WASHINGTON, D.C. Jan. 19, 2017– Major corporate donors to Donald Trump’s inauguration have federal contracts and want key policy changes from the government, raising the specter of pay-to-play politics, a Public Citizen analysis shows.
All seven companies known to have contributed to the Trump inauguration have received millions – and in some cases, multibillions – in taxpayer dollars. The seven corporations, as reported by The New York Times, are AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Chevron, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase and United Parcel Service (UPS).
In exchange for inaugural contributions, donors are to receive unprecedented access to the senior members of the incoming Trump administration and other U.S. government officials. For example, a $1 million donation buys four tickets to a luncheon with Cabinet appointees and congressional leadership members, and four tickets to an “intimate” dinner with Vice President Mike Pence.
“These contributions cannot be viewed as mere patriotic support for the presidency or charitable, civic donations, but must be recognized within the context of pay-to-play politics that corrupts our political system,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “It appears as though the pay-to-play culture is going to get much worse before it gets better.”
The companies are:
- AT&T, which donated money to the inauguration and is spending millions to bolster cell phone service during the event. AT&T wants the government to approve an $85.4 billion merger deal with Time Warner, is fighting to block net neutrality rules and has federal contracts worth $1.4 billion over five years.
- Bank of America, which is still trying to roll back financial reforms put in place after the 2008 crash. In the past five years, Bank of America has received more than $2.3 million in federal contracts from the federal government.
- Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace corporation and a major federal contractor, which reportedly contributed $1 million toward Trump’s inauguration. Boeing is replacing Air Force One, is vying to replace Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and in fiscal year 2017 is to receive more than $821 million from federal government contracts.
- Chevron, which reportedly contributed $500,000 toward Trump’s inauguration. Chevron wants the federal government to remove limits on oil and gas drilling and production, weaken environmental protections and open federal land to onshore and offshore drilling. In the past five years, Chevron has received more than $1.2 billion from federal government contracts.
- Deloitte, a global financial consulting and business services firm, which has lobbied Congress on appropriations bills, defense, immigration and consumer privacy. In the past five years, Deloitte has received more than $4.9 billion from federal contracts.
- JPMorgan Chase, which wants to roll back financial reforms and weaken the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In the past five years, JPMorgan received more than $20 million from federal government contracts.
- UPS, which is working to increase shipping access to China and other Asian nations. In the past five years (including fiscal year 2017), UPS has received more than $70 million from federal government contracts.