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AT&T, Verizon, Comcast halt donations to lawmakers who opposed Biden's election

A large and growing number of tech and telecom companies are freezing their political contributions to Washington lawmakers after President Trump incited a mob that attacked the US Capitol last week.

And some companies – including telecom heavyweights AT&T, Verizon and Comcast – are specifically targeting lawmakers such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo), who opposed President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

"We will be suspending contributions in 2021 to any member of Congress who voted in favor of objecting to the election results," said Verizon spokesperson Rich Young.

"The peaceful transition of power is a foundation of America's democracy," Comcast said in a statement. "This year, that transition will take place among some of the most challenging conditions in modern history and against the backdrop of the appalling violence we witnessed at the US Capitol last week. At this crucial time, our focus needs to be on working together for the good of the entire nation. 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."

"Employees on our federal PAC [Political Action Committee] board convened a call today and decided to suspend contributions to members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes last week," said an AT&T spokesperson, according to Multichannel News.

The telecom companies joined a number of other technology companies in specifically withholding donations from those lawmakers who voted against Biden.

"The Airbnb PAC will update its framework and withhold support from those who voted against the certification of the presidential election results," the company said in a statement.

Other companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and Google, said they would halt all political donations.

"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, according to CNBC.

CNBC reported that T-Mobile said it would "reevaluate" its PAC contributions.

"We have chosen to pause our political contributions while we assess these troubling developments and their implications," Jonathan Spalter, CEO of telecom trade association USTelecom, said in a statement.

The development is noteworthy considering tech and telecom companies typically contribute money to a variety of lawmakers. For example, CNBC cited Federal Election Commission data showing Microsoft's PAC donated in 2018 to Sen. Cruz and that both AT&T and T-Mobile's PACs gave to Cruz and Hawley's Senate campaigns as recently as last year.

According to OpenSecrets.org, AT&T and Comcast are among the top donors to those who opposed Biden's election.

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Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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