- Dozens of House Republicans are calling for the termination of U.S. government contracts with Citi, following the bank’s March announcement that it will cover travel costs for employees seeking abortions.
- The New York City-based bank said in a public filing last month its new policy is "in response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S." In recent months, several states, including Texas, Idaho and Kentucky, have implemented or proposed new abortion restrictions.
- In a letter signed by 45 Republican lawmakers Tuesday, members called on House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor to cancel the chamber’s contract with Citi, saying the bank has "forfeited its privilege of doing business with the House of Representatives," as a result of its new policy.
Citi is the financial institution responsible for managing all credit cards for House offices, and members of Congress use the bank’s cards to pay for flights, supplies and other goods, the letter’s authors wrote.
"By choosing to underwrite travel to abortions for its employees, Citi has explicitly staked out its position to advance the liberal agenda of abortion on demand and has shown no regard for whether a particular state’s laws are in place to protect the safety of a woman and her child," the lawmakers wrote. "This is an unfortunate move by Citi that will lead to the circumvention of state laws and unfettered access to elective abortions. It has long been the policy of our legislative branch of government that taxpayer dollars not be used to fund abortion."
Citi’s new policy covers an employee’s expenses, such as plane tickets and lodging, if they’re forced to travel to receive an abortion, according to Bloomberg.
Banking Dive reached out to Citi for comment.
It’s not the first time Republicans have taken issue with a financial institution's actions or policies regarding a highly divisive social issue.
Conservative lawmakers have long called for banks to stay out of certain hot-button social or political issues, and have spoken out against financial institutions that have denied financing to oil and gas companies, weapons manufacturers and the private prison industry.
Last year, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA, the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee called out several of the nation’s largest banks for embracing "woke-ism" after several firms signed a letter opposing a controversial Georgia election law.
Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs signed the letter opposing the law, which Democrats say restricts access for people of color.
Toomey accused the banks of trying to "appease the far left’s attacks on capitalism," and said such actions should be left to elected lawmakers, not corporations.