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Supporters of Trump’s electoral college stunt may be expelled from Congress under planned resolution

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Supporters of Trump's electoral college stunt may be expelled from Congress under planned resolution


Republican legislators who challenged Joe Biden’s electoral college victory may be expelled from Congress under a planned resolution.

Newly elected Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on Wednesday revealed the draft proposal shortly after Trump supporters broke into the Capitol, causing chaos and destruction. The crowd delayed the counting of Biden’s election victory under the baseless pretext that the election was “stolen,” as President Donald Trump has often repeated.

“I believe the Republican members of Congress who have incited this domestic terror attack through their attempts to overturn the election must face consequences,” Bush said in a statement. “They have broken their sacred Oath of Office.”

Under the preliminary draft of Bush’s resolution, the Committee on House Administration and the Committee on Ethics would be directed to “issue a report” on whether members of Congress who declined to count the electoral college results “have violated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution or the Rules of the House of Representatives and should face sanction, including removal from the House of Representatives.”

Bush did not name the specific legislators she was referring to, nor when she plans to officially introduce the bill.

Earlier on Wednesday, a group of Republicans led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), argued on the Senate floor that Congress should set aside Arizona’s electoral votes, effectively helping President Trump’s so-far futile attempts to overturn the presidential election results. 

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) joined Cruz in his formal objection on Wednesday, and earlier this month, other Republican senators including Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), said they planned “to reject the electors from disputed states” during the certification process. 

More politics coverage from Fortune:

  • The biggest conspiracy theories of 2020 (and why they won’t die)
  • Under Biden, expect more scrutiny of Big Tech and mergers
  • Why a key Georgia county flipped from red to blue—and what it means for Democrats
  • Pfizer, Trump, and Biden: A twisted triangle that’s complicating COVID-19 relief
  • Biden’s first 100 days: Student loan debt won’t go anywhere



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Do government deficits matter?

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Do government deficits matter?


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In support of political contributions

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A deluge of feedback in a turbulent week


Good morning.

Most Americans don’t want CEOs involved in politics. A poll conducted last week by Golin and Ipsos found only 41% favored CEOs weighing in on disputed elections, and only 43% wanted them speaking out on impeachment. On the other hand, 74% say CEOs should call for unity and a peaceful transfer of power, and 57% believe it was appropriate for CEOs to speak out after the January 6 insurgency at the Capitol. That pretty well tracks with the way most CEOs and business groups have behaved since election day. They kept their powder dry until all legitimate avenues for disputing the election were exhausted, then came out strongly endorsing the election results and attacking efforts to undermine them. Relatively few have backed impeachment. (You can see the poll results here.)

But how about political contributions? That’s the question raised last week, as a host of companies—Marriott, AT&T, American Express, Best Buy, Cisco, Comcast, Dow and Amazon among them—suspended campaign contributions to members of Congress who challenged the election results. Another large group—Microsoft, Boeing, Blackrock, Coca-Cola, JP Morgan, Ford, GM, UPS, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup—temporarily halted all political contributions to members of both parties. (Quartz has a more comprehensive list of what companies did here.)

Some business leaders are even contemplating permanently shutting their political action committees and exiting the money game altogether. But absent a broader overhaul of campaign finance—which is unlikely anytime soon—I think that’s a mistake. Most big companies remain balanced players in the money game, dividing their dollars roughly equally between members of each party. Walmart, for instance, has kept its contributions at exactly 50-50. Their strategies have less to do with trying to influence outcomes, and more to do with assuring they have access to whoever wins.

The more important question for 2021 is how big business uses that access. There are a host of issues where business has the potential to help broker positive outcomes for the U.S. economy and society: economic stimulus, infrastructure, worker training, climate change. On each of these, business leaders occupy the center, and can help bring the parties together to solve urgent problems.

But on tax and regulatory issues, in particular, corporations will be playing defense. And they’ll be tempted to use what influence they can muster to seek tax breaks and regulatory exemptions that aren’t in the broader public interest. That’s where the commitment to stakeholder capitalism will be tested. The nation desperately needs business involved in government. But business, now more than ever, needs to use its influence to focus on solving long-term challenges.

News below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray

[email protected]



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Why Big Tech regulation is good for private equity, according to one CEO

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Why Big Tech regulation is good for private equity, according to one CEO


Increased scrutiny of Big Tech’s power may have some shareholders sweating it. But not so for private investors.

With a new Biden administration and recent threats to crack down on some of the biggest tech behemoths (from Facebook to Amazon), there seems to be support for more regulation. And according to alternative investment manager Hamilton Lane’s CEO, Mario Giannini, that might be good news for the private equity industry.

“Reducing the dominance of large technology companies…is probably not great for some portions of the industry, but good for private equity,” Giannini tells Fortune. In Congress, which now maintains a slim Democratic majority, “I think everyone is interested in saying, ‘Amazon is too powerful, Google [is too powerful],’ pick your name,” he says, arguing there’s bipartisan support for more regulation.

As to what lawmakers do about it, “I’m not sure,” says Giannini, but “to the extent that they do anything to diminish the power of those companies, that’s good for private equity because it creates opportunity for smaller companies.”

To be sure, government scrutiny of large tech companies is a tale as old as time, but lately regulators appear to be turning up the heat on the biggest names: Facebook was recently hit with an antitrust lawsuit alleging it has squashed competition, while players like Amazon and Apple, big winners of the pandemic era, have found themselves the subject of government ire over antitrust concerns. Google, meanwhile, is in hot water once more for its search and search advertising practices. And companies like Facebook and Amazon could be facing their own headwinds in Europe, too.

According to Giannini, whose firm has $73 billion in assets under management and advises on $474 billion in additional assets, the dominance of those FAANG names has been top of mind for private equity firms when scouting for deals.

“Right now, when any private equity [firm] does a deal, …if it’s not their first question, it’s one of their top three questions: ‘Is Amazon going to enter this space, yes or no?’ And that has a huge impact—’Is Google in this space?’” he says.

It isn’t just an issue in tech. Companies like Amazon are moving into health care, for instance, by launching online pharmacies. “If all of the sudden the government [would] say, ‘I’m not going to allow Amazon to encroach in certain areas,’ then I think for private equity, oddly enough, that becomes a net positive because you do then have an opportunity with other companies,” says Giannini.

Though some on the Street argue the threat of sweeping legislative changes to hamper Big Tech’s reach is still minor, the new (albeit slim) Democratic majority in Congress poses “a clear negative for Big Tech as…we would expect much more scrutiny and sharper teeth around FAANG names,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a recent note.

For private investors, says Giannini, that just “creates different opportunity sets.”

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:

  • What job security? Americans are feeling worn down and fearful of layoffs
  • Coinbase is pegged for a valuation of up to $75 billion. Is that realistic?
  • Still waiting on your $300 unemployment benefit to start? What you need to know
  • The U.S. now has a debt level that rivals Italy’s
  • In corporate America we trust? Despite perennial crisis, business reputations are rising

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