate in the past few election cycles.


An AT&T spokesperson similarly the company’s PAC will “suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week.” AT&T’s PAC gave to Cruz and Hawley’s Senate campaigns as recently as last year.


“We will be suspending contributions to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results.,” Verizon said on Monday. Verizon’s PAC donated to Cruz’s Senate campaign as recently as last year.


T-Mobile hasn’t said it will pause giving yet but said would “reevaluate” its PAC contributions. T-Mobile’s PAC gave to Cruz and Hawley’s Senate campaigns as recently as last year.


The cable and media giant is suspending contributions to elected officials who voted against certifying the presidential election results.

“The peaceful transition of power is a foundation of America’s democracy,” the company wrote in a statement. “Consistent with this view, we will suspend all of our political contributions to those elected officials who voted against certification of the electoral college votes, which will give us the opportunity to review our political giving policies and practices.”

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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