Facebook has announced that it will not be donating (through its political action committee) to any Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of last year’s presidential election. The Congressional session to certify those results coincided with the attack on the Capitol launched by Trump supporters this January, and after that incident, scores of Republican members of Congress — most of whom were in the House — still voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election victory, despite the total lack of meaningful evidence of any systematic fraud underlying the win.
The Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol were operating under the explicit pretense of the lie from former President Donald Trump and others that the presidential election had somehow been rigged for Biden. In line with that idea, the rioters tried to forcibly stop the Congressional certification of Biden’s win. Now, Brian Rice — who works as a public policy director at Facebook — said as follows after a three month period in which the Facebook political action committee (PAC) didn’t disburse any donations at all:
‘As a result of our review, the FBPAC Board has decided to resume contributions, but not to any members of Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election following the events at the Capitol on January 6. While a contribution to a candidate for office does not mean that we agree with every policy or position that a candidate may espouse, we believe this decision is appropriate given the unprecedented events in January.’
Although individual donations from the Facebook PAC can be on the smaller side — in the 2020 election cycle they gave $8,000 to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was among the election objectors, for instance — the cash adds up over time and when paired with donations from other corporate PACs. Notably, even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was among those who objected to certifying the presidential election results.
A total of 147 Republican members of Congress voted against certifying some component of the 2020 presidential election results. A full 139 of those were House members. With their votes, these Republican members of Congress provided a substantial boost to the dangerous lie that there is reason to be concerned about the systematic security of the 2020 presidential election. Republicans in positions of state-level authority across the country have also furthered this lie with their efforts to enact new voting restrictions in the name of election security. In reality, these measures — which have already been repeatedly challenged in court — largely respond to a problem that does not exist.