Overnight Finance

On the Money — Corporations woo GOP election objectors

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addresses reporters during his weekly on-camera press conference on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

Happy Wednesday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup

Today’s Big Deal: Big businesses are breaking from their pledges not to donate to Republicans who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election results. We’ll also look at a sign of strong job growth and the Federal Reserve’s plans to cool off the economy. 

But first, find out about a car made with mushroom fibers.

For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane (slane@thehill.com), Naomi Jagoda (njagoda@thehill.com) and Aris Folley (afolley@thehill.com).

Let’s get to it.

Businesses seek to rebuild bridges after Jan. 6

Major U.S. corporations are looking to quietly restore ties with Republicans who objected to certifying the 2020 election results following the Jan. 6 insurrection, believing that they cannot afford to burn bridges with the party that is favored to win back the House in the 2022 midterms.  

  • Companies that froze PAC donations to the Republican objectors were met with outrage from GOP leaders, prompting many to reverse or soften their stance.  
  • More firms are preparing to resume giving this year, according to lobbyists at corporations and K Street firms. 

In total, corporations and trade groups have already made more than $8 million in PAC donations to GOP objectors’ reelection campaigns since last year’s Capitol attack, according to a report released by liberal watchdog group Accountable.US this week.

Another tally from left-leaning watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington found that companies that initially pledged to pause their PAC donations to the 147 Republicans have since given $2.4 million to those lawmakers’ campaigns and leadership PACs. 

Industry giants such as Boeing, General Motors, Raytheon Technologies, Altria Group and UPS rank among the top corporate PAC donors to these Republicans. Most of those checks are going to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is eyeing the Speaker’s office, and House Republicans who would take control of key congressional committees if the GOP wins the lower chamber. 

The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom explains more here.

LEADING THE DAY

Private payrolls gained 807K workers in December: ADP 

U.S. businesses added 807,000 jobs in December despite the emergence of the omicron variant, according to data released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP, far exceeding expectations.

The ADP National Employment Report, a closely watched gauge of private sector job growth, showed private non-farm payrolls adding almost twice as many new workers as analysts projected. Private sector job growth was spread broadly among businesses of all sizes and industries, said ADP chief economist Nela Richardson. 

  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 204,000 workers last month, while mid-sized firms added 214,000 new workers and companies with more than 500 employees added 389,000 new workers to payrolls.  
  • Goods-producing businesses added 138,000 jobs while service sector firms added 669,000.  
  • The leisure and hospitality sector, which is deeply vulnerable to COVID-19 shocks, also added 246,000 jobs last month despite the omicron surge. 

The ADP report is the latest promising signal from the labor market ahead of the Department of Labor’s Friday release of the December jobs report. Sylvan has more here.

TAKE A HIKE?

Fed officials mulled faster rate hikes, bond sales as inflation spiked 

Federal Reserve officials discussed last month a quicker start to interest rate hikes after both job growth and inflation ran much higher than they expected, according to minutes released Wednesday. 

During the December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), several members of the Fed’s monetary policy arm suggested the bank may need to take quicker action to cool off the growing economy.  

“Participants generally noted that, given their individual outlooks for the economy, the labor market, and inflation, it may become warranted to increase the federal funds rate sooner or at a faster pace than participants had earlier anticipated,” the minutes read. 

“Some participants also noted that it could be appropriate to begin to reduce the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet relatively soon after beginning to raise the federal funds rate.” 

Read more here from Sylvan. 

 

BANKS UNDER SCRUTINY

SEC investigating banks’ disclosures on guns, climate change: report 

The Texas office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether lenders are providing regulators and investors with different versions of their policies on working with fossil fuel, gun and other companies, Reuters reported.  

The news outlet, citing two sources, reported that the office’s enforcement staff sent letters to a number of banks that have served as underwriters asking them to provide proof they are following the policies on environmental, social and governance issues published in their public disclosures. 

Reuters could not determine the number of banks that were sent letters by the SEC or if only those that filed public certifications in Texas — ones in which companies say that they will not engage in discriminatory practices against firearm companies or “boycott” energy companies — were under federal scrutiny. 

Read more here.

Good to Know

Chrysler announced Wednesday it plans to unveil its first electric vehicle by 2025 and aims to be fully electric by 2028.

Here’s what else have our eye on: 

  • Sony just unveiled a prototype for a new SUV-style electric vehicle called the Vision-S 02, a follow-up to its electric sedan Vision-S 01. 
  • Congressional lawmakers have begun discussions on potentially issuing another round of COVID-19 stimulus payments for businesses.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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