WASHINGTON -- Federal lawmakers who rejected the certified presidential election results won't be receiving campaign donations from Walmart, at least for the time being, the company announced Tuesday.
On Monday, the Bentonville-based retailer expressed concern about last week's violent assault on the U.S. Capitol and said it would "certainly factor last week's events into our process" as it prepares for the 2022 elections.
On Tuesday, it went a step further, pausing donations for those who opposed any duly certified electors.
The company's political action committee donated just over $1.1 million to House and Senate candidates during the 2019-20 election cycle, split evenly between the parties, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign giving.
"We examine and adjust our political giving strategy at the end of every election cycle, and that review will continue over the coming months. However, in light of last week's attack on the U.S. Capitol, Walmart's political action committee is indefinitely suspending contributions to those members of Congress who voted against the lawful certification of state electoral college votes," the company said in a written statement late Tuesday.
University of Arkansas political science professor Janine Parry said people will take notice of the decision.
"It seems like a powerful message from one of the world's biggest companies," he said.
Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is the latest business giant to make such a decision.
"They're joining a pretty good array of corporations that are making that call," said Hal Bass, emeritus political science professor at Ouachita Baptist University.
AT&T, American Express, Amazon.com and Marriott have already taken similar steps, as have others.
The next round of congressional elections is in 2022.
"Saying it right now doesn't mean a whole lot in the sense that there's no money being given out right now because there's no campaigns," Bass said.
Nonetheless, it sends a message, he said.
"It's a signal that the Republican Party needs to distance itself from Donald Trump," he said. "Now whether that signal is going to be received or how it's going to be received is something that I can't figure out right now."
After last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol and the attack on Capitol Police officers by supporters of Trump, 147 Republican lawmakers voted to reject electors committed to President-elect Joe Biden from states where the Democrat had been certified as the winner.
Roughly five dozen law enforcement officials were injured -- assaulted with a baseball bat, flagpoles and other objects -- during last week's insurrection, The Washington Post reported.
Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick succumbed to his injuries after the attack. Law enforcement officials Tuesday released a photo of a man wanted for questioning in Sicknick's death.
Five of the six members of Arkansas' congressional delegation rejected challenges to the Democratic electors. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, was the only member who joined in the effort to overturn states' certified election results.
Shortly before voting to reject electors for Biden, Crawford said he hoped the events of Jan. 6 would help "compel" the high court to reexamine Trump's election-related legal challenges.
"And listen, if today's action with these rioters didn't get the Supreme Court's attention, I don't know what will," he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
UA political science professor Angie Maxwell portrayed Jan. 6 as a pivotal day for American politics.
"I think what happened at the Capitol really kind of changed things," she said.
After four years of Trump, "I'm just guessing that Walmart's trying to encourage those big business Republicans to reclaim the party, she said.